In Erik Larson’s book “Devil in the White City” there are frequent weather references, among them one about unusually warm weather on December 15, 1890. Are these references historically correct?
With the help of Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski we cross-checked several of the weather references in the book with the original Chicago weather records and they are indeed correct. The day in question, December 15, 1890, the high climbed to a balmy 48 degrees melting the last traces of what remained of the city’s seven inch snowpack that fell earlier in the month. We previously answered a similar question about Larson’s reference to a funnel cloud that blew through the Midway at Columbian Exposition’s on July 9, 1893 and found that reference to be meteorologically correct as well.
We thank Bret Renaud for sending us this wonderful picture of a rainbow over Lake Michigan on Thursday. This picture was taken from Rogers Park in Chicago.
Thanks for the great shot Bret!
A strong thunderstorm spawned a brief tornado touchdown near the Boone-McHenry County line late this afternoon. Below is a recap of the today’s event:
4:22PM: A funnel cloud, located 2 miles north of Capron, IL, was visible and descending.
4:26PM: Storm spotters recorded 73mph winds that were circulating on the ground at Capron Road and Boone School Road which is 2 miles north of the town of Capron, IL.
4:30PM: Spotters following the tornado reported an 82mph wind gust at Capron Road and Illinois Highway 173. They also noted tree debris in the air, nickle sized hail and very heavy rain.
There have been no other reports of severe weather associated with this storm. A 40mph wind gust was recorded in McHenry, and winds peaked at 36mph in Mundelein as the storm passed.
Donnie Plodzien sent us these great shots of the storm clouds as seen from Crystal Lake
Photos courtesy of Donnie Plodzien
While shower and thunderstorm activity is expected to continue across portions of the Chicago area through 10PM, the possibility of any additional severe weather is diminishing as the lowest levels of the atmosphere begin to stabilize with the loss of sunlight or daytime heating.
This will be the last entry on WGN’s Severe Weather Blog for tonight unless new warnings are issued by the National Weather Service.
Tom Skilling will have a complete recap of tonight’s storms on the WGN News at Nine.
Lori Spindler from Wonder Lake sent us this shot of Thursday’s ominous looking storm clouds.