Showers/thunderstorms likely – then turning colder

The warm air that provided 80-degree highs on Saturday will be departing our area Sunday. Even though this has been a long cold period dating back to last fall, we are ahead of last year on the 80-degree front. Last year our first official 80-degree high didn’t occur until the last day of April.

A cold front will slowly settle southeast through the Chicago area Sunday with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Ahead of the front (to the south and east) winds will be south to southwesterly with temperatures in the 70s, while behind the front (to the north) the winds will be north to northeast and temperatures in the upper 40s to middle 50s.

Heavy rains are likely Sunday night into Monday, as cold air rides northeast winds into northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. Indications are that Monday will be a damp chilly day with occasional rain, possibly even mixed with some wet snow at times. Storm total rainfall could end up exceeding two to three inches at many locations in the Chicago area – especially to the north. Precipitation will be slow to end – probably continuing off and on Monday night, before ending early Tuesday.

ASK TOM: Advice for those who fear thunder

Dear Tom,

My 5-year-old, Jenny, is mildly afraid of thunder and lightning. Do you have any advice for her?

— Jim Sumner, Schaumburg

Dear Jenny,

You’re not alone in being frightened of thunderstorms. Many grown-ups find them to be scary. But because they are older and have witnessed many storms, they know how to stay safe. Thunderstorms have always been around, and they aren’t all bad. They lower temperatures on very hot days, and they bring needed water to our ponds and lakes and our thirsty lawns and farm plants. Thunderstorm rain cleans pollution out of the air. Lightning even makes fertilizer from nitrogen in the air, and that fertilizer falls with rain. It is important to know that most storms are not damaging, and you will be safe if you go indoors. Warnings are issued for dangerous storms.

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for areas well to the west and north of Chicago..storms could reach this area later tonight

Severe thunderstorm watch #70 has just been issued for muchs of Iowa, southwest  and south central Wisconsin and extreme northwest Illinois. The watch will be in effect until 10pm this evening.
Areas to the east of the watch in north central and northeast Illinois including the Chicago Metro area remain in a slight risk of severe thunderstorms and could be impacted by additional severe weather later this evening and overnight.

Severe thunderstorm watch #70 valid until 10pm

Severe thunderstorm watch #70 valid until 10pm

Hail and high winds hit as season’s first severe thunderstorms roll through the north and northwest suburbs

Chicago quiet severe season took off with a rousing bang this morning as severe thunderstorms raced across the north and northwest suburbs

12:20PM:   Here are a few hail reports
2.00″ Barrington
2.00″ Algonquin
1.75″ Crystal Lake
1.50″ Buffalo Grove
1.50″ Carpentersville
1.50″ Palatine
1.00″ Lake Zurich
1.00″ Hoffman Estates
1.00″ Northbrook
1.00″ Wheeling
1.00″ Cary
1.00″ Deerfield
1.00″ Kildeer
0.75″ Arlington Heights
0.75″ Vernon Hills
0.75″ McHenry

In addition, wind damage was reported in the Marengo area about 10:25 am.
Damage in Marengo included: shingles peeled off roofs, large grain augers ripped from bins, irrigation systems blown over, barns blown down, branch embedded in side of a house.



12:00PM:  A compact line of thunderstorms that produced penny to egg sized hail over some of Chicago’s northern suburbs has moved out over Lake Michigan.   All warnings have been cancelled or expired.  A few thunderstorms could re-develop later this afternoon, once again over the northern suburbs.



11:00AM:  Severe Thunderstorm Warning for some of Chicago’s northern suburbs until Noon.  The warning includes McHenry, Lake, northern Kane and far northern Cook County.  Large and damaging hail is the main threat with this storm.  This storm is also producing a tremendous amount of lightning.


10:02AM:  One inch, or quarter sized hail was reported at the Rockford Airport at 9:58.  There is a report of some broken glass from hail just south of Rockford.  If you live in McHenry, Lake or far northern Cook County, it’s time to put the car in the garage (if that’s an option).


9:40AM:  Thunderstorms developing along a warm front are expected to impact some of Chicago’s northern suburbs late this morning. A few of the stronger cells will be capable of producing 1″ hail and wind gusts of 50 to 60mph.


The best chance of rain between 10AM and 1PM will be over McHenry, Lake (IL), northern DeKalb, northern Kane, and far northwest Cook County .   Areas from the city southward should stay dry.


BELOW:  Snapshot of radar imagery and lightning detection earlier this morning (9:40AM)


4.12 storms

Potential for Severe thunderstorms over Chicago area this afternoon/tonight

Strong southwesterly low-level flow will pull warm moist unstable air into Illinois and southern Wisconsin today. There is a threat of severe thunderstorm development later this afternoon over the Chicago area with the best chance this evening into the overnight hours. Large hail and strong damaging winds will accompany heavy downpours in the stronger storms.

Low pressure will move northeast through Iowa today into central Wisconsin tonight. The associated cold front will move out of eastern Iowa into northwest Illinois in that same time frame, triggering showers and thunderstorm development in the warm moist air mass over northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

The National Storm Prediction Center outlook for severe thunderstorms Saturday and Saturday night is depicted in the yellow-shaded area on the map below.