Strong wind gusts, rain forecast for this afternoon, evening

Severe thunderstorm threat to the southern half of the state

Windy conditions with rain are forecast for Northern Illinois starting this afternoon through early Friday morning.

The southern half of the state is likely to see a severe thunderstorm.

The chance for rain throughout the Shaw Local News Network markets increases after 5 p.m., and some areas could see wind gusts up to 55 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

“A rapidly strengthening area of low pressure will track across central or northern Indiana tonight. As a result, strong northerly winds gusting up to 45 to 55 mph are expected in portions of northeast Illinois, and across east central Illinois and northwest Indiana. Lakeshore flooding impacts are also expected into Friday morning, especially along the Indiana shore. Finally, periods of moderate to heavy rainfall may cause ponding on some roadways and rises on area rivers and streams,” according to a hazardous weather outlook issued by the NWS.

The rain is expected to give way to sunny skies Friday morning, with temperatures reaching the mid-50s.