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Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, Watches Issued in Chicago Area; Damaging Winds, Heavy Rain Possible – NBC Chicago

Storms threatening to bring damaging winds and heavy rain into parts of the Chicago area led to severe weather alerts in several counties Wednesday.

Thunderstorms started developing across parts of the area just after 1 pm and forecasters predict “more rapid development is likely over the next hour or two.”

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for southeastern DuPage County and east central Cook County until 2 pm Lake County in Illinois and north central Cook County were later added to that alert.

Another warning was issued for Cook, Will, Kane, Kendall and DuPage counties until 2:15 pm, though northwestern Will County remained under the alert until 2:30 pm Lake County in northwest Indiana and Kankakee County in Illinois were under a severe thunderstorm warning until 3 pm CT and LaPorte County in Indiana was under a warning until 3:30 pm

Jasper and Porter counties in northwest Indiana were also under a warning through 4:15 pm and Newton continued through 4:30 pm

A severe thunderstorm watch was also issued for much of the Chicago area until 8 pm Counties included in the watch were Kankakee County in Illinois, as well as Newton, Jasper, Porter and Lake counties in northwest Indiana.

According to the alerts from the Storm Prediction Center, the biggest threat currently facing the area could be damaging and gusty winds ahead of the storms, with some hail and frequent lightning possible.

The possibility of an isolated tornado or two could not be ruled out, according to officials.

The biggest risk for severe conditions was expected to be between 2 pm and 8 pm

Things started out on the muggy side Wednesday, with a heat advisory taking effect for parts of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana at 10 am

Counties included in the advisory are Grundy, Kankakee, Will and Southern Cook in Illinois, along with Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper in northwest Indiana.

According to the advisory, which runs through 7 pm, heat indices in excess of 105 degrees are possible during the afternoon hours, with those spending any time outdoors advised to take as many breaks as possible.

Strenuous outdoor activities should also be moved to early morning or evening hours, according to the advisory.

After this front finishes moving through the area, slightly cooler temperatures are expected, with highs rising into the low-to-mid 80s to wrap up the work week, according to forecast models.

As always, stay tuned to the NBC 5 Storm Team, and download the NBC Chicago app for Live Doppler 5 radar and more tools to keep you apprised of the weather.

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