Trees downed in Joliet following strong storm, but no tornado reported

A strong storm tore through the southwest suburbs Saturday afternoon, with high winds leaving downed trees and power lines in its wake in Joliet.

A tornado watch for the area is expected to last until about 8 p.m. for counties throughout Central and Northern Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.

Damage reports suggest a small tornado may have whirled through nearby Minooka, but meteorologists have not confirmed a touchdown, the weather service said. Funnel clouds were briefly sighted in Livingston, Pontiac and Ogle counties as well.

In Joliet, powerful “straight-line” winds wreaked havoc on the area, the weather service said, but never formed into a tornado. Residents took to social media to post pictures and videos of the damage.

A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect until 8:30 p.m. for parts of northwest Indiana and the northern suburbs, including Waukegan, Palatine and Arlington Heights, the weather service said. The same warning was in effect for Chicago until 4:45 p.m. but forecasters now believe the worst of the storms have passed the city until the rain returns again overnight.

Temperatures remained around 75 degrees throughout the afternoon, but are expected to drop to about 64 degrees tonight, forecasters said.

Isolated storms are expected to continue through the weekend but temperatures are predicted to hover around 80 degrees both Sunday and Monday, forecasters said.