Thunderstorms expected overnight; could be severe Thursday afternoon

(CHICAGO) The Chicago area can expect thunderstorms Wednesday evening and overnight before the brunt of a storm cell hits Thursday afternoon, possibly packing hail, strong winds and the potential for tornadoes, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

“The main severe threat will come into play Thursday from about 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the possibility of large hail and damaging winds and the possibility of a few tornados,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Birk. “They can’t be ruled out.”

A rapid warm-up will accompany the severe weather. On Wednesday night, it was 39 degrees in the Loop. On Thursday, the temperature will rise into the 70s, Birk said

“Enhanced Risk” for severe storms on Thurs! Learn what this means on graphic. More info here:

— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) April 7, 2015

“There could be quarter-sized hail and larger,” Birk said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a few golf ball-sized, too.”

The storms also carry the potential for flash flooding in city, with up to an inch of rain in some areas.

“It’s hard to say where the brunt will be,” Birk said. “Most of Northern Illinois is in the target area for this severe potential.”

Birk advises people to stay alert and have a plan. “Keep an eye on the sky and have plans of action if we have to issue any warnings for significant weather.”


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