Heavy thunderstorms threaten through Saturday

The return of muggy, tropical air has brought more heavy downpours to the area. Rainfall totals Wednesday night and early Thursday generally ranged from 1 to 3 inches across the Chicago area. Over 3 inches fell across much of north central Illinois. Steamy, tropical air immediately south and west of the area is separated from cooler air to the north by a front which will continue to waver across the area into Saturday. This boundary will be the focus for additional rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms, and has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood watch effective late Friday into Saturday morning. Moisture levels across the region remain excessive. Dew point temperatures will hover in the mid and upper 70s, raising the likelihood of drenching cloudbursts.