Two rounds of showers, thunderstorms for Chicago area today

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CHICAGO — The Chicago area will experience two rounds of showers and thunderstorms Thursday.

A morning a band of showers and embedded thunderstorms —  a forerunner of the main event — will track across the area. Later Thursday afternoon, during peak-heating hours, a stronger line of thunderstorms is expected to precede and accompany a cold front as it moves across Illinois from west to east.


The National Storm Prediction Center has placed southern portions the Chicago area, mainly south of Interstate 80, in an area of marginal risk for severe storms Thursday afternoon and evening. The main threat here would be strong damaging winds and hail.

Farther south, a slight risk for severe storms will exist Thursday from portions of Kansas and Missouri across southern and central Illinois and Indiana into southeast Ohio. Within that slight risk area will be a smaller, but stronger-potential enhanced-risk area across southern Missouri and Illinois into extreme southwestern Indiana, where there is not only an increased threat of damaging winds and hail, but also the possibility of tornadoes.


A cold front moving east out of the central plains will cross the Mississippi River, eventually passing through the Chicago area Thursday afternoon. Warm moist air will flow into the area ahead of the front. Strong low-level winds will increase the shearing component, leading to greater instability and the peak-heating hours of the afternoon will increase storm potential. Monitor the current weather radar display on this page to determine progression, movement and intensity of bands/lines of thunderstorms.

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