Tonadoes have been reported in four states across the Midwest this afternoon. A strong warm front sliding north across Iowa and Illinois is setting up favorable wind fields for supercell thunderstorms as well as a late season tornado outbreak.
Storm spotters and emergency managers indicate most of tornadoes thus far have been on the weak side, with moderate to minor damage.
There have been several reports of tornado touchdowns southwest of Chicago in Central Illinois.
In Lamoi, Illinois, the Sangamon County emergency manager reported homes were damaged from a tornado at around 3:00 this afternoon. Lamoi is located 191 miles southwest of Chicago.
Another tornado was reported at 3:25PM in Sangamon County near Williamsville, where debris and damage to homes was reported.
In Manchester, IL, mobile homes were damaged and powerlines are down from tornado that touched down at 2:20 this afternoon.
The first of what could be several rounds of thunderstorms will begin to affect some of the far western suburbs by 4:00 this afternoon.
A Tornado Watch continues until 7PM this evening for Kane, Grundy, Kendall, DeKalb, Ogle, Lee, and La Salle Counties.
This Tornado Watch does not include the city of Chicago at this time, but some of the collar communities of Aurora, Geneva, St. Charles, Elgin, Morris, Oswego and Pontiac are under the watch through early this evening.
A small tornado touched down at around 2:25 in Minneapolis, MN.
Damage has been reported to a church near the convention center in downtown Minneapolis.
Trees and power lines are reported down, and several businesses as well as homes have sustained building and roof damage.
Heavy rain has been the main problem so far from a line of strong to severe thunderstorms that continues to hammer portions of Western Illinois.
In Colusa, Illinois, a remarkable 1.68″ of rain fell in just 15 minutes, from 1:25PM to 1:40PM.
Colusa is located 202 miles west-southwest of Chicago, just east of the Mississippi River in Hancock County.
The squall line racing into west central Illinois is producing spectacular lightning based on cloud to ground lightning stroke data. While lightning is occurring from near Cedar Rapids, Iowa to near Davenport south to near St. Louis, the portion of the line from roughly Gulfport to Macomb and Beardstown has been and continues especially active as of this 2pm posting. There have been 2,422 cloud to ground strokes in just the past 10 minutes. Doppler scans put cloud tops as high as 53,000 ft.
A Tornado Watch has been issued until 7PM this evening for Kane, Grundy, Kendall, DeKalb, Ogle, Lee, and La Salle Counties.
Some of the communities in the Tornado Watch are Aurora, Geneva, St. Charles, Elgin, Morris, Oswego and Pontiac are under the watch through early this evening.
As of 1:32PM, a line of intense thunderstorms stretch along the Mississippi River from just west of Moline to Quincy, IL. There is no immediate threat of severe weather for the Chicago area, and it appears that the most likely window for the first wave of thunderstorms will be from 4PM until 8PM.