- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for much of northern and north-central Illinois.

The watch covers a 26-county area and will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday.

Forecasters say thunderstorms are likely for much of the watch area during the afternoon and evening.

The weather service is also warning of possible flash floods. Torrential rainfall of more than 2 inches per hour is possible.

That’s a concern because many areas are already saturated from recent rains and more precipitation could result in rapid runoff.

Hail, frequent cloud-to-ground lightning and damaging winds greater than 70 mph are also possible.

A heat advisory is also in effect until 8 p.m. with high temperatures expected to climb into the 90s.

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