Severe thunderstorms produced heavy rain and large hail Tuesday morning, prompting weather alerts for much of the Chicago area ahead of more storms expected this afternoon.
A severe thunderstorm warning was expanded from the western suburbs all the way east to Lake Michigan as a system moved through the area at about 50 mph.
The initial warning covered parts of Winnebago, Boone, De Kalb and McHenry counties, including Rockford, Poplar Grove and Marengo, until 10:15 a.m. The expanded warning covered parts of Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties until 10:45 a.m.
The warning also was issued for Kendall, Will and Grundy counties until 11:15 a.m.
Strong storms were spotted around 9:30 a.m. in Winnebago County, producing lightning, heavy rain, small hail and gusty winds. Storms also produced heavy rain, gusty winds and hail around 10 a.m. in Lake Villa, McHenry and Barrington. In just 40 minutes, .07 inch of rain fell in Harvard.
More heavy rain, wind and hail was expected for Minooka, Manhattan, Morris and Plattville.
NBC 5 weather models show the storms holding together through the western suburbs and moving east toward Chicago.
The warnings come ahead of a cloudy, hazy and humid day with isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms developing across parts of the area in the morning and afternoon.
A weak cold front is expected to slide south across the metro area Tuesday afternoon, increasing the threat for storms along and south of I-80.
Any of the storms could produce heavy rain and gusty winds, models show. Showers and isolated storms are expected to develop again, this time west of the Fox Valley, by dawn.
Storms and scattered showers remain possible for the much of the week.