Tornado confirmed as severe weather tears through Chicago area; Damage reported

Weather

A fast moving and dangerous storm prompted tornado warnings to be issued in the Chicago area late Sunday.

At 11:45 p.m., all tornado warnings expired. Severe Thunderstorm Warning remains. According to the National Weather Service, the severe threat has ended for most of the Chicago metro area.

Extensive damage was reported in the areas of Darien, Naperville and Woodridge.

Tornado sirens are heard in Naperville in viewer-submitted video.

Viewer-submitted video also showed what appears to be a tornado touching down around 11 p.m. in Lisle, Illinois.

Mid-Sunday afternoon temps were in the low 80s, with dew points flirting with 70-degrees — indications of an atmosphere in a warm, humid state. It’s the kind of environment in which active and possibly severe thunderstorm development can thrive.

Storm Prediction Center Sunday afternoon and night severe weather risk showing a huge are of “ENHANCED RISK” draped across northern Illinois and Indiana and southern Lower Michigan. This includes the Chicago metro area.

As a result, storm activity can not be ruled out for Sunday afternoon into the evening. It’s later tonight in which storm risk may reach its heights in the Chicago region, likely between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., earlier west toward the Fox Valley, DeKalb and Rockford.

A series of high-resolution forecast models referred to as “convection-allowing” models — best able to handle thunderstorm development — indicates a fast-moving line of thunderstorms is set to sweep the area overnight, with powerful overhead jet stream winds knifing through Chicago’s warm, humid airspace.

This is the estimate of total rainfall with the incoming thunderstorms per the 4km RPM model

Storms are expected to move quickly, the strongest of which will bring some wind energy down to the surface in the form of powerful gusts. Air that ascends in the current environment can be rotated by the shifting wind directions with height — what’s known as “vertical wind shear”— increasing the threat of supercell thunderstorm development.

So what form is the severe weather to take? This four panel Storm Prediction Center post indicates not only the level of risk for severe weather, it also indicates the probabilities of storms producing damaging winds versus tornadoes or hail over the 24 hour period ending at 7am CDT Monday.

The potential for some tornadoes spinning up in this sort of set-up also exists.

Hourly precipatation panels off several important models follow in the next post so you can track anticipated storm movement and development.

Here’s the probability of thunder through tonight.

For the latest weather updates, go to wgnv.com/weather.

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