Severe Weather Live blog

Live Blog: Tornado Watch Expires, With Brief Tornado Reported in LaSalle County

Severe weather hit Illinois and Indiana on Monday afternoon and into the evening hours, with a brief tornado touching down in LaSalle County.

Here are the latest weather headlines from around the Chicago area:

9:22 p.m. Severe Weather Hits Chicago Area, With Wind Damage and Heavy Rain Reported

Severe thunderstorms brought heavy rains and gusty winds to parts of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana on Monday, sparking several warnings in the process.

A tornado watch that had been issued for the Chicago area and part of northwest Indiana until 9 p.m. Monday was allowed to expire, according to the National Weather Service.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued throughout the afternoon, including in LaSalle, Grundy and DeKalb counties. Those storms produced a brief tornado, which apparently touched down in western LaSalle County and was only on the ground for 30-to-45 seconds.

8:43 p.m. Brief Tornado Reported in LaSalle County During Severe Weather Outbreak

Trained weather spotters in LaSalle County say that a tornado briefly touched down on Monday evening during an outbreak of severe weather.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado touched down in near Troy Grove, a village in the western portion of the county, at approximately 6:30 p.m.

The tornado touched down briefly, for 30 to 45 seconds, before lifting off the ground, according to officials.

7:52 p.m. Tornado Watch Canceled in Select Counties

A tornado watch set to remain in effect until 9 p.m. has been canceled for LaSalle and Grundy counties, according to the National Weather Service.

The watch remains in effect for McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Kendall, Will and Kankakee counties, according to a new alert.  

7:15 p.m.: Tornado Warning Canceled

A storm capable of producing a tornado moved out of the affected area, leading the National Weather Service to cancel the tornado warning.

6:50 p.m.: Tornado Warning Issued for Part of LaSalle County

A tornado warning has been issued for parts of LaSalle and Lee counties in Illinois until 7:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service says the warning was issued for south-central Lee County and northwestern LaSalle County, as a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado drifts to the northwest at 15 miles per hour.

Doppler radar has indicated rotation within the storm, which is located over Mendota as of 6:52 p.m.

Interstate 39 between mile markers 71 and 73 is in the warned area, which is comprised mainly of rural areas in the affected counties.

6:45 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for LaSalle, DeKalb Counties

A new severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for several counties in northern Illinois, including parts of LaSalle and DeKalb counties, until 7:45 p.m.

The warning includes eastern Lee and Ogle counties, along with northern LaSalle County and all of DeKalb County, per the National Weather Service.

A line of storms is moving toward the north at 35 miles per hour. The line extends from Sublette to Mendota and to Ottawa.

Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour are possible, which could cause damage to roofs, siding and trees.

6:18 p.m.: What's the Difference Between a Watch and a Warning?

During times of severe weather, the National Weather Service uses a variety of notifications to alert residents to potentially hazardous conditions, but the two main tools that they use are watches and warnings. NBC 5 Chief Meteorologist Brant Miller explains the difference between the two.

5:59 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Canceled in LaPorte County

The National Weather Service has announced the severe thunderstorm warning for LaPorte County has been canceled.

5:46 p.m.: “Short-Lived Rotation” Reported in Storms Impacting LaSalle, Grundy Counties

The National Weather Service says it is monitoring potential rotation inside of severe thunderstorms impacting central Illinois, saying that tornado warnings are possible if that rotation continues to develop.

According to a social media post, “short-lived rotation” is being observed within the storms, which led to a severe thunderstorm warning in parts of Livingston, Ford, LaSalle and Grundy counties on Monday afternoon.

Residents are being urged to move indoors, and to prepare for wind gusts that could hit up to 70 miles per hour.

5:38 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for LaSalle, Grundy Counties

A new severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for several counties in central Illinois, as the second round of severe weather is starting to fire up.

According to NWS, the warning was issued for Livingston and Ford counties, along with central LaSalle County and suothern Grundy County.

The warning will expire at 6:45 p.m.

As of 5:35 p.m., severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from near El Paso to near Bloomington to near Weldon, moving toward the northeast at 40 miles per hour.

Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are possible with the storms, which could impact Ottawa, Streator, Peru, Seneca, Gardner and North Utica.

