Powerful thunderstorms sweep into the Peoria area–part of a Tuesday outbreak which produced damaging winds, flooding rains from Missouri to Kentucky
Thunderstorms unleashed 60 to 70 m.p.h. wind gusts on sections of downstate Illinois and Indiana as well as Missouri and Kentucky Tuesday morning. Rob Shreiner, a paramedic with photographic skills evident in this set of photos, sends us these eye-catching shots of the ominous skies which accompanied the storms as the roared into the Peoria area. Rob tells us:
“I was in Peoria, IL this morning as this storm rolled in at approx 8:36 AM today.
Amazing formations as they were rolling down at me as I was taking the images. Gusts present and the heavy rain did not begin until approx 10 minutes after this came in.
Only adjustments were auto contrast, slight sharpen and obviously crop, all taken w/ 16-35mm wide angle lens, so that’s why all the poles tilt inward.”
Thanks for sharing these with us, Rob!
Photos courtesy of Rob Schreiner, Wadsworth, Illinois
The moderate warmth that has dominated so much of Chicago’s summer 2009 to date continues another two days. Wednesday and Thursday highs are to reach the lower 80s. But, big changes loom this weekend as long absent heat begins its charge into the Chicago area on 30+ m.p.h. wind gusts which are expected to be in place here Saturday afternoon and like to continue Sunday. The rapidly expanding dome of hot air threatens ignite clusters of active thunderstorms to the west of Chicago over sections of the Plains and western Midwest in coming days. These storms may sweep into the Chicago area Friday night into Saturday morning. The cool outflows which occur with such storms must always be monitored–they’ve been known to interfere with hot air’s movement. But, with the incoming hot air mass expected to become “capped” and unable to produce thunderstorms here Saturday afternoon and evening, mid 90s seem a good bet before the sun sets Saturday and readings may even increase to the upper 90s Sunday. Temperatures at that level this weekend would be the warmest here in three years and mark the first time a weekend has produced back to back 90+-degree highs in just over two years.
Powerful storms storms topple trees, power poles downstate; Kentucky hit by 6-inch-plus rains
The veil of high clouds across the Chicago area Tuesday blew off the tops of powerhouse thunderstorms responsible for damaging winds and driving rains from northern Missouri across central and southern Illinois and Indiana. Gusts to 67 m.p.h. raked Indianapolis and hit 66 m.p.h. in west Lafayette in Indiana. In downstate Illinois, gusts of 60 m.p.h. swept Springfield while Lincoln and Mattoon recorded 55 m.p.h. gusts and Bloomington was swept by 49 m.p.h. gusts. Utility poles and trees snapped at many locations. Meantime, rainfall reached 6.46 inches at Grand Rivers, Kentucky and Louisville’s 4.52 inches was a record calendar day rain for the month of August.
Last summer severe storms swept the Chicago area and Wrigley Field was evacuated. Were any tornadoes reported that evening?
Monica Salgado Chicago
A year ago on the evening of August 4 a violent squall line raced across the Chicago area producing wind gusts as high as 94 m.p.h., intense lightning and thunder and widespread flooding from torrential rainfall. The storm complex known as a DERECHO left a long legacy of downed trees and power lines all the way from northwest Illinois to Lake Michigan. In the city, tornado sirens blared as the stands at Wrigley Field were evacuated. Most of the storm damage was due to high straight-line winds but there were three confirmed tornadoes; an EF2 (winds to 135 m.p.h.) in Griffith, Indiana and EF1 twisters (winds to 110 m.p.h.) in Bloomingdale and Bolingbrook.
It may seem like we skipped summer this year. We have had only three days so far with highs in the 90s. This July ranked as the second coolest since the official weather station for Chicago moved inland from the lakefront in 1942.
Summer will surge back though this weekend. If we hit the predicted 95 on Saturday, that would make it the hottest day since August 2nd, 2006 when O’Hare hit 97.
Today won’t be quite as hot but it could be the warmest day since June 25th when we hit 94.
For more information on how to handle the upcoming mini-heat wave, click here.
The unrelenting hot air which has seared the southwestern half of the country while eluding Chicago the better part of this summer appears likely to make a move on the Midwest this weekend. It’s part of a massive pattern change which could deliver long absent summer heat to the Chicago area. The onset of the heat is still 4 to 5 days away, though Tuesday’s predicted 88-degree high offers a modest taste of what may be to come. It would qualify as the area’s highest readings in five weeks.
A comfortable interlude, including winds off the lake, dominates Wednesday and Thursday before the first phase of the weekend warm-up ignites possible Friday thunderstorms. The key to just how hot temperatures end up here may well turn on thunderstorm clusters likely to develop at the northern periphery of any expanding dome of hot air. Cool thunderstorm outflows, critically important because of the forecast challenge they represent and their ability to stem the flow of hot air into an area, are currently predicted to stay north of Chicago Saturday. If true, the stage appears set for what could become the first Chicago weekend in nearly years to produce a set of 90-degree highs. Our currently predicted high of 96-degrees Saturday is a reading which would rank among the hottest since 2006.
44 of the past 50 years have seen more than this year’s three 90s
Chicago’s paltry three days at or above 90-degrees this late in the season is rare. Only two of the past 50 years at O’Hare have had fewer 90s by now–while 44 years in the past half century have recorded more.