Severe Weather Targets Chicago Area

Tornado Watch in effect for much of Chicago area until 1 a.m.

Saturday started out soggy and is expected to end soggy, with the possibility of severe storms during the evening.

The wet weather, which began early Saturday morning, moved out of much of the Chicago area by the early afternoon hours, but rain is forecast to return heading into the evening hours.

The Storm Prediction Center placed Chicago in the slight risk category for severe storms Saturday evening.

Thunderstorms that develop could produce torrential downpours, frequent lightning and damaging wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour. The greatest threat, however, is expected to be the heavy amounts of rain and potential for flooding.

A Tornado Watch was issued for parts of northwest Illinois including Carroll, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Henderson, Mercer, Warren, Henry, Rock Island and Whiteside counties until 12 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

A  second Tornado Watch was issued just before 10 p.m. Saturday for 18 counties in Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana. The alert remains in effect until 1 a.m. Sunday.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was also in effect until 10:45 p.m. for DeKalb, Kendall, LaSalle, Lee and Ogle County.

The threat for floods was especially prominent after several parts of the area experienced flooding from earlier rainfall.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for much of the metropolitan area and a Flood Warning was issued for Will and Cook Counties, both of which remain in effect until Sunday afternoon. 

Things will start to dry out Sunday with periodic chances for a scattered storm or two during the afternoon and a high temperature of 84 degrees.

Rain moved into the Chicago area during the morning hours Saturday, bringing heavy downpours at times that caused flooding in several parts of the Chicago area.

According to the NWS, roughly 3 inches of rain had fallen across the Chicago area as of early Saturday morning and another inch was expected.

The rain prompted officials to cancel the Taste of Chicago Saturday.

A performance at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park featuring Journey, Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power was postponed due to the extreme weather conditions, Journey posted on Facebook Saturday.

"The rain received this morning has caused flooding both in the parking lots of the venue, which completely prevents us from parking the volume of cars expected, as well as to a number of surrounding feeder streets, creating extreme difficulty in getting to the venue," the post read.

Tickets for the event will be honored for a rescheduled date, which has not yet been announced. Fans can also request a refund from ticket vendors after 10 a.m. Monday, officials said.

O'Hare International Airport was reporting delays of more than an hour due to the weather.

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