Tornado Watch Issued For Chicago Area

March 14, 2019 - 1:03 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch as winds and thunderstorms continue throughout the day Thursday.

The Tornado Watch is in effect until 5 p.m. in Illinois and Indiana counties.

The Illinois counties included in the Watch include Boone, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, De Witt, DuPage, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Linvingston, McHenry, McLean, Piatt, Vermillion, and Will.

The Indiana counties included in the Watch include Benton, Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter.


"While severe weather and tornadoes are POSSIBLE for the entire watch area, the higher severe risk is focused roughly along and southeast of Interstate 55. Stay weather aware and have multiple ways to receive warnings if any are issued for your area," the National Weather Service said in a tweet. 

The National Weather Service also issued a Significant Weather Advisory for Kendall, La Salle, central DuPage, southern Cook, Livingston, Ogle, Will, Lee, DeKalb, Grundy, Kankakee, Ford, Kane and Iroquois counties until 1:30 p.m. 

Radar was tracking strong thunderstorms moving across the area with movement northeast at 70 mph. The NWS warned of dime size hail, wind gusts up to 50 mph, and funnel clouds, as well as cloud to ground lightning. 

There is also a Wind Advisory in effect until 10 p.m. Thursday, with the strongest winds coming during mid- to late-afternoon. 

 A Wind Advisory means that sustained winds of 30 mph and/or wind gusts of 45 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. The NWS suggests people to use extra caution. 

The severe weather comes as the region is seeing its warmest temperatures in months. Chicago recorded a high of 57 degrees on Wednesday, marking the first time temperatures rose above 53 since Oct. 31, according to the weather service. A high of 67 degrees is expected on Thursday.

The 132-day streak of temperatures under 54 degrees was the second-longest such cold streak in the city’s recorded history, the weather service said. The longest recorded stretch of days under 54 degrees lasted for 156 days in 1881.

Slightly colder weather is expected to return into the weekend, according to the weather service. Temperatures could drop to 36 degrees overnight, with a high of 40 forecast for Friday, along with a chance of rain or snow in the morning.

Highs are forecast to stay in the high 30s to mid-40s through Wednesday, the weather service said.