Here are a few great cloud-and-sky related photos that we’ve received from our viewers. The first two are from Angela Fink of Wheeling, who captured these very unusual cloud formations north of Lake Geneva during the storm event of Aug. 9.
Tem Hunter sends us this great photo of Chicago’s skyline and the clouds beyond.
We received dozens of great viewer photos from this week’s storms. If you have a weather photo you want to share, join our WGNtv.com Community at http://community.wgntv.com, upload your weather photos and select “Weather Photos” as the category.
Thanks to all of you who are already part of the WGNtv.com Community!
Friday’s thick, sporadically showery overcast and the northwest winds blowing beneath it set the stage for one of Chicago’s coolest air masses in more than a month. The sub-72-degree highs predicted over much of the area Friday and Saturday would mark the first time a set of comparably cool late August days has occurred here in 15 years.
Computer trajectory forecasts, which track the path which air masses follow into the area, indicate Friday’s late September-level low 70 degree maximum temps originated 860 miles to the north over Canada’s Ontario Province only yesterday. An anomalously strong late summer northwesterly jet stream is behind the southward flood of cool air which aided the eruption of powerful mid-week thunderstorms. National Weather Service survey teams confirmed Thursday four tornado touchdowns from those storms—the most damaging of them was the EF2 intensity twister with 120 m.p.h. top winds which ravaged a swath 60 yards wide and 2.5 miles in length in Chesterton, Indiana. Two weaker twisters dipped into northern Kane County near Elburn and still another touched down 3 miles north of Watseka in Iroquois County.
Swells produced by mammoth Hurricane Bill fanned out across 2,800 miles of the Atlantic Thursday, from the Southeast U.S. Coast east to Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands. The storm, huge by hurricane standards, was producing tropical strength winds which extended 260 miles from the storm’s center late Thursday. At the time Bill was located 975 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. If Bill’s eye was placed over Chicago, its 39+ m.p.h. tropical storm force winds would extend from the Mississippi River east to Detroit, and hurricane force (74+ m.p.h.) winds from west to Rockford to Grand Rapids, Mich. Though the storm is to churn north and avoid direct contact with the U.S. mainland, huge waves are to batter the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Coasts and the Canadian Maritimes this weekend.
Dear Tom, The hurricane season has finally come to life, but might we hope that it will be a quiet season because it has taken this long for it to get going? William Stanton, Naples, Fla.
Unfortunately, hurricane statistics from past years do not support that rationale. Dr. Max Mayfield, former Director of the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center tells us, “It’s not unusual to have a late start, and the truth is that there is no good correlation between when the season actually starts with that first named storm and how much activity we ultimately have.”
Hurricane Andrew is a case in point. That catastrophic storm, first of the 1992 season, was not named until Aug. 17. It smashed across southern Florida with category 5 intensity (156+ m.p.h. winds) and became the nation’s second costliest hurricane with damage set at $26.5 billion (behind only 2005′s Katrina, $81 billion).
This video of Wednesday’s devastating Chesterton, Indiana tornado was forwarded to us late Thursday from its photographer Paul Ronjak. A National Weather Service survey team investigating the widespread damage in the northwest Indiana community confirmed Thursday that a tornado–not straight line winds—had caused the destruction in Chesterton. The team categorized the damage as consistent with an EF2 twister possessing peak winds of 120 m.p.h. Its damage path was 60 yards wide and 2.5 miles long, according to NWS investigators. Paul Ronjak tells us this video of the storm was shot near Indian Boundary Road and Rt. 49 as the storm churned into Chesterton downing huge trees and ripping roofs off buildings. It clearly shows the rotating wall cloud beneath which the tornado developed. A Weather Bug sensor in Chesterton had measured a 105 m.p.h. gust as the storm hit Wednesday evening before going off line. MANY THANKS to Paul for sharing this with us! It’s a remarkable piece of tape!