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.

SHARE 40 mph wind gusts hit Chicago as lakeshore flood advisory continues into Friday
A flood warning and warning was issued for Cook County.

Lake Michigan will see dangerous wave conditions Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, 2020, according to the National Weather Service.

Sun-Times file photo

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.

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.”

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