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60+ mile per hour winds drive 15 to 20-plus-foot waves…Storm Warning southern half of Lake Michigan Thursday – High Wind Watch and Lakeshore Flooding Watch for Illinois/Indiana Counties adjacent to Lake Michigan late Wednesday night through Thursday

North to northeast winds will gradually increase Wednesday – peaking later Wednesday night and Thursday with gusts over 60 miles per hour driving 15 to 20-foot waves – causing flooding, erosion and wind damage along the Illinois and Indiana Lake Michigan  shoreline. A Lakeshore Flood Watch and a High Wind Watch from late Wednesday night through Thursday are in effect for Lake and Cook County, Illinois and Lake and Porter Counties in northwest Indiana. The High Wind Watch actually continues farther north to Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee counties in southeast Wisconsin. Individuals should take precautions to protect interests susceptible to strong winds and flooding along the shoreline.

A Storm Warning for winds well in excess of 60 miles per hour and waves 20 to 25-feet or even higher is in effect Thursday for the open waters of southern Lake Michigan. Winds will be 40 miles or higher well inland over northeastern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana and Wind Advisories will probably be issued for a good portion of the remaining Chicago area later Wednesday through Thursday. Winds will likely gradually subside from west to east later Thursday night and Friday.

The intensifying center of low pressure driving this spring storm will move northeast out of the southern plains through southern Illinois into central Indiana Wednesday – pulling away to the east Thursday. Cold air entraining into the system could spread a band of accumulating heavy wet snow across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, northwest Indiana and much of Lower Michigan Wednesday and Thursday – forecasters are still trying to determine potential accumulations of the anticipated wet melting snow due to air temperatures being at or above freezing and the warm land/road surfaces.

Individuals driving High-profile vehicles such as trucks, vans, and buses on west-east oriented highways should be prepared for especially hazardous driving conditions during this period, due to the strong cross-winds and potential accumulating snow, especially the farther north you get from Chicago.