Hail producing storms should weaken later this evening

A broken line of showers and thunderstorms continues to move across some of Chicago’s west and southwest suburbs at 6:20PM.   These storms are producing mainly small, non-severe hail (0.25″ to 0.50″).   Hail of this size is not large enough to produce significant damage, and warnings are not generally issued for small hail. 

With the loss of daytime heating, the storms will lose some of their intensity, and the hail threat will gradually diminish as the evening wears on. 

Here are a few recent hail reports:

0.75″ hail    Loves Park at 5:31PM

0.88″ hail    Joliet at 5:40PM

0.25″ hail    Mazon at 6:07PM

0.25″ hail    Morris at 6:17PM

0.25″ hail    Plainfield at 6:41PM

Below:  Radar image from 6:20PM showing a broken line of storms stretching from Rockford  to Champaign, Illinois. 

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Hail reported in Naperville, Minooka and Warrenville

An expanding area of showers and thunderstorms over Grundy, Du Page and Will Counties is producing small hail. 

Pea sized hail (0.25″) was reported in Minnoka at 5:25PM.

Pea sized hail (0.25″) was reported in Naperville at 5:29PM.   A trained spotter relayed that the hail was falling at Route 59 and New York Street. 

Pea sized hail (0.25″) was reported in Warrenville at 5:31PM.    A trained spotter indicated hail was covering the ground at Interstate 88 and Route 59. 

Warnings are not expected, but small, non-severe hail is likely for the next several hours in some of the stronger storms.  Pea sized hail (0.25″ diameter) is considered non-severe, meaning it will not damage property.  The National Weather Service will not issue a warning until a hail size of 1″ or greater is expected or observed.  

Hail covering the ground in Lowell, Indiana

Hail producing showers and thunderstorms continue to slowly push through portions of Northwest Indiana. 

Hail fell in such abundance on the west side of Lowell, Indiana, that it completly covered the ground at 4:40PM.  Lowell is located in Lake County, 43 miles southeast of downtown Chicago. 

The movement of these showers/storms is north at 20mph.  Additional activity is starting to develop along the Illinois-Indiana border and could affect extreme southeast Cook County after 5PM. 

Below:  Radar image at 4:55PM.  Note the new development in Will County, south of Joliet and along the Illinois-Indiana border. 

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Non-severe hail reported near Rockford at 3:23PM

Pea to marble sized hail (0.25″) was reported in Pecatonica, Illinois at 3:23PM.  Pecatonica is located 91 miles west-northwest of Chicago, or 14 miles west of Rockford. 

A narrow line of showers and thunderstorms has developed from Madison, WI.  to Rockford along a cold front. 

Warnings are not expected, but small, non-severe hail is likely in some of the stronger storms.  Pea sized hail (0.25″ diameter) is considered non-severe, meaning it will not damage property.  Warnings for hail are not issued until a hail size of 1″ or greater is expected or observed. 

Below:  Radar image at 4:00PM showing the line of storms from Rockford to Madison.  Another cluster of storms is located over NW Indiana.  Radar is indicating that the Indiana storms over Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper Counties are also producing small, non-severe hail, although no reports of hail have come in to the WGN Weather Center as of 4PM.   

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Scattered hail producing storms this afternoon, severe risk low

Warm Spring temperatures are often accompanied by thunderstorms, which can be quite volatile.  The atmosphere is set up for some hail producing storms across the Chicago area this afternoon and evening, but the threat of severe thunderstorms (large hail and/or damaging winds) appears to be quite low.  Most of the hail is expected to be small, or of the non-severe variety. 

Below:  A mesoscale discussion was issued by the Storm Prediction Center for part of the Chicago area.  Northwest Indiana and areas south of Chicago (outlined in orange) appear to be the most likely region to experience a strong (small hail producing) storm later today 

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Graphic courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center