Severe storms are hitting the Chicago area, bringing strong winds, ‘heavy, heavy’ rain, and hail, according to the National Weather Service.
“We have a line of strong storms going east across McHenry County and into northern Kane county,” said meteorologist Kevin Birk of the weather service at 11 a.m.
They will make their way into “much of” Lake County and “far, far northern Cook County,” by noon, he said.
“There is heavy, heavy rain with these,”’ said Birk, as well as high winds. The weather service also has reported hail as big as 2 inches in diameter in Algonquin and Barrington, 1.75 inches in Palatine, 1.25 inches in Long Grove, and 1 inch in Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Northbrook and Wheeling.
The weather service had also instituted a severe thunderstorm warning for Cook, DeKalb, Kane, Lake, and McHenry counties while that storm moved through the area.
Flooding will not be an issue and these fast-moving storms will halt for a period, officials said.
“But we should have another shot at storms, especially tonight and into tomorrow,” Birk said.
The rain and potential high winds and hail will follow an otherwise gorgeous day, the likes of which the city hasn’t seen in months with highs in the low to mid 70s across much of the area.
“Any storms that do become more intense, then the chance exists for some gusty winds and large hail, possibly quarter-sized or larger, and winds of 60 miles per hour possibly,” meteorologist Ricky Castro said. “And pretty frequent lightning.”
The storms are expected to arrive in Chicago as early as late afternoon but more likely this evening, Castro said.
The most severe storms are likely closest to the Wisconsin border though the heavier weather is generally predicted to hit north of about Interstate 88, Castro said.
“The overall coverage of strong or severe storms would be low but the conditions are in place that some storms could reach severe limits,” he said. “Severe thunderstorm meaning, winds of 50 miles per hour or higher, or hail a quarter-sized or larger.”
-Chicago Tribune reporting