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Heavy rain and thunderstorms threaten flash flooding, increased chance of tornados

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The weather will rise already record high lake and river levels

A large shelf cloud rolls in over Chicago making an aerial view of the downtown landscape shadowy.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected to roll in this afternoon bringing damaging wind, some hail, and an increased risk of tornados.

A hazardous outlook for severe weather was issued by the National Weather Service Chicago. The agency advised Illinois residents to be aware of the forecast and look out for any alerts.

The downpour is expected to come this late afternoon and evening, said the weather service. Damaging winds reaching up to 60 or 70 mph are the main threat, but there is also a minimal risk for tornados south of I-80.

Flash flooding could occur depending on the severity of rain, according to the weather service. In the Chicago metro area, more gradual flooding is likely due to the persistent modern rainfall.

Local rainfall totals could exceed two to four inches through Tuesday morning, which could push record high lake and river levels up even further.

So far, the weather has only minimally affected transit. As of late Monday afternoon, 189 flights were cancelled at O’Hare airport while 17 were cancelled at Midway airport.