Severe storms leave behind damage, flooding in Chicago area

Weather Blog

CHICAGO — The November warmth spell is coming to a crashing end. Severe storms and high winds hit the Chicago area Tuesday afternoon into the evening.

The line of severe thunderstorms that swept across the Chicago area moved east of the area around 7:30 p.m. As of 8 pm, all severe weather watches and warnings have been canceled or have expired.

Wind gusts in the 60 to nearly 90 mph range were reported across the region, leaving a legacy of damaged and downed trees, hail up to 1.25 inches in diameter, and brief, but torrential rainfall along with power outages.

Much colder weather will follow the city’s unprecedented and record-breaking string of seven 70-degree plus November days. Highs on Wednesday will peak only in the upper 40s, as far cry from the recent unseasonably warm days in the 70s.

A Tornado Watch that was issued for Northern Illinois until 8 p.m. was canceled.

Winnebago sees extensive damage

The village of Winnebago, just outside of Rockford, saw wind gusts over 70 miles per hour.

“Based on the damage I saw, I believe most of it was done by straight line damaging winds creeping up in the 100 mile per hour range,” Patrick Murray, weather watcher, said.

Patrick Murray went to check out the storm and captured trees toppled onto homes.

“Most of the trees that were down were large, healthy trees mature trees that had just been completely uprooted. Some of them were snapped in half, some of them were completely uprooted and they tore up the ground with them. A lot of big limbs were down on cars and houses. It’s worse than anything I’ve seen,” he said.

As the storm passed, semis were blown off the road by strong winds. Power lines were ripped down causing transformers to blow.

Heavy rain came down through most areas, and some portions of the county saw large hail as well.

Officials there are still assessing the damage. As of Tuesday night, more than 10,000 homes in the region around Rockford are without power.

7-day forecast

What’s next?

Temps to our west in Iowa and Minnesota have crashed over the past 24 hours as you can see in the temp change graphic posted below. This cooler air is eastbound which means our record 7-day run of 70s–something which has never in the 150 year term of official Chicago weather observations happened before–is coming to an end.

But it also means the area is to receive its first rain in nearly two weeks. It will come and go rather quickly–but getting some rain isn’t all bad.

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