Storm To Be Among Worst In 70 Years

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UPDATED 10/25/10 8:09 p.m.

‘Great Lakes Cyclone’ To Strike Chicago Tuesday

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – A combination of strong thunderstorms, followed by violent and destructive winds, will make for one of the Midwest’s most dangerous storms in 70 years.

The temperature Monday hit the 70s under partly sunny skies. But when Tuesday morning comes around, the Chicago area will be slammed with furious thunderstorms as a cold front passes over the area.

Damaging winds will likely be a component of the thunderstorms, and there is a risk of tornadoes, CBS 2’s Mary Kleist reports.

The severe storms are expected to sweep into the area between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday, coming in the form of a squall line, which often means strong straight-line winds. The storms will be at their heaviest during the Tuesday morning rush.

The rain and severe storms will pass out of the area by midday, but at that point, high and dangerous winds will roar into the area.

The winds will maintain a sustained speed of 35 to 40 mph, and may gust to 55 mph or more. They will be most severe north of Interstate 88, particularly along the Wisconsin border, Kleist said.

Over Lake Michigan, hurricane-force winds are possible.

After sundown Tuesday, the winds will die down a little bit, only to pick up again after sunrise Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service advises unsecured objects may become airborne. Falling tree limbs and sporadic power outages can be expected. Travel may become difficult with high profile vehicles becoming difficult to control.

Tree limbs and power lines will also be at risk.

The severe weather system is coming in the form of a cyclone, a low-pressure system of closed, spiraling motion. The system is, in fact, being dubbed the “Great Lakes Cyclone.”

The low barometric pressure in the system is contributing significantly to the severity of the storm. CBS 2’s Megan Glaros says the minimum pressure in the system could drop to an extraordinarily low reading of 960 millibars.

As the storm passes, the temperatures will drop quickly. The forecast high for Thursday is a mere 49 degrees.

Storm To Rank Among The Worst
The National Weather Service reports that based on its records, this will probably be one of the most powerful storm in 70 years, Kleist said.

The Weather Service has made a list of the worst storms in the Great Lakes region, ranked by how low the barometric pressure dropped.

Still ranking at No. 1, ahead of the storm coming Tuesday, is the Great Ohio Blizzard of Jan. 25-27, 1978. That storm produced winds that gusted up to more than 100 mph, wind chills of -60, and left snow drifts 20 feet high in some areas, according to published reports.

Ohio was the hardest hit in that storm, but the entire Great Lakes region and Ohio Valley were affected. The storm was blamed for more than 70 deaths.

Coming in second is the storm expected to arrive Tuesday.

Ranking third is the Armistice Day Storm of Nov. 11, 1940, which brought a blizzard to much of the Midwest, and a drop from 60-degree temperatures to single-digits in just one day. Up to 26 inches of snow fell in some areas, and the storm was blamed for 144 deaths – many of them duck hunters on the Mississippi River.

Tying for third was the Anniversary Storm of Nov. 10, 1998, which involved winds exceeding 70 mph.

Coming in fourth was the Cyclone of 1913, or the White Hurricane, on Nov. 7-9, 1913. A total of 24 inches of snow fell in some areas, and the blizzard led to the death of more than 250 people and sank 19 ships.

Fifth on the list is the storm on Nov, 10, 1975, which sank the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald freighter ship in Lake Superior. All 29 crewmembers were killed in the wreck, which inspired a pop song by Gordon Lightfoot.

CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist and Megan Glaros contributed to this report.

  • rick

    Wonder if I should cancel my parasail trip on Wednesday?

    • carol

      Nah, just wear a light jacket.

    • Hans

      Depends on the size of your parasail! (2M?) Enjoy!

    • jazcubs22


    • Living Frontiers

      If you doubt Global warming is true, you are not thinking clearly. It is real. Every scientist in the world knows this fact. There is no reason they have to support this terrible fact. Think about it. Do not bury your head in the sand.

