Chicago Weather

Storms with heavy downpours, gusty winds across Chicago area could snarl morning commutes

Storms are expected hit the Chicago area around 8 a.m.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A line of scattered rain and potentially strong storms expected to quickly sweep through parts of the Chicago area early Thursday could snarl morning commutes as heavy downpours, gusty winds and even small hail are all possible.

According to the National Weather Service, a severe thunderstorm warning was in effect for Northwestern McHenry county, as well as parts of Winnebago and Boone Counties until 5:45 a.m. An alert from the NWS stated that the storm, moving eastwards at 60 miles per hour, could bring quarter-sized hail to the area.

"Damage to vehicles is expected," the alert said.

According to the NBC 5 Storm Team, scattered showers and storms are expected to continue developing across Chicago's northwest suburbs around 6 a.m. By 8 a.m. those storms are likely to move farther south, stretching into Cook County, as well as Aurora and Ottawa, NBC 5 Meteorologist Alicia Roman said.

"Some storms could contain heavy downpours," Roman said, along with wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour.

According to the NWS, a strong thunderstorm around 6:45 a.m. in parts of DeKalb county was spotted moving eastward at approximately 55 miles per hour.

"Winds in excess of 30 miles per hour and nickel-sized hail" could occur, the NWS warned.

Just after 7 a.m., the officials with the PGA Tour's BMW Championship taking place in suburban Olympia Fields said tee times were delayed due to "a line of dangerous thunderstorms impacting the area."

Around 10 a.m., storms are expected to move southeast, into Kankakee county and into Northwest Indiana.

Storms and showers are likely to quickly come to an end by late morning, the NBC 5 Storm Team said, with much of the Chicago area staying dry for the remainder of the day. However, Northwest Indiana this afternoon is under a "marginal" risk of severe weather, with heavy downpours and gusty, damaging winds possible.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, "marginal" ranks as level one on the SPC's five-level scale.

Temperatures Thursday are expected to remain in the upper 70s to low 80s, the NBC 5 Storm Team said.

Following Thursday's scattered storms, the Chicago area for the next several days is expected to remain dry, with heat and humidity building, forecast models show.

"Temperatures on Sunday, Monday and possibly Tuesday are looking hot with highs in the upper 80s into the 90s," an alert from the NWS said. "The humidity may make temperatures feel closer to the upper 90s near 100 degrees."

LIVE RADAR: Track storms, heavy rain ahead of your morning commute

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