The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory Tuesday night for DuPage and southern Cook counties after storms brought big hail and wind as well as buckets of rain through the suburbs, especially in DuPage and southern Kane counties.
Runoff was expected in Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Lisle, Naperville, Oak Brook, Westchester and Westmont, among other Southwest suburbs, the weather service said.
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Flights were halted at Midway Airport, with the Chicago Department of Aviation advising fliers to check with their airlines. At O'Hare, 115 flights were canceled, and ABC 7 Chicago reported that the FAA had grounded flights there, too.
Baseball-sized hail up to 2.75 inches in diameter was reported in Homewood in southern Cook County, and reports of 1- to 2-inch hail were common elsewhere, said Mike Bardou, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Heavy rain totaling 2 to 3 inches pelted Naperville and Woodridge in DuPage County.
"There are additional (storm) cells that are lined up in the Des Mones area. We'll probably see periods of scattered thunderstorm activity in the overnight hours," Bardou said. Those storms would be along and north of I-80 to as far north as I-90, he said, but the threat of severe weather will be decreasing.
Earlier Tuesday evening, Facebook was popping with reports of significant wind and hail damage in the Sugar Grove and Aurora area. North Aurora Trustee Mark Gaffino posted that hail dented all three of his cars, and the hail and wind damaged his siding.
Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park posted photos of uprooted trees and said quarter-size hail and high winds could be bad news for the apple crop.
The weather service had warned of damaging large hail and 70 mph wind gusts.
"A large and powerful severe thunderstorm extended from Villa Park to Darien to Plainfield," the weather service said at one point Tuesday night.
Northwest Cook County suburbs were never listed in the weather service warnings, but storm with hail did blow through them. A flood advisory was issued for the Des Plaines River near Gurnee.
Some DuPage and Kane suburbs like Warrenville and Sugar Grove were listed in separate warnings over the course of the night.
A warning had been issued for Lake and McHenry counties -- particularly north, such as in Woodstock and Bull Valley -- until 8:15 p.m., but then the weather service canceled the warning after the storm prompting it fell below "severe" levels, it said.
Charles Mott, a meteorologist from the weather service, said earlier Tuesday there was a slight risk of golf-ball sized hail and high damaging winds when the storms roll in. He also said predicted rain totals were showing between a half-inch and an inch of rain, and that those storms potentially could produce a tornado.
"Our whole area is forecast to be in the slight risk, right now," He said. "But, if I could narrow it down, I would say the heaviest storms would be located over Cook County and north."
Radar forecasting from ABC 7 Chicago suggested a band of storms moving straight west to east over the area past midnight.
The weather service just before 4 p.m. issued an official severe thunderstorm watch to say the storms would be the riskiest between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. and affect all of northern Illinois north of Interstate 80. The watch warns of an "outside chance of a tornado."
Mott said people should keep an eye on their area forecast at weather.gov.