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High winds, cold storm trigger tornado watch

Learn the signs of a tornado and seek shelter immediately.

An impending storm in Chicago.
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High winds, storms and cold weather triggered a tornado watch which lasted a few hours Thursday afternoon. The main concern through the evening will be winds gusting as high as 55 mph through the evening.

Earlier on Thursday the weather service warned that several tornados, which might be strong and have damaging winds, might be possible because of a storm southeast of Kendall County and northwest of Will County. Meteorologists were monitoring radar for any increase in rotation or clues for tornado potential. When the storm moved out of the area, the tornado watch was cancelled.

In the spring tornados are more common, when a watch is issued it means residents should be alert and prepared if a tornado does happen, according to the National Weather Service in Chicago. If you want to learn more about the weather event and how it forms, the NWS has a tornado explainer here.

You’ll know a tornado is about to happen if there’s whirling dust on the ground, hail or heavy rain followed by a dead calm, or a continuous roaring rumble. If you notice these signs, it’s important to seek shelter and stay there until the storm passes. Here are a few more basic safety tips about what to do.