UPDATED 09/05/12 11:46 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Thunderstorms in some areas knocked out power and left air travelers stranded Wednesday morning, and even stronger storms are coming in the afternoon.
CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros says later in the afternoon, a cold front will pass through the sticky heat and humidity that will intensify up until that point.
As of 11:20 a.m., it was only 71 degrees at O’Hare International Airport and 72 degrees at Midway, but 82 farther inland in DeKalb. The forecast high is 88 degrees.
Glaros says the high could hit 90, and if it does, 2012 will tie 1988 for the most 90-plus degree days in a summer – a total of 47.
The entire Chicago area is under a slight risk for severe weather in the late afternoon and early evening, in the form of storms with gusty winds and hail, when the cold front comes through. Afterward, the temperatures will drop.
An earlier round of storms around 7 a.m. only produced light rain in the downtown area, but left 5,500 customers without power. They included 350 in the city of Chicago, 3,450 in the north suburbs, 400 in the south suburbs, and 1,300 in the west suburbs, according to ComEd.
Meanwhile, airlines at O’Hare experienced flight delays of up to 30 minutes as of just before 8 a.m. No delays were reported at Midway International Airport.
The morning storms were not expected to be severe, as they weakened considerably while moving east. But some areas did see heavy rain, thunder and lightning.
An even earlier round of storms in the wee hours caused some damage in the Chicago area. In the 8500 block of Kedvale Avenue in Skokie, a tree was nearly split in half as it fell down and blocked the street.
And as for the week to come, conditions will grow cooler and more reminiscent of early October this weekend. The high for Friday is 75, Saturday 72, Sunday an early October-like 71, next Monday 73, and next Tuesday 74.