DAMAGING SATURDAY WINDS SWEPT THE AREA WITH A POWERFUL AUTUMN STORM–GUSTS APPROACHING 80 MPH REPORTED IN HARDEST HIT SECTIONS OF THE CHICAGO AREA

It was a CLASSIC HIGH WIND situation, forecast to a tee by computer forecast models days ahead of time. For 12 hours, the winds roared. I have to tell you I stepped out for a walk to the store here in Chicago’s North Side Saturday and I don’t know that I’ve experienced stronger winds in the nearly 5 decades I’ve lived here.

It’s little wonder with Saturday’s wind gusts–a number of which topped 70 mph and even approached 80 mph—generated the damage which occurred. There was even a brief EF0 tornado touchdown reported in the far western suburbs. Most the the damage was the product of strong straight line winds–the produced of powerhouse SSW winds stacked vertically through the atmosphere and our area’s

Check out the peak wind gusts reported to NWS Chicago:

Measured Wind Gusts on November 5, 2022

  • 77 mph – West Chicago
  • 71 mph – 1.7 E Remington (INDOT)
  • 64 mph – Waukegan Airport
  • 64 mph – 2.7 W Collegeville (INDOT)
  • 64 mph – Montrose Beach Light
  • 61 mph – Sugar Grove
  • 61 mph – Cline Avenue Bridge
  • 60 mph – Chicago O’Hare
  • 59 mph – Midway Airport
  • 59 mph – Crown Point
  • 59 mph – Rockford Airport
  • 58 mph – Valparaiso
  • 56 mph – NWS Chicago
  • 56 mph – Wheeling
  • 55 mph – Rensselaer
  • 54 mph – Kankakee
  • 53 mph – Morris
  • 51 mph – Lansing

CHECK OUT THE MAPS I’m posting which lay out the meteorological conditions which produced Saturday’s damaging winds.The Greater Chicago area area ended within he potent southeast quadrant of an intense autumn storm system which lifted northeastward into the area from Texas.In this quadrant of classic autumn storms, with their characteristic “comma-shaped” satellite presentation, “SSW” winds are stacked vertically tens of thousands of feet through the atmosphere. They sure were Saturday! We found ourselves, as had been accurately predicted by a suite of computer forecast models days in advance, beneath the strongest winds of the jet.In situations of such vertical “stacking”, wind energy can “mix down” to the surface, effectively bringing wind energy down to the surface. We see what results when this happens–and it’s not good.