  • Jim

    Perfect kite weather! lol

    • Smooches

      Can I run it for you?- It’ll probably end up on the Michigan side of the lake

  • Angelo


  • Lauren

    Glad I have renters insurance for that 100+ yaer old building I live in!

    • Heather

      The 100+ building will withstand this storm better then the newer homes, so be glad you are in it!

  • Carmen

    If you pose a question as the headline of an article, you’re an idiot. Why are you asking the reader? Give us information, not a scare tactic. FAIL!

    • jason

      I’m Ron Burgundy?

      • Chicago

        You are awesome!

    • Brittany

      It’s a question, because it’s not certain. If this is, indeed, the worst storm in 70 years, then it can be posed as a statement.
      Uh, how did you put that? Oh yeah, FAIL!

      • fchsdustin7

        hi brittany just wondering if u have ever witnessed a dog be sold in the cat market because i have a video of it and just wondering if u would like to see it

  • Mayhem

    shakey……shakey shakey shakey….

    • kris

      That’s funny…!

    • Jenny

      Ha ha! Thanks for the big smile. :D Love that commercial.

  • Toms Killing

    My golden barometer can take it. Bring it on mother nature


    I am from Streator and we just had the tornado rip thru our town in June……Pretty scared of another one coming!!

  • sundevilpeg

    This is an extremely poorly-written and confusing story; the mention of “The rain and severe storms will pass out of the area by midday Thursday, but at that point, high and dangerous winds will roar into the area” directly contradicts the forecast currently available from the NWS. Ridiculous.

    • JB

      The rain and severe storms will pass out of the area by midday -Tuesday-. Which seems pretty consistent with other reports.

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  • Rosemary Hirsch

    The old scare tactic trick. Nevertheless, I went and prepared a storm survival kit with bottled water, candles, matches, flashlights, food in pouches, etc. just to be on the safe side. Never can be to sure about the weather in the midwest.

  • Oy Vey

    Hey Rosemary: Why don’t you just wait the storm out in your fallout shelter; it’d be much safer down there!!

  • krz2

    nobody lives here for the weather

    • lisajayneskender

      I am in sunny australia, sorry your having poor weather, we do need the rain here

  • amplitude jones

    quick! Lock all democrats outside! Chain them to street signs…

    • chic


    • Julie


    • Illini Steve

      Best idea I’ve heard of in 2 years!!!

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  • N37BU6

    If this is from “climate change”, then what caused the storm 70 years ago?

    Logic… gotta love it.

    • anna

      Odd…maybe my math is wrong…but according to the article the “worst” storm was only 32 years ago! 70 year ago was the second worst storm???

  • Mark Matis

    Maybe the storm will flush out some of the sewage in Chicago government and the Chicago Police Department. One can only hope!

    • Illini Steve

      No chance of that. If the storm is bad enough, the Chicago cops can help the looters like the New Orleans cops did after Katrina.

    • DanaDee

      The storm won’t be big enough to do all that! In fact, no storm is big enough to do all the flushing that needs to be done!

  • Fozzie

    Wear pants, not skirts…

    Charles… seriously that was really ignorant. Let me get this straight… You hope some danger and destruction on potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans because you don’t like some politicians? What the h.e.-double-hockey sticks is wrong with you? Perhaps you should move to Afghanistan where like minded people live.

  • charles buchanan


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  • Tom P

    The wind isn’t the only thing that blows in Chicago.

  • chloe 24

    go look at a current weather map of the entire u.s. there is nothing coming except light rain and maybe a cold front. we had tornado warnings all day today. got a little rain. the weather men can not forcast daily weather let alone tomorrows and they say we have “global waming” vote out ALL the fools next tuesday.

    • Gigi

      How do you vote out the weathermen?

  • Mario

    Hope the storm blows into the gulf to clean up BP’s mess

  • Brittany

    You’re a moron.

  • flyoverland

    Too bad it can’t happen again next Tuesday from say six a.m. to seven p.m.

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