The March, 1974 severe weather near Elmhurst, IL

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Dear Tom,
I remember that back in early 1974 following some unseasonably warm weather, high west winds blew down several trees in York Woods near Elmhurst. Details?
— George Palmer, Lombard

Dear George,

The tree damage you remember occurred late in the afternoon March 4, 1974, when severe thunderstorms swept across the Chicago area. The storms followed in the wake of record early season warmth that brought a record high of 71 on March 2 and the city’s earliest 80-degree temperature on record March 3.

Temperatures had dropped dramatically in the wake of a cold front on March 4 with the high only reaching 47, but a low pressure system moving out of the plains spawned the severe thunderstorms that were accompanied by winds as high as 75 mph and hail as large as golf balls to portions of Illinois.

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