Forecasters are warning of the possibility of “landspout tornadoes” and dangerous lightning in parts of the Chicago area on Wednesday night, with heat and humidity helping to fuel the development of scattered thunderstorms.
According to a new alert issued by the Storm Prediction Center, areas along the western edge of the NBC 5 viewing area, including DeKalb, LaSalle, Kendall and Grundy counties, could potentially see the development of thunderstorms that could produce a variety of threats.
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for south-central LaSalle County, which will run through 7 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
As of 6:14 p.m., a severe storm was located near Wenona, approximately seven miles to the southwest of Streator. The storm is nearly stationary, moving to the north at five miles per hour.
Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour and quarter-size hail are possible, along with torrential rains that could cause localized flooding because of the slow movement of the storm.
Additional threats could develop as well, including so-called “landspout tornadoes,” weak twisters that rapidly spin up but don’t achieve significant strength, according to the NBC 5 Storm Team.
The National Weather Service does not anticipate any watches or warnings with the developing storms, but officials are still urging residents to be on the lookout for spin-up twisters or even dangerous lightning.
The threat will not be a long-lasting one, largely fueled by the record heat and humidity that is gripping parts of the area.
One cell that has developed has sparked a severe thunderstorm warning in Bureau County, which is adjacent to LaSalle County. That warning runs through 6 p.m., and was issued as a nearly-stationary storm began to dump hail and heavy rain onto a limited area in central Illinois.
Similar storms could develop along Interstate 55 and Interstate 39, according to officials.
You can watch the latest radar on the NBC 5 app.