Severe thunderstorm watch being contemplated for portions of northwest and northcentral Illinois

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman Oklahoma is contemplating the issuance of a  new severe thunderstorm watch  covering areas to the east of the watch currently in effect for much of southern Iowa. Hail, gusty winds and heavy rain has been occurring in many of the storms moving through Iowa this evening and this activity is expected to develop east into northern Illinois. The primary area of concern is west of the city of Chicago, but covers the far western suburbs along with areas in northern Illinois extending west to the Mississippi River.

Warm humid air is in place across much of central and southern Illinois with dew points of 60 degrees or higher and this air will be moving north tonight fueling the thunderstorm development.


Thunderstorms flank Chicago to the northwest and southeast-severe storms possible here later tonight

The Chicago area is enjoying a partly sunny and warm afternoon while showers and thunderstorms rumble across areas northwest of the city from central Iowa into southern Wisconsin and south of the city from south of Springfield east into Indiana.

The storms in southern Wisconsin have produced small hail in the Beloit and Williams Bay areas while hail up to golf-ball size has battered portions of eastern Iowa.

The southern storms have also produced large hail south of Springfield and a tornado on the ground has been reported near Hillsboro in Montgomery County.

The Chicago area along with much of the surrounding Midwest is included in a slight risk area for severe thunderstorms.  Thunderstorms are expected to develop into the area later this evening bringing the possibility of hail, gusty winds and heavy rainfall.

The WGN Weather Center will continue to monitor these storms and bring you the latest information as the situation develops. At this time no severe weather watches or warning are in effect for the Chicago metro area.




Bunny hot: Easter's high topped last July 4

Temperatures soared into the middle 70s, falling just three degrees shy of the day’s record high of 79 on a warm and very windy Easter Sunday in Chicagoland. Not only was Sunday’s 76-degree high here warmer than the 69 recorded last July 4, but the day featured more impressive meteorological fireworks. Roaring south winds gusted to around 50 mph, setting the stage for an impressive round of late afternoon thunderstorms that brought heavy downpours and hail to the region. Most of the hail targeted the south suburbs where penny-size hail pelted areas near Tinley Park and Worth, and half-inch stones fell in Homer Glen.

Storms may precede cooling

More showers and thunderstorms are expected to erupt across the area Monday night and Tuesday as a major storm system traverses the Midwest. Some of the storms could be severe as the previously quiet 2010 severe weather season quickly revs into high gear. Cold air will sweep into the area on strong north winds in the wake of the storm Thursday, sending the mercury plunging about 40 degrees from Tuesday’s expected highs near 80.

Showers and thunderstorms remain well behaved this evening

The Chicago area remains on the northern fringe of rather large complex of showers and thunderstorms.  The local activity has been rather tame compared to the damaging thunderstorms that have raked across western Illinois and Missouri. 

Most of the Chicagoland storms are expected to remain below severe limits with brief heavy downpours, small hail (pea sized or 0.25″) and lightning. Due to rain cooled air and the loss of daytime heating, the main severe threat for the rest of the night will be south of Chicago, in downstate Illinois.


Below:  The Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather outlook for the rest of the night indicating that the highest threat for severe weather will be south of Chicago.