NBC 5 Storm Team: Breakdown of Today’s Weather

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•tSLIGHT RISK across all of northeast Illinois and parts of northwest Indiana (scattered severe storms possible)n•tENHANCED RISK south of I-80 (numerous severe storms possible)n•tMODERATE RISK across central Illinois (Widespread severe storms likely)
The Chicago area has seen near record warmth this February, with the record high for the last day of February being 62 degrees. Tuesday brings temperatures that will come close to breaking that record, with highs expected in the upper 50s to low 60s. When cold arctic air coming from west pushes into the warm moisture moving in from the Gulf of Mexico, it creates a lift in the atmosphere that makes for thunderstorm activity.
•tMorning: Tuesday begins cloudy, windy and mild with near record warmth in the afternoon. •tAfternoon: Rain will likely arrive before scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop in mid to late afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. •tEvening: Storms will strengthen and increase in coverage after dark Tuesday, with severe storms possible, according to the NWS. •tOvernight: Strong to severe storms will weaken and taper to showers overnight; turning much cooler as temps fall through the 40s. •tWednesday: Early morning rain showers begin to mix with snow before transitioning into full snow showers in the late afternoon and evening.
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The heaviest of storms aren't expected to come until Tuesday night, but rain showers will likely arrive ahead of the afternoon commute. Commuters during the 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. rush can expect travel conditions to include rain, lightning and even potentially damaging hail.
Models show Tuesday night’s storms could produce very large hail, larger than a golf ball size, according to the National Weather Service. Roads may become flooded. Hail and windblown debris may break windows, damage cars and structures or even cause bodily harm, forecasters warn. Isolated tornadoes will also be possible.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging residents to prepare for a potential risk for tornadoes and other severe weather Tuesday afternoon and evening across much of Illinois. "It’s critical for people to have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather warnings, such as through a weather alert radio," said IEMA Director James K. Joseph in a statement. If you lose power, the free NBC 5 app allows for live streaming of broadcast coverage, latest breaking weather alerts, and an interactive radar that tracks the intensity of the storm for your area. NBC 5's Storm Team warn you to seek shelter immediately if a tornado warning is issued for your area. The best shelter is in a basement or cellar, according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. If an underground shelter is not available, "find an interior room or hallway on the lowest level, such as a closet, small interior hallways and bathrooms without windows."
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