Storms, High Winds Threaten Chicago Area Wednesday

A Wind Advisory advisory takes effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday and remains in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday

Much of the Chicago area is under a threat for severe weather this week as forecasters warn of high winds and possibly even tornadoes across the central U.S. ahead of an approaching cold front.

A Wind Advisory was issued for all of northern Illinois for Wednesday. The advisory takes effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday and remains in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday.

Forecasters warned that tropical storm wind gusts are possible. 

Rain and thunderstorms are forecast for Wednesday afternoon and evening with the potential for some storms to become severe, possibly bringing wind gusts in excess of 50 mph. 

The "very strong winds" could cause minor damage and be powerful enough to "toss lightweight objects and cause difficult travel," according to the National Weather Service.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday encouraged residents to stay aware of local forecasts and "be prepared to act quickly if storm warnings are issued."

Forecasters on Monday warned 63 million people in the central U.S. to have an eye out for bad weather this week as colliding air masses threaten to generate high winds and possibly tornadoes.

The threat Wednesday stretches from San Antonio to Chicago to Cincinnati.

Missouri, southern Illinois and northern Arkansas face the greatest severe weather threat.

The Storm Prediction Center said that the storms' severity would be dictated by how much warm, humid air can funnel into the area before a cold front approaches from the west. It was too early to pinpoint where the strongest storms might hit.

November storms aren't unusual, but the nation most often sees its worst storms in the spring. This year, there have been 10 deaths from tornadoes, but none since May.

Wind gusts of up to 50 mph are also expected Thursday ahead of a big temperature cool down. Highs will sit in the low-50s Thursday before falling into the mid-40s by Friday. 

There is a chance the area could see a few flurries Friday as well.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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