A tornado watch was issued for across Chicago on Thursday, according to the U.S. weather forecast agency.
The watch, according to the National Weather Service, will last until 11 p.m.
According to the Service:
“Illinois counties included are Boone Bureau Cass Champaign Christian Cook de Kalb De Witt Dupage Ford Fulton Grundy Iroquois Kane Kankakee Kendall Knox Lake La Salle Lee Livingston Logan Macon Marshall Mason Mchenry Mclean Menard Morgan Ogle Peoria Piatt Putnam Sangamon Schuyler Scott Stark Tazewell Vermilion will Winnebago Woodford.”
The agency also gives recommendations for what to do if a tornado actually hits the area.
— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) April 9, 2015
“If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately! Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head,” the alert says. “If you are in a structure, go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.”
As of 2 p.m. local time, around 670 flights were canceled at O’Hare Airport and 30 were canceled at Midway Airport, ABC-7 reported.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center says there’s a chance that a severe weather system moving across Illinois will bring tornadoes to the state.
Forecasters say there’s the potential for tornadoes over northern Illinois and bordering counties later Thursday and into Thursday evening. Earlier Thursday the weather service said nearly all of Illinois is at some risk of large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain. It’s the first widespread bout of severe weather this year.
North-central and northeast Illinois could experience wind gusts of 70 mph, frequent cloud-to-ground lightning and isolated tornadoes. Hail up to 2 inches in diameter is also possible.
Emergency officials reported street flooding in Danville. A much wider swath of central and southern Illinois is under a less severe flood watch.