Severe Thunderstorms Threaten Chicago Area Thursday | NBC Chicago

Severe Thunderstorms Threaten Chicago Area Thursday

Storms develop across the Chicago area Thursday. Byron Miranda has the full forecast. (Published Thursday, March 31, 2016)

Thursday will be a day of powerful winds, unseasonable warmth and potentially severe thunderstorms sweeping across the Chicago area.

Early morning hours were overcast in advance of a line of scattered severe storms expected to begin to develop in the far northwest areas in the early afternoon hours. Although parts of the day the cloud cover will break way to spotty sunshine, the thunderstorms are expected to be moving east across the Chicago area before 2 p.m., making it to northwest Indiana after 4 p.m. as a cold front sweeps through.

Evening rush hour will be met with high winds, gusting upwards of 40 mph, and temperatures turning cooler. With the storms comes heavy rain and a moderate risk of large hail, lightning and a slight risk for tornadoes.


Some 34 million Americans were in the path of the severe storm system as it traveled northeast at a rate of 65 mph, stretching from New Orleans to Chicago.

The system has already produced tornadoes in Oklahoma and Arkansas that injured at least 10 people.

Temperatures will reach the upper 50s in far northwest counties, warming to the upper 60s and possibly low 70s far south and in northwest Indiana before falling later in the afternoon, especially along the lakeshore.

Once this front clears the area, much cooler temps will be left behind.

Friday is expected to be cloudy and chilly as yet another wave passes with more rain showers and a few snowflakes still possible.

News breaks at inconvenient times.  Download the NBCChicago mobile app and have the news come to you. Watch live streaming newscasts, receive critical push notifications on the go and stay in touch with your city around the clock.