Did severe thunderstorms develop in the afternoon of Memorial Day 2006?

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Dear Tom,

I know Memorial Day 2006 was hot with temperatures in the low 90’s, but didn’t severe thunderstorms develop in the afternoon?

Robert Skurski

Dear Robert,

Severe thunderstorms did indeed erupt on a hot and sticky Memorial Day in 2006 that saw Chicago area temperatures soar into the lower 90s, including an official 91-degree high at O’Hare. The thunderstorms, that developed during the heat of the afternoon, towered as high as 55,000 feet and produced golf-ball sized hail and wind gusts as high as 75 mph that knocked down trees and power lines. Rainfall was torrential, totaling 2-3 inches in may locations. Flooding was reported in Bourbonnais where water was 2-3 feet deep. Large hail broke the windshield of a police car in Posen and a 16-inch diameter tree was uprooted at Fox Lake Hills.