Chicago weather: Severe storm risk intensifies for Chicago area; significant tornadoes possible

Most of Chicago area under 5% risk of a tornado developing within 25 miles

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, March 31, 2023

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Damaging winds and tornadoes are possible during a round of potentially severe storms headed for the Chicago area on Friday.

Storm planning: What to do the day before a severe weather threat.
Storm planning: What to do the day before a severe weather threat.

There will be a few rounds of showers and storms throughout the day, ABC7 Chicago meteorologist Cheryl Scott said.

In the morning, severe weather is not expected, but there could be heavy downpours as showers and storms move through.

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In the afternoon, strong storms are possible beginning around 1 to 2 p.m., but the main threat for severe weather will be between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m., Scott said.

Damaging wind gusts greater than 75 mph, large hail, and isolated tornadoes are possible, with the greatest risk of severe weather in the south and west suburbs.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed all of the Chicago area under an "enhanced" risk of severe weather, a level 3 out of 5.

Much of the Chicago area is under a 5% chance of a tornado developing within 25 miles, but the risk is even higher to the south and west.

"The Storm Prediction Center doesn't issue those hatched marks unless they're looking at ingredients coming together where it's showing a greater probability of some stronger tornadoes," Scott said.

As a result, Scott said tornadoes with a rating of EF-2 to EF-5 could form.

Stay tuned to ABC7 Eyewitness News and for the latest updates on the potentially severe weather.

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