By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist
October 11, 2012; 10:33 AM
A strengthening storm system will produce a major severe weather outbreak over the Plains Saturday. The remnants of the storms could still have damaging consequences in Chicagoland.
The developing storm system marks an end to the tranquil weather being experienced over much of the nation in recent weeks.
Prior to the storm’s arrival, a strong front will send chilly air into the region tonight with another frost in the suburbs to start the day Friday. A gem of a day is in store Friday with bright sunshine ahead of the approaching storm.
The storm will then rout out that chilly air during Saturday. In the process, winds and clouds will kick up. Part of the area will experience a drenching rain for a time, as well as a locally heavy thunderstorm.
During Saturday, building warmth will lead, in part, to severe thunderstorms from southwestern Wisconsin, Iowa and northwestern Illinois to north-central Texas. The risks from the storms include damaging wind gusts, large hail, flash flooding and a few tornadoes.
The remnants of these storms, with and without thunder, can produce strong wind gusts topping 55 mph and blinding downpours in Chicagoland and Milwaukee later Saturday night into early Sunday morning. There could be downed tree limbs and sporadic power outages as a result.
During the balance of Sunday, a strong flow of air on the storm system’s back side will make for a windy day. Frequent gusts between 30 and 40 mph are possible. Enough dry air may come in from the west to end the showers and bring the sun out.