Chicago Weather

Timing: When and Where Potentially Severe Storms Could Hit the Chicago Area

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The Chicago area woke up to a round of rain Thursday morning, but the storms aren't done with us yet - far from it.

What can you expect and when? NBC Storm Team 5 forecasts breaks it down below, but continue to monitor the forecast for updates.

Moderate to heavy rain in the morning, accompanied by thunder and lightning but not severe, will taper off by late morning as storms become more scattered and sporadic into early afternoon. Some parts of the Chicago area already saw up to an inch of rain from this first wave.

A period of drier conditions is in store from roughly between 2 and 5 p.m., looking to be most cloudy, windy, humid and warm with highs reaching the low to mid 70s.

As a cold front approaches and slides south across the area, the threat for storms ramps up once again in the evening. Models vary on timing and location, but the areas south of I-88 and I-80 appear to be at a higher risk for severe weather.

Those storms will cross the area roughly between 6 p.m. and midnight, potentially stretching into the 1 or 2 a.m. hours in far southern counties before ending, NBC Storm Team 5 forecasts indicate.

Heavy rain and flooding are the biggest concern, with models showing another 1 to 3 inches of rainfall, potentially even higher. Damaging winds reaching up to 60 or 70 mph are possible, as well as hail as large as a half-inch in diameter, and plenty of lightning.

The threat for isolated tornadoes is low, but not zero - if one were to occur, it would likely be weak.

As the cold front passes south of the Chicago area overnight, there will be some lingering showers that could last until early tomorrow in southern parts of the region as well as northwest Indiana

Clouds break for partial sun Friday afternoon with mild conditions, highs in the low to mid 70s inland but cooler in the 60s along the lakefront. Temperatures will start falling late in the afternoon as the wind shifts off the lake.

Saturday looks to be partly sunny and cooler with highs in the low to mid 60s inland, but again cooler in the 50s by the lake. Showers and storms are possible late in the day.

Sunday will be mostly cloudy, windy and cool with periods of rain as well, and some embedded thunder possible to end the weekend.

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