5:35 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued in LaPorte County

Earlier thunderstorm warnings were canceled in Newton and Jasper counties, but LaPorte County is now under a warning until 6:15 p.m. Central time.

The National Weather Service says a severe thunderstorm cell is located near Koontz Lake, moving toward the northeast at 60 miles per hour.

The storm is packing wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour. Considerable tree damage is expected, along with damage to mobile homes and outbuildings.

4:53 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued in NW Indiana

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for parts of Newton, Jasper and Porter counties in northwest Indiana until 5:45 p.m. Central time.

As of 4:49 p.m., severe storms were located along a line extending from Rensselaer to Hanging Grove, moving to the north at 50 miles per hour.

The cities of Portage, Valparaiso, Demotte, Lakes of the Four Seasons, Ogden Dunes and Beverly Shores are all among those that could be impacted.

The storms are packing wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour, and heavy rains and lightning are also possible.

4:30 p.m.: Heavy Rains Could Cause Reduced Visibility, Difficult Travel Conditions for Commute

Motorists are being advised to use extra caution and to increase following distance as heavy rains hammer the Chicago area during rush hour.

According to the National Weather Service, the heavy rains are part of the first wave of showers and thunderstorms expected to hit the region Monday.

Those showers could cause heavy downpours, reducing visibility and leaving roadways partially covered with water.

Motorists are urged to use caution while driving, increasing following distance when necessary.

A second wave of storms is expected to hit the area in the late afternoon and early evening hours, with severe storms and even isolated tornadoes possible.

3:47 p.m.: ComEd Positioning Crews, Equipment Ahead of Severe Weather

Utility company ComEd says that it is positioning additional crews and equipment throughout the Chicago area ahead of forecasted severe weather that could hit the region on Monday afternoon.

According to the company, wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour and torrential downpours are possible, which could cause power outages in communities that the utility serves.

The company says that customers can text the word OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report outages and to receive restoration information. Customers can also call 1-800-EDISON1, or report outages via the company’s website.

If residents see downed power lines, they are asked to call ComEd at the above phone number. Residents are urged never to touch downed power lines, and to always assume that lines are dangerous and energized.

Residents are also asked not to approach ComEd workers to inquire about power restoration updates, as crews are practicing social distancing. The immediate areas surrounding crews could also be hazardous, the company says.

3:12 p.m.: Tornado Watch Issued for Northern Illinois, NW Indiana

According to the National Weather Service, a tornado watch is now in effect for most of northern Illinois and parts of northwest Indiana until 9 p.m. Central Daylight Time.

The watch includes McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, Cook, LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties in Illinois, as well as Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties in northwest Indiana.

Most of central Illinois, including Springfield and Champaign, will also be impacted by the watch.

The National Weather Service says that isolated tornadoes are possible as thunderstorms develop in the afternoon and early evening hours, along with gusty winds of up to 70 miles per hour and ping pong ball-sized hail in some locations.

Frequent lightning and heavy downpours are also possible with the storms, which are expected to move in from the southwest and toward the northeast at up to 50 miles per hour.

2:02 p.m.: Wind Gust in Excess of 60 MPH Reported in LaSalle County

Ahead of strong-to-severe thunderstorms that are expected to develop in the area on Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service reported a substantial wind gust in LaSalle County.

According to a trained weather spotter at Peru Airport, a gust of 63 miles per hour was recorded at 2:02 p.m.

Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are possible with storms that are expected to develop in the area Monday afternoon and into the evening hours, moving from the south toward the northeast.

1:45 p.m.: Two Rounds of Storms Expected to Develop This Afternoon, Evening

According to the National Weather Service, two rounds of thunderstorms are expected to hit northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana, with the second round this evening bringing the potential for strong winds, large hail and even isolated tornadoes.

In the first round, expected to last until approximately 4 p.m., showers and thunderstorms will begin to develop and expand their coverage over northeast Illinois.

Some of those storms could yield brief funnel clouds or tornadoes, but it's unclear how strong those tornadoes would become.

The main event will come in the second round of severe weather, expected to begin around approximately 4 p.m.

Another band of showers and thunderstorms will sweep across the area, moving from the south to the north.

Heavy rain, strong winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes are possible with these storms, which are expected to finish moving through the region around 8 p.m.

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