Lakeshore Flood Warning in effect Thursday – High Wind Watch continues for counties adjacent to Lake Michigan
Later tonight and Thursday northeast to north winds gusting in excess of 60 miles per hour driving 14 to 20-foot waves along the Lake Michigan shoreline and 20 to 25-foot-plus waves on the open waters are expected over Lake Michigan and Illinois/Indiana/Wisconsin counties from Milwaukee south through Chicago around the south end of the lake including Gary and northwest Indiana. Directly impacted by the Lakeshore Flooding Warning (4AM Thursday until 1AM Friday) in the Chicago area are Cook County and Chicago in Illinois, and Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana. A High Wind Watch (midnight Thursday into late afternoon/evening Thursday) impacts Lake and Cook County Illinois, Lake and Porter Counties Indiana and Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee Counties in Wisconsin.
As the center of intensifying low pressure tracks through southern Illinois into central Indiana, northeast winds will gradually strengthen during the day Wednesday, reaching 30 to 40 miles per hour by evening, and then continue to strengthen, becoming more northerly and hitting 60 miles per hour or greater later in the overnight hours into Thursday – northerly winds finally beginning to subside later Thursday afternoon/evening as the center of low pressure pulls off to the northeast.
Trees, powerlines, property along and just inland of the Lake Michigan shoreline and individuals driving high-profile vehicles such as buses, trucks, vans in those areas will be most affected by these strong potentially damaging winds. Huge waves will be hitting the immediate shoreline with water possibly flowing over roads bordering the lake and considerable erosion of the shoreline is expected to occur.
Rain may still change over or mix with a heavy wet snow later tonight into Thursday over a good portion of the Chicago area, however temperatures will most likely stay above freezing, so accumulations of a few inches may be confined to grassy areas or untreated roads – driving still could become slick and hazardous. A Wind Advisory may be posted for inland counties with winds gusting in excess of 40 miles per hour Wednesday night and Thursday.