Severe Weather Fri. PMAugust 31st, 2013 at 1:26 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Severe thunderstorms hit SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois Friday PM. One of the reasons that the storms were more numerous and more severe on the other side of Lake Michigan was that fact that it was a little bit warmer and the dew points were a couple degrees higher. High temperatures here in W. Michigan were mostly between 85 and 90. The beach weather station in Muskegon had a high of 78.3. On the other side of Lake Michigan, the temperature reached 96 at Chicago O’Hare, Midway Arpt., Wheeling and Waukegan. It was 95 in Milwaukee and got as high as 97 in Kenosha WI. A total of 98,000 customers lost power in SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois. Two people were critically injured in Chicago, one by a falling tree and the other when the wall of a building under construction collapsed. There were hundreds of trees and wires down. Note the first picture of the live wire. Water can carry electricity a long way. What if there was a stream of water from the heavy rain going down that alley. Someone dozens of feet away from the wire could be electrocuted if they touched the water that also was touching the live power line. The storms left more than 98,000 customers without power in SE WI and NE IL. Due to the high winds, METRA trains stopped running and some sat for 2 hours before resuming their route. There were flight delays at O’Hare and Midway. Tents were blown down at the Taste of Polonia and a tree fell over at the Jazz Festival in Millennium Park. A number of high school football games were cancelled because of the storm. The second picture is a condo collapse on the north side of Chicago. Wind gusts were estimated at 75 mph in Skokie and 70 mph at Evanston and Harwood Heights. Waukesha WI measured a gust to 67 mph, Oconomowoc WI had 62 mph and Pontiac IL measured a gust to 61 mph. 3.8″ of rain fell at Harvard IL. Here’s storm reports from NE Illinois and SE Wisconsin. Power lines were toppled at Sandusky and Romulus, Michigan. Here’s U.S. storm reports from Friday.