Chicago weather: Storms bring hail, heavy rain and strong winds, prompting severe weather warnings

ByStephanie Wade and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, April 21, 2023
Storms bring strong winds, heavy rain, hail to Chicago area
Drivers dealt with heavy rain as a storm cell passed through LaSalle and Grundy counties, making it difficult to see the road.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A round of storms with a history of producing large hail and high winds raced through the Chicago area, prompting severe weather warnings.

A Tornado Watch for Cook, Kankakee, DuPage, Lake, Will, De Kalb, Grundy, and Kendall counties in Illinois and Walworth, Racine and Waukesha counties in Wisconsin has expired.

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings have also expired for Cook, DuPage, Kankakee, Boone, McHenry, Winnebago, De Kalb, Livingston, LaSalle and Will counties.

ABC7 Meteorologist Larry Mowry said sunshine following earlier rounds of storms would allow the atmosphere to heat up as a cold front marches in from the west.

The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded most of the Chicago area to to a "slight" risk for severe weather, or a level 2 out of 5. Northwest Indiana was under a "marginal" risk, a level 1 out of 2.

The SPC also said the immediate Chicago area was under a 2% risk of a tornado developing within 25 miles, with a large swath of the northwest, western and southwest suburbs under a 5% risk.

Mowry said he expected discrete supercell thunderstorms to form out to our west before developing into a line of storms. Those supercells posed the greatest tornado risk, but as they developed a more linear structure, the main threat transitioned to high winds.

The storms moved through the area quickly, with heavy rain, wind, and hail being the bulk of the issues.

Dark clouds covered most of the area on Thursday evening. Video from Waterman in DeKalb County showed the strong wind, with battling the gusts.

The aggressive wind and rain also took down several power poles there.

Over in Elgin, cell phone video captured the large hail that came down. It looked like white golf balls falling from the sky, and into people's yards.

Drivers dealt with heavy rain as a storm cell passed through LaSalle and Grundy counties, making it difficult to see the road. Sporadic lightning was widespread as the storms rolled through the area.

ABC7 has not seen reports of significant storms damage, but will continue to monitor the weather conditions throughout the night.

The forecast for Friday is expected to be better, with highs in the mid-60s with stray showers possible. Cold temperatures are in store for the weekend.

Latest AccuWeather forecast

Watch the latest 7-day outlook from the ABC7 AccuWeather Team.

Stay with ABC7 Eyewitness News and for the latest updates.

Weather Alerts | Live Doppler Radar

Cook County Radar | DuPage County Radar | Will County Radar | Lake County Radar (IL) | Kane County Radar | Northwest Indiana Radar