Essex, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton under severe thunderstorm watch

Storms, Hail, Gusty Winds Target Chicago Area Thursday Afternoon

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

According to radar, the storm was located over Sharon, IL, moving east at 35 miles per hour.

Golf ball-sized hail and winds up to 60 miles per hour are potential risks, according to the outlook.

A severe thunderstorm watch is still in effect for North Bay, Powassan, Mattawa, West Nipissing and French River.

The affected counties include DeKalb, McHenry, Lake, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Will, Kendall, Grundy, and LaSalle.

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There is a 20 percent chance of storms after 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Weather models show storms crossing the area between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., with the strongest band hitting Chicago around the start of the Bears' first preseason game. The high temperature will be about 79 degrees.

Scattered storms are likely ahead of a cold front that will move through the area late Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening, according to the weather service, which said, "Some of these storms may become severe".

The low temperature Friday night will be around 57 degrees.