Timeline: What to Expect and When as Severe Storms Approach Chicago Area

Storms capable of producing damaging wind gusts, hail, flooding and possibly even a brief tornado are possible, but the biggest threats will likely depend on where you live

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The Chicago area could see some severe weather Wednesday as the warmest day of the week is met with storms capable of producing damaging wind gusts, hail, flooding and possibly even a brief tornado.

While temperatures are set to climb near 70 degrees Wednesday, morning rain and storms have already dampened several locations across the area, but the risk for more severe weather comes during the afternoon and evening hours.

But the biggest threats will likely depend on where you live.

Here's what to expect and when as storms move across northern Illinois and northwest Indiana:

Wednesday Morning

Showers and thunderstorms began moving across parts of the area mid-morning Wednesday, and while this system is expected to remain below severe limits, there's a chance for some of the storms to produce heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds.

The area may see a break in the rain later in the morning, with a few hours of dry conditions possible through the early afternoon.

Wednesday Afternoon

The threat for severe weather begins with a second round of storms Wednesday afternoon, which are expected to be scattered across the area.

The higher risk for severe conditions will likely take place between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to NBC 5 Storm Team Meteorologist Alicia Roman.

The biggest threat with this system looks to be damaging winds, with gusts of up to 65 mph possible. Winds at those levels are capable of downing trees and power lines.

There's also a threat for heavy rain, large hail and possibly even a brief tornado, particularly for areas south of Interstate 80, which are under the greatest threat.

The NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center reports the greatest risk for severe weather remains in counties south of the city, including Will and Kankakee in Illinois and Newton and Jasper counties in northwest Indiana. In those areas, there's a "slight" risk for severe weather, meaning there's potential for a few strong storms.

The rest of the Chicago area, including the city itself, is under a “marginal” risk of severe weather.

Wednesday Evening

Showers and storms will gradually come to an end Wednesday evening. Clouds are expected to clear overnight as colder temperatures move in by Thursday morning.

Thursday Morning

Even after the storms make their way through the area, gusty winds are expected to persist through at least Thursday, along with cooler temperatures and drier conditions.

Highs will drop below their seasonal averages for a period of several days, with highs in the upper-40s and low-50s through at least the start of the new work week.

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