Chicago posts record high for December 16 before cold air hit this morning – peak wind gusts top 70 mph overnight


High temperature records were set in the early morning hours today after midnight – readings still running in the 60s across most of northeast Illinois and NW Indiana between 2 and 3AM. But winds had shifted from south to west, bringing cold air and falling temps west of the Fox River Valley. By 4:30AM there was a 25-degree temperature range from 65 at Midway to 40 in Rochelle.

High temperature records for December 16th were shattered – the 68 registered at Rockford shortly after midnight was 10-degrees above the old record 58-dgrees set at that location back in 1984. Chicago’s official observing site at O’Hare recorded 66-degrees at about the same time – exceeding the previous record high of 60 for this date set back in 1984. Midway hit 67-degrees besting the old record 63 at that site also set in 1984.

With the High Wind Warning in effect, south to southwest winds 30 to 40 mph with gusts well over 50 mph were common across our area much of the night. The Chicago National Weather Service compiled a list of highest wind gusts (shown below) – topping the list was a 74 mph gust at the Harrison-Dever Crib just off Navy Pier. Close behind was a 69 mph gust at Aurora/Sugar Grove and 68 at Waukegan. The official O’Hare site registered a peak 66 mph gust.

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