Severe thunderstorms are possible in the Chicago and surrounding Illinois area Monday afternoon into the evening, according to the National Weather Service. | Graphic via NWS

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for the Chicagoland area due to storms that could bring destructive winds, hail and flash flooding Monday afternoon, the weather service said.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued the watch Monday morning to remain in effect until 4 p.m. Monday.

The watch covers Lake, McHenry, Will, Boone, DeKalb, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Grundy, DuPage, Cook, Winnebago, Ogle, LaSalle, Lee and Livingston counties.

The NWS said severe thunderstorms are possible Monday afternoon and evening areawide, with a risk level of three out of five.

The threat of destructive wind gusts 75 mph and over is highest along and north of Interstate 80, the NWS said.

The winds could be capable of structural damage and downing trees.

Additional hazards include damaging hail, frequent lightning and localized flash flooding. The hail could be capable of denting cars and siding.

[Suggested Article]  'Restoring the public's trust': Illinois State Police release online reporting system for residents to report public corruption

The NWS said a brief tornado or two “cannot be ruled out.”

Storms are expected to develop across northwest Illinois by early afternoon and intensify as they move east southeast across the area Monday afternoon and evening.

The weather service recommends residents move indoors if they hear thunder and have multiple ways to receive warnings.