Chicago Forecast

Severe weather threat could snarl Memorial Day travel plans in Chicago area

The Chicago area is at a "slight" risk of severe storms on Friday

The Chicago area is at a “slight” risk of severe weather on Friday, with the arrival time of the system threatening to disrupt travel via airports and roadways.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, that “slight” risk covers the entire Chicago area and northwest Indiana, with all manner of severe weather threats possible on Friday.

The NBC 5 Storm Team’s forecast modeling shows the cold front rapidly approaching the Chicago area on Friday afternoon, right around the time that many residents will be traveling for the Memorial Day holiday.

The first round of storms has the potential to hit severe levels according to forecast models, packing damaging winds and hail. According to the SPC, the low-level shear in the atmosphere could produce conditions that would lead to brief tornadoes along the Wisconsin-Illinois state line, though the threat of tornado development will exist across the area.

Further south, damaging wind gusts are also possible, threatening to disrupt travel on area highways, especially for higher-profile vehicles.

Thunderstorms could also impact area airports, as ground stops could either hold planes at their points of departure or prevent flights from leaving O’Hare and Midway in the mid-to-late afternoon.

A second round of showers and storms could arrive in the evening, though they’ll likely be more scattered in nature, according to forecast models.

Once the front passes through, temperatures are expected to cool, with highs in the upper-70s on Saturday under partly-to-mostly sunny skies. Sunday will see another chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, with that system sticking around through Monday morning.

Highs are expected to settle into the low-70s on both days, with pleasant conditions expected once the quick-hitting system moves through.

You can follow all the latest developments, live radar and more on the NBC Chicago app, and with the NBC 5 Storm Team on television and our 24/7 streaming service.

Contact Us