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. 

5pm radar resize.jpg

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.   

radar resize.jpg


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 


Graphic courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center

Wednesday's 60s here top highs in Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles

It’s not every day Chicago’s high temperatures sail past those of
Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles all at once—so
forgive us for taking a moment to relish the occasion. Highs of
62-degrees at O’Hare and 64-degrees at both Midway and the lakefront
made Wednesday the warmest day here in nearly four months. O’Hare’s
full-day average temperature of 55-degrees was an eye-catching
20-degrees above normal. The city hasn’t been treated to a daily
temperature surplus as large in nearly a year–since St. Patrick’s Day
(March 17) a year ago.

Before 60s arrived Wednesday, comparably mild readings (60-degrees or
higher) hadn’t occurred since last Nov. 14—nearly four months ago.
But almost as interesting was the fact Chicago area highs topped
readings in a number of perennially warm cities in the country’s
Southwest. Wednesday’s 61 degree highs at San Diego and Los Angeles,
the 58-degree high at Tucson, Arizona and a 56-degree peak reading at
Las Vegas all fell below our area’s low and mid 60′s.

The breadth of the warmth locally was stunning. Nearly four dozen of
the more than 200 communities with Weather Bug temperature sensors
across the greater Chicago area reported highs of at least 65-degrees
Wednesday. Among the warmest were 66-degree readings at Gary, Lansing,
Oswego, Itasca and Kankakee and 65-degree peak readings at New Lennox,
Willow Springs, Frankfort and, in Indiana, Valparaiso, Highland,
Schererville and Chesterton.
First the warmth, now blustery rains-some thundery
Waves of rain—some potentially thundery—are headed for Chicago
Thursday in the wake of the “warm” spell. A storm system with
thunderstorms, which bombarded sections of Oklahoma, Louisiana and
Arkansas Wednesday with barrages of hail and nearly half a dozen
twisters, is behind the rain threat in Chicago. The “lift” created as
the nose of powerful jet stream winds approach the metro area from the
southwest is to squeeze the nearly inch of evaporated water out of the
air producing the first of two rainy spells predicted to sweep the area
in the coming week. Computer model estimates of the total rainfall
these systems are to deliver between now and the end of the weekend
ranges from 0.40 inches to as much as 2.01 inches. While these are the
extreme values,  the average of the 29 latest computer rain projections
is 1.55 inches—more than three times the 0.53 inches which typically
falls in a week at this time of year.
Second wet surge hits by Friday night, continues well into the weekend
A second vigorous wave threatens a new round of potentially heavy
rainfall later Friday or Friday night. The deep low pressure it induces
in combination with a sprawling Canadian high to the north sets the
stage for a windy weekend here. Winds blow—and do so
forcefully—when air pressures through the atmosphere vary greatly.
The predicted pressure variation between the next storm and the high to
the north Saturday and Sunday is to give rise to gusty east/northeast
winds expected to pump Atlantic moisture westward into the Midwest both
days, generating lots of clouds and waves of rainfall. Unlike
Wednesday, when south winds managed to extinguish lake cooling long
enough for temperatures in all but north lakeshore communities to soar,
the second storm system is to introduce gusty east to northeast winds
which take hold Friday afternoon—winds which are to continue over the
weekend possibly gusting to 30 mph Saturday and to 35 mph at times
Chicago weather records suggest 70 percent chance of a 70+ temp before March March’s close
Weather records suggest that despite cooler winds off the lake
predicted in coming days, March has good track record at producing a
70-degree temperature sometime between now and the month’s close. The
period has produced 70-degree or warmer highs nearly 70 percent of the
past 81 years at Midway Airport.