Severe weather hit parts of the Chicago area after the National Weather Service declared a severe thunderstorm warning this afternoon, as a thunderstorm watch for much of northeast Illinois was declared over by the National Weather Service.
Severe thunderstorm warnings for much of the Chicago area expired by 5 p.m., although warnings were still in effect for parts of northwest Indiana until later this evening and a chance remained in the Chicago area for hail, gusty winds and heavy rain.
Strong storms hit parts of Cook County and Chicago, and 1.75-inch hail fell in Plainfield and Tinley Park, as almost 3/4 of an inch of rain fell in Sugar Grove in half an hour, according to the weather service. Sugar Grove also experienced wind gusts of up to 54 mph a little after 3 p.m. A trained spotter at the University of Illinois at Chicago recorded 1/4-inch hail.
Lightning strikes from the storms are blamed for starting fires in two homes in the same Joliet subdivision. Heavy tree damage and scattered power outages were reported in many areas, with some large trees knocked down in Oak Lawn.
A severe thunderstorm watch covering Cook, DuPage, and Kane counties was allowed to expire, while a watch covering Kendall and Will counties, as well as other central and eastern Illinois counties and five northern Indiana counties, still is in effect until 9 p.m.
Sunday is expected to be mostly sunny, with a chance of showers and a high in the upper 70s away from the lake and the 60s to lower 70s near the lake. Monday should see a resurgence of warmer weather, with highs in the lower 80s and cooler by the lake, and a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.
For more updates on the weather, check the Chicago Weather Center.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun