40 mph wind gusts hit Chicago as lakeshore flood advisory continues into Friday
The dangerous weather is expected to calm down by 10 a.m. Friday, when the National Weather Service’s lakeshore flood advisory ends. But before then, waves could build to 8 to 12 feet tall by Thursday evening, according to the weather service.
Strong winds pummeled the Chicago area Thursday and produced 10-foot tall waves on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The dangerous weather is expected to calm down by 10 a.m. Friday, when the National Weather Service’s lakeshore flood advisory ends.
But before then, waves could build to 8 to 12 feet tall by Thursday evening, according to the weather service.
The quickest gust in the area so far —at 41 mph — was recorded shortly before 1 p.m. at O’Hare International Airport, according to weather service meteorologist Lee Carlaw.
Gusty northeasterly winds will result in increasing wave action today, which is expected to cause minor to moderate lakeshore flooding along the IL and NW Indiana Lake Michigan shores. Conditions will ease on Friday morning. #ILwx #INwx pic.twitter.com/5aGUf2M15y— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) October 29, 2020
Meanwhile, the lakefront has seen dangerously tall and choppy waves —including a 10-foot tall wave in Evanston, Carlaw said.
“It’s a chaotic weather pattern we have here, coming from high pressure up north, sending air down Lake Michigan,” he said.
Wind gusts were considerably calmer farther inland and closer to the Loop. Northerly Island’s highest gust has been 25 mph, which is the average windspeed farther inland, Carlaw said.
As of 5 p.m., there were no reports of significant wind or flood damage in Chicago, according to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
On Wednesday, the weather service forecast top gusts of 25 mph and waves 9 feet tall.
“Onlookers may be swept into the lake by the large waves,” forecasters warned in their advisory. “The large waves combined with very high lake levels could exacerbate already significant beach and shoreline erosion sustained over the past several months.”