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Illinois braces for strong storms, wind, hail

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Forecasters say hot weather could give way to violent storms across parts of Illinois and are warning residents to be prepared for strong winds, hail and even tornadoes.

The National Storm Prediction Center says a "large and organized cluster of storms" could pelt northern and central Illinois on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

The National Weather Service in suburban Chicago says there could be baseball-sized hail and flash flooding. Meanwhile, the agency's office in Lincoln says it could be the hottest day of the year and predicted a triple-digit heat index. Quad Cities forecasters say winds could top 80 mph.

The storm system is expected to strike a region from Iowa to Maryland and could even spawn an unusual weather event with strong straight-line winds called a derecho.

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