A fast moving, squall line raced across the Chicago area early Thursday.
Very strong winds caused wide spread damage.
Tom Skilling details the science behind the storms and the winds reported on his Facebook page.
Strong winds blew in
Skilling reports it generated a 64 mph gust in West Chicago and 60 mph wind gust at Midway Airport at 3:24 a.m.
Doppler scans indicated winds as high as 75 mph just above the surface, according to the National Weather Service-Chicago. The squall line went “light” on rain production but heavy on wind.
Damage reported in Wisconsin
The squall line responsible originated late Wednesday evening in northern Wisconsin where downed trees and powerlines. A gust of 78 mph was reported in Marathan County, home to Wausau, WI and Rib Mountain. Funnel clouds were reported and a whole series of tornado warnings issued in that region. The damage and peak wind gusts reports appear as a swath extending across hundreds of miles of terrain from eastern Minnesota and Wisconsin southeast into Illinois northern Indiana, much as occurs with derechos, which damaging squall lines which can roar across a whole set of states.
Full forecast details and extended outlook at the WGN Weather Center blog
The forecast for the remainder of the week is much quieter.