A funnel cloud was spotted in the Crystal Lake area during a bout of severe weather early Monday, according to the Director of Emergency Management for McHenry County.
The cloud was spotted around 2 a.m. near Route 176 and Route 14 during a tornado warning that expired around 2:30 a.m., Dave Christensen said, adding he didn't believe it touched the ground.
Apparently moving east from the Marengo area, the storm weakened by 2:30 a.m. but a tornado watch was issued by the National Weather Service in McHenry County until 4 a.m.
The storm knocked down trees along Route 176 between Route 14 and Briarwood Road in Crystal Lake, but they are not blocking any roads. Public Works and IDOT were working to clear the fallen trees as of 4:15 a.m. According to a report on the National Weather Service website, crops were also matted down in the same area.
"Last night in the darkness, we did not see any structure damage," Christensen said, around 7:05 a.m. "Now that it's light out, I suspect we'll find a gutter and some shingles."
The current calm, however, may just be prologuing an even worse storm slated to hit Monday afternoon and evening, he added.
"Tonight's going to be even worse," Christensen said. "Rarely do we get 'Moderate risk,' but that's what the weather service posted for tonight."
The regional outlooks from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can be found here.
The hazardous weather outlook notice affects the following counties: McHenry, Lake, Ogle, DeKalb, Lee, DuPage, Kane, Cook, among others. That notice can be found here.
The statement warns of more storms to spread eastward this afternoon and evening from areas west of the Mississippi River.
The storms slated for northwest Illinois are expected to become severe quickly, producing strong winds and possible tornadoes.
With more severe weather on the way, Christensen said it's important to have a weather radio and to be aware. Tornado sirens are not always audible through closed windows, he reminded, so keeping abreast of the weather conditions is crucial.