Gusty and dangerous winds are expected to hammer the Chicago area Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with advisories and warnings issued for communities throughout the region.
Wind gusts in excess of 60 miles per hour will be possible, especially overnight, according to forecast models. The winds could cause power outages, flight cancellations and roof and tree damage, with forecasters comparing the gusts to those experienced during a severe thunderstorm.
Here is a timeline of what residents will be able to expect as the day moves along.
Many areas are expected to approach record-setting high temperatures, with the mercury climbing into the mid-to-upper 60s in most locations across the Chicago area.
Those temperatures will coincide with winds that will continue to increase in ferocity as the day moves along, according to forecast models.
A high wind warning will go into effect for northern Illinois, including McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, LaSalle, Kendall and Cook counties.
That warning will remain in effect until 9 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Sustained winds of 30-to-35 miles per hour are expected, along with gusts that could exceed 60 miles per hour at times.
Other areas of Illinois will also be under a wind advisory beginning at 6 p.m., including Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties. Parts of Indiana, including Lake, Porter and Newton counties, will also be under a wind advisory at that time.
Slightly lower sustained winds of 25-to-30 miles per hour are possible in these areas, but wind gusts could still exceed 50 miles per hour, especially later in the day.
The National Weather Service has indicated that the highest wind speeds will likely be seen between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.
Residents in impacted areas are being urged to take numerous precautions, including securing outdoor holiday decorations and outdoor furniture.
Motorists are being asked to avoid driving during that timeframe whenever possible. If residents have to drive, they are being asked to use extra caution, especially on open roads and interstates, and while driving high-profile vehicles.
Residents are asked to remain in lower levels of their homes whenever possible because of the high winds.
A line of showers and thunderstorms is expected to sweep through the area at some point late Wednesday or even Thursday morning, and forecasters say that the line could potentially cause even more serious winds.
Those wind gusts could exceed 70 miles per hour as the storms move through, and are the main threat associated with the storms. It is unclear whether those storms could become severe, and forecasters are closely tracking their development.
Winds will slowly die down as the day moves along Thursday, but that will also come with a rapid drop in air temperature, as temps will plunge from a high in the low-60s into the 40s throughout the day, according to the NBC 5 Storm Team.