Lakeshore Flood Watch for high winds/waves late Wednesday night into Thursday night

Anticipated very strong 50 mile-per-hour winds out of the north-northeast will build 14 to 18-foot waves over southern Lake Michigan causing lakeshore flooding and wind damage along the Northeast Illinois/northwest Indiana shoreline later Wednesday night and Thursday. The Chicago National Weather Service Forecast Office has issued a Lakeshore Flood Watch for the Cook County, Illinois and Lake and Porter County, Indiana Lake Michigan shoreline for late Wednesday night through Thursday evening (darker-shaded green area on the highlighted map).

A deepening center of low pressure is forecast to move northeast out of the Texas Panhandle today, tracking up the Ohio River Valley through southern Illinois and Indiana Wednesday night. Strengthening winds wrapped around this center of low pressure will produce northeast to north winds eventually gusting over 50 miles per hour over southern Lake Michigan, which in turn will build 14 to 18-foot waves that will crash into the northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana shoreline.

These persistent high waves/strong winds could cause extensive lakeshore flooding including the Chicago lakefront. These forecast high winds/waves are reminiscent of the October31, 2014 event that caused flooding on Lakeshore Drive. High Wind Warnings may have to be raised closer to the actual event. Residents near or along the affected lakeshore should take appropriate actions to protect vulnerable property and stay tuned for additional statements/advisories/warnings on this developing situation..