Pending Chicago storm could be one of the worst yet

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 By

Storm Front

The Chicago storm front is easily one of the worst on record. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A weather front heading across the upper Midwest is expected to make the pending Chicago storm one of the worst on record. There are waves of up 30 feet anticipated for Lake Michigan. Weather officials are comparing the pending storm front to the weather that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald. Flights have been grounded at O’Hare International Airport and tornado advisories have been issued throughout the region.

Chicago storm may be one for record books

A storm front moving northeast through the Dakotas into the Great Lakes region is poised to deliver one of the worst Chicago storm seasons on record. The Windy City has been lashed with wind and rain already. Winds more than 50 miles per hour already have begun hitting suburbs of Chicago, according to MSNBC. The storm in Chicago has already grounded flights at O’Hare Airport, and all flights are temporarily barred from takeoff. The storm has also caused power outages in Wisconsin. This Chicago winter storm is nearly the most powerful on record in more than 70 years. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings are in effect for almost the entire Midwest, from Arkansas to Illinois.

Hurricane force winds

The weather system is a cyclonic weather system in the Great Lakes. Cyclonic storms occur over the Great Lakes in much the same way they do over the Gulf of Mexico, though the energy is gathered from the Jet Stream and atmospheric pressure, rather than from warm ocean currents, according to Bloomberg. The current weather system has central barometric pressure of up to 28.35 inches. The current system is drawing comparisons to the Nov. 10, 1975 storm system over Lake Superior that led to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald and loss of all 29 hands. The storm in which the tanker sunk had a central pressure of 28.95 inches. By comparison, a Category Three Hurricane often has about 28 inches of central pressure.

Batten down the hatches

The Chicago weather promises to easily be one of the worst storms in living memory. People traveling to Chicago in the immediate future are advised to be cautious and check weather services for updates.

Sources

Bloomberg

MSNBC

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