Chicagoans endured a windy, wet and raw Saturday that put a damper on the city’s early St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. With temperatures hovering in the 40s and northeast winds gusting to nearly 40 mph, wind-driven rains officially totaled nearly 0.60 inches at O’Hare International Airport, but topped 1 inch in the harder hit south suburban areas. Sunday promises to be drier with just some sprinkles or passing light showers, but persistent clouds and northeast winds will continue the chill.
Chicago’s weather was tame compared to the pounding out East. Areas from West Virginia and Pennsylvania to Connecticut were on the eastern flank of the same storm that brought Chicago its inclement weather Saturday. High winds and heavy rain produced flooding, downed trees and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of residents while disrupting air and rail travel. Winds gusted as high as 64 mph in New York City while more than two inches of rain soaked Newark, New Jersey (2.16 inches) and Philadelphia (2.30 inches). The storm battered the same areas that were hit with a massive 2-3 foot snowstorm just two weeks ago.
I remember a big flood in the city in August 1987. Was the flooding caused by a series of strong thunderstorms or a frontal passage?
Robert Skurski, Chicago
That flood, one of the worst to ever hit the city, was caused by waves of moisture-laden thunderstorms that “trained” over areas from Rockford to Chicago’s North Side for about 17 hours on Aug. 13-14, 1987. When the storms abated, 9.35 inches of rain had inundated the area near O’Hare International Airport, turning it into an inaccessible island for nearly 24 hours. The brunt of the storm targeted the north and west parts of the metropolitan area, causing three fatalities and damage in excess of $220 million. Wet weather continued to plague the city after the flood and August 1987 eventually tallied 17.10 inches of rain, making it the city’s wettest month on record.
Thanks to Laura Bradley for this picture she took in Homer Glen showing birds on a wire with a rainbow in the background.
Phoito by Laura Bradley
The dense fog from this morning has eased, but not in time to prevent a slowdown at Chicago’s airports. Flights were delayed at both Midway and O’Hare this morning due to a combination of fog and a steady rain.
The rain did not stop St, Patrick’s Day festivities in downtown Chicago. The parade is on as scheduled, and the annual tradition of dying the Chicago River bright green took place earlier today.
Below: The Chicago River at 10:30 Saturday Morning
Photo courtesy of Roberta Peters
A Dense Fog Advisory remains in effect for Cook, Lake (IL), Kenosha and Racine Counties until 4AM Saturday morning.
At 12AM, the lowest visibilities are being reported within a mile or two of Lake Michigan.
Below: Counties shaded in grey are included in the Dense Fog Advisory