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Severe weather putting Chicago area on alert

National Weather Service had issued torando warnings including for northwest Cook northern DuPage counties as storm clouds move Sunday. |

National Weather Service had issued torando warnings, including for northwest Cook and northern DuPage counties as storm clouds move in Sunday. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: October 14, 2012 9:30PM



Severe storms sparked tornado warnings Sunday afternoon in areas spanning six counties in northeastern Illinois. Those warnings were called off but severe weather was expected to continue and a strong-wind advisory was in effect for Chicago and surrounding suburbs until 7 p.m.

No funnel clouds were spotted but “rotation on the radar” sparked alerts in parts of northwestern Cook County, northern DuPage County, southeastern DeKalb County, southern Kane County, Western Kendall County and Northeast LaSalle County.

Storms in the northwest suburbs, such as Arlington Heights and Schaumburg, moved through the area at 45 mph but petered out around 2:40 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

There were reports of pea-sized hail in northwest suburban Morton Grove and grape-sized hail in southwest suburban Oak Forest.

Strong winds are expected to whip through the Chicago area through early Sunday evening. A strong wind advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs as well as northwest Indiana, according to the National Weather Service.

Sustained winds of 30 to 39 miles per hour or gusts of 45 to 57 mph are likely due to the wind advisory, according to NWS. Gust could reach 50 to 55 mph south of Interstate 80.

Scattered thunderstorms are capable of producing heavy rainfall and lightning, according to the NWS. There is a chance of thunderstorms south of Sandwich following a line to Michigan City, Ind. with possible isolated tornadoes and one-inch hail.

Winds can cause minor property damage and driving may be difficult, according to the NWS. Motorists are urged to use caution.

Earlier, severe thunderstorms moved through the western suburbs Sunday, causing a tornado warning that has since been suspended.

The tornado warning was in effect for southeastern DeKalb County, southern Kane County, western Kendall County and northeast LaSalle County until 2:15 p.m., according to the NWS site.

Severe thunderstorms capable of creating a tornado were expected to move through Plano, Sugar Grove, Montgomery, North Aurora, Little Rock, Yorkville and Elburn, the NWS site said.

The severe thunderstorm warning was in effect for southeast DeKalb County, northwest Grundy County, Kendall County and LaSalle County, according to the NWS.

The thunderstorms were expected to produce hail the size of a penny and winds up to 50 m.p.h., according to the NWS.

Strong thunderstorms moved along a line from Bull Valley in McHenry County to Hampshire in Kane County, according to the NWS. That storm is also expected to affect South Barrington and Fox Lake.

In a tornado warning, residents are urged to immediately move to shelter. The service website alert told residents in the areas under the tornado warnings: “Take cover now. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a vehicle or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter. Protect yourself from flying debris.”



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