Delightful photos from this early Spring season

And from Wadsworth, IL comes this beautiful sunset shot taken last evening by Kathy Stinson.  The orangish-red hues are quite beautiful! Photo courtesy of Kathy Stinson, Wadsworth, IL

And from Wadsworth, IL comes this beautiful sunset shot taken last evening by Kathy Stinson. The orangish-red hues are quite beautiful!
Photo courtesy of Kathy Stinson, Wadsworth, IL

A series of beautiful spring sunsets--this one in Lake Geneva from Shirley Latte. Photo courtesy of Shirley Latte, Lake Geneva, IL

A series of beautiful spring sunsets–this one in Lake Geneva from Shirley Latte.
Photo courtesy of Shirley Latte, Lake Geneva, IL

Wes Carrasquillo sends us this shot of a cardinal out taking in Thursday's 60-degree temps in Aurora. Photo courtesy of Wes Carrasquillo, Aurora, IL

Wes Carrasquillo sends us this shot of a cardinal out taking in Thursday’s 60-degree temps in Aurora.
Photo courtesy of Wes Carrasquillo, Aurora, IL

ASK TOM WHY: Do you crack the windows in your house during a tornado?

Dear Tom,

I have heard you should crack the windows in your house during a tornado. Please give me your thoughts.

Rich Middleton, Rockford

Dear Rich,

Do NOT do that. It’s a notion conclusively laid to rest by research conducted in 1977 by an engineering team at Texas Tech’s Institute for Disaster Research and further discredited by all that’s now known about how tornadoes work. Opening windows in or near tornadoes is a useless exercise and a waste of precious time that ought to be used in getting yourself and those you are responsible for to a safer location. In fact, it may actually contribute to damage to the house.The pressure drop in the strongest tornadoes is about 10 percent, and that pressure decline can be vented by the normal openings in a house in just three seconds, even with the windows closed.

Lisle, IL Tornado

John Piepenbrok reminds us it’s tornado season with this shot taken by his Great Uncle in the Lisle, Illinois area after the devastating March 28, 1920 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak over the Midwest and Deep South. This photo shows the storm damage in the Lisle area. The storm produced 37 tornadoes which left 380 dead and 1,215 injured. Elgin and Melrose Park were hard hit in this area with 10 fatalities in Melrose Park.  Tornado watches were still more than 30 years away and the only weather information which was available at the time were forecasts in the newspapers from the day before.
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Photo courtesy of John Piepenbrok

It’s Chicago’s “lake wind” season, a situation underscored by Friday and Saturday’s “NE” then “SE” winds

It’s a fact of life in Chicago during spring: winds blow off Lake Michigan nearly half the time. And since the lake waters have yet to recover from the chill of winter, those winds tend to be nippy.

The northeast flow which is to dominate Friday and Friday night arrived before daybreak with the passage of a cold front. That lake flow all but assures city and lakeshore residents they can forget a second consecutive day of 60-degree temperatures.

Rather than the 62-degree high recorded Thursday—the city’s ninth day of 60-degree or warmer temperatures this year—Friday highs are likely to reach no higher than the mid 50s inland while lakeside locations struggle just to make it to the mid to upper 40s. And, as the northeast flow strengthens Friday afternoon and evening, the expectation is afternoon and evening readings may trend lower, even in areas away from the lake.

Resurging warmth, southerly winds to propel Sunday highs into the 70s, making it the warmest Easter in 4 years

The upcoming Easter weekend is to be far from a complete meteorological loss. Precipitation is to be all but non-existent—at least not until late Sunday night and Monday. And temperatures, which are to remain cool near Lake Michigan Saturday, are to take off Sunday as southerly winds take hold.