Heavy rain, powerful winds and severe thunderstorms will barrel through the Chicago area Tuesday as a massive winter storm makes its way across the Midwest.

A looming blizzard put 31 million people at risk for severe weather Tuesday, according to the National Weather System, threatening to dump more than a foot of new snow in some areas and snarl traffic across eight states in the Midwest through the course of the day.

While Chicago won’t get much snow, the effects of the storm will be seen in sometimes heavy downpour and isolated thunderstorms.

The day begins with a cold, cloudy and relatively quiet start, but don’t be deceived as changes will sweep the area hour-by-hour. Some spotty light snow or sleet will be possible in the morning, otherwise overcast, hazy, damp and chilly.

Winds begin fairly light but steadily gain strength through the day, becoming extremely windy with gusts reaching upwards of 40 mph.

Steady moderate to heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms develops late in the morning and continue through the afternoon hours.

An isolated strong to severe storm will be possible in far southern areas and in Northwest Indiana. And while not likely, an isolated tornado is possible.

Evening hours will be mostly cloudy, breezy and chilly with a few lingering spotty showers or drizzle overnight.

As the strongest waves of the storm pass, conditions won’t dry up just yet. Wednesday is expected to bring colder temperatures, passing light rain or snow showers on occasion but only minor accumulation possible through the day.

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Article source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Severe-Thunderstorms-Heavy-Rain-Threaten-Chicago-Area-Tuesday-367345671.html