Grab your umbrellas. It's going to be a soggy one.
The unusually warm winter weather is expected to leave the Chicago area Wednesday, when heavy rains could produce flooding.
The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana -- including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties -- from 3 a.m. through Wednesday afternoon, according to the weather service’s Web site.
A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts, the weather service said. People living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action.
A low-pressure system over Oklahoma is expected to move into Illinois Wednesday and produce heavy rain, the weather service said. The rain is expected to begin falling early Wednesday, with the heaviest rain is expected between 6 a.m. and noon.
As much as two inches of rain could fall, with the heaviest rain expected in the south suburbs, the weather service said.
Additionally, recent snowmelt has increased stream flows in rivers, the weather service said. The snowmelt also has the potential to cause ice jam flooding on short notice.
Temperatures are expected to fall near 37 degrees by 4 p.m. Wednesday and wind gusts could reach 35 miles per hour, the weather service said.
The rain could turn to snow Wednesday night, when temperatures will fall near 29 degrees, the weather service said. Strong wind gusts are expected until Thursday, when temperatures will climb back into the low-40s.