CHICAGO (STMW) – Thanks to fast-moving thunderstorms that hit the area mid-day and late Friday night, Chicago cooled off in the wake of Thursday’s scorcher that reached a near record high.

Late Friday night, large thunderstorms producing quarter-sized hail and “destructive winds” hit the region, according to the National Weather Service’s Chicago office. Strong winds from the storms caused numerous trees to fall down throughout the south suburbs, the weather service said.

In Lockport, large trees were “raining down onto cars” on Route 53 and blocked four lanes, according to a report from the weather service. In Romeoville, winds knocked down a large tree that struck a parked car and took down power lines, causing power outages, the weather service said.

The weather service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Lake, Will, Central and parts of Cook and Kankakee counties.

Earlier, in the late morning and early afternoon, the skies darkened, winds picked up and rain, heavy for a brief period, fell.

That storm didn’t stick around for long, but it brought down power lines and scattered hail in parts of the region. Winds up to 60 mph brought down power lines in Geneva, and in Crete, South Holland, and Crown Point, Ind., hail as large as 1-inch was reported, according to the weather service.

But the storms did bring relief — temperatures dipped as low as 69 degrees — for those who suffered through the 100 degree sauna Chicago became Thursday.

Friday still saw a high of 89 degrees at O’Hare Airport. The record high for June 29th was 97 degrees back in 1954.

Saturday’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, with highs in the lower 90s.

June has had nine days of 90 degree weather so far, according to the weather service. The weekend will see temperatures in the low 90’s before again reaching the mid 90’s around Tuesday.

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