Fierce weather is likely across the Chicago area on Thursday, as ferocious winds can topple tree branches and even cause travel concerns as rain and snow hit the area.
Storm warnings go into effect Thursday for Grundy and Kankakee counties, as well as southern Will counties. All of Northern Indiana, including Lake, Porter, Laporte, Newton and Jasper, will be affected, with gusts of wind in excess of 60 mph.
Here’s a complete timeline of what to expect with the weather disturbance.
According to the National Weather Service, the first round of the system is likely to arrive late Wednesday night through Thursday morning, with strong shower lines likely including thunderstorms and torrential downpours.
It’s also “unlikely” to cause damage to the winds associated with that series of showers, which could wipe out entire areas.
Strong winds will begin to affect the area in the morning, with strong wind advisories issued for the far southern suburbs and northwestern Indiana.
Sustained winds of 25-35 mph are likely throughout the region, but the strongest gusts are likely to occur in the recommended areas and can exceed 50-60 mph.
Areas of central Illinois and central Indiana may experience more dangerous winds.
Traffic on north-south roads, especially high-profile vehicles, will be difficult all day Thursday.
In addition to strong winds, showers and even isolated thunderstorms are possible as they swirl around low pressure systems in the morning. It rains heavily at times and can greatly affect your morning commute.
Winds will begin to shift from the south, but will maintain their ferocity with sustained speeds of 30 to 40 miles per hour over the areas covered by the wind warning.
The gusts continue to be strong, sometimes reaching speeds of 80 km/h.
Rain will also fall in the southern suburbs and northwestern Indiana around noon, but the chance of thunderstorms will begin to taper off as the day progresses.
Rain will begin to turn to mixed precipitation and snow in the northwestern and western suburbs, with wet snow likely around Rockford and other areas of northwestern Illinois.
Rain is still possible on the southern outskirts of the city, but forecast models say heavy winds will become the dominant story as the days go on.
Gusts of over 40 mph are still possible in most areas, with the worst hazards seen south of Interstate 80.
According to the National Weather Service, wind speeds should begin to decrease later in the evening and the advisory should end after dark.