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Published on April 23, 2024
Chicago Faces Week of Severe Weather with Thunderstorms, Hail, and Wind Gusts Up to 60 MPHSource: X/NWS Chicago

Chicagoans are bracing for an onslaught of stormy weather with predictions of hail, damaging winds, and potential flooding dominating the week's forecast. According to the National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville IL, a slew of storms is slated to aggressively roll through the area starting this afternoon, carrying into the evening, with scattered severe thunderstorms likely to bring hail up to quarter size and damaging wind gusts as high as 60 mph. The agency's detailed forecast warns of a 60 percent chance of precipitation today, with the tumultuous weather continuing into the night.

The hazardous conditions threaten to not only soak the city but also significantly impact travel on Lake Michigan. Small crafts could find themselves wrestling with nature's unruly behavior as the National Weather Service emphasizes “hazardous conditions for small craft.” This tumult is, however, not confined to the water, as the outlook extends a stark warning for elevated fire weather risks on land, with particular attention to areas northwest of Mendota to Waukegan.

Residents aren't to take a reprieve in the nights to come either. Wednesday through Monday, the imposing skies threaten to unleash a series of limited flooding and thunderstorm risks, while Wednesday night harbors an elevated frost risk. In a post released by NWS Chicago, a level 1 out of 5 threat is indicated for strong to severe storms this afternoon, "mainly between 3 and 8 pm north of I-80", with hail and strong to locally damaging wind gusts cited as main threats with the most intense storms.

One significant break in the threatening weather is forecasted for Thursday, with sunny skies predicted and a high near 56, offering a short respite before a chance of showers returns Thursday night. With an 80 percent chance of storms set for Friday and the potential for more inclement weather over the weekend, residents are advised to keep vigilant and abreast of weather updates.