Chicago weather: Overnight storms could become severe, bringing high winds, large hail, heavy rain

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Strong and even severe thunderstorms are possible across the Chicago area late Thursday night.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for Lake Geneva, Walworth and Kenosha Counties in Wisconsin until 4 a.m.

There are two models showing slightly different scenarios; one in which storms form across the Chicago area with heavy rain and gusting winds primarily between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., and another in which the storms form to the north of the Chicago area, and we will see simply passing showers and storms.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, much of the Chicago area are under a "slight" risk for severe weather. A higher chance of severe weather is possible in the far northwest suburbs, which are under an "enhanced" risk.

After temps climbs into the low 90s Thursday afternoon, ABC7 Meteorologist Larry Mowry said the first storms are expected to arrive in the Chicago area between 9 and 10 p.m. The greatest risk of severe weather is between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

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The greatest threat with any storms that develop will be strong, damaging winds, though there is also the possibility for large hail and heavy rain, Mowry said.

That rain is especially needed in the northern suburbs. Lake and McHenry counties are currently in an "extreme" drought - the worst since 2012.
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