The storms originated from the northwest and lingered near the Wisconsin border for most of the evening before moving in the Chicago area after 9 p.m. They're expected to arrive in the city around or after midnight.
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The most serious damage is expected to be done by high winds. Hail is also possible.
A remote risk of a tornado is possible, with the greatest risk to the west in counties such as DeKalb and Morris.
The storms are expected to move out of the area overnight.