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June 5th, 2005

Chicago severe weather

While still up in the suburbs with my mom, Kate and I took a flash card to the local Walgreens to get some prints made of some digital photos. It was sunny and warm and windy when we were walking through the parking lot, with the gray of a coming storm off in the southwest.

We weren't in the store for more than five minutes before we heard people commenting on how it was pouring rain all of a sudden. Walking back outside to have a look, it wasn't just pouring, it was a complete deluge, with a very, very strong wind blasting the rain into a mist that blew everywhere, even under the fairly well protected vestibule of the drug store. Lightning and crashing thunder was frequent, and the power in the store flickered a few times. The wind had the trees bent way over and there were frequent gusts.

On the way home, we passed a short stretch of road, maybe about a quarter mile, where there were a LOT of tree limbs down, at least one entire tree lying across part of the road, and construction debris like Tyvek, insulation, and plywood scattered everywhere. From the narrow damage swath, plus the fact that the sky was covered in cumulonimbus mammatus, I thought, hmm... tornado? But no mention of tornadoes was made, just a lot of talk of wind damage and hail, so it was probably a microburst causing an exceptionally high wind gust over a fairly small area.

It was definitely an awesome storm, though. Got me at least a little out of the bad mood I was in yesterday.

From the SPC local storm report log:

 284 G 52 DE KALB IL (25 SE RFD) 4/1220
            LARGE TREE BRANCHES TORN DOWN. 
 229 WNDG JEFFERSON WI (26 ESE MSN) 4/1225
            A 20 FOOT BY 20 FOOT SECTION OF ROOF WAS BLOWN OFF JEFFERSON HS
 230 WNDG 4 NNE GRAND RIDGE IL (8 SW MMO) 4/1230
            CHIMNEY AND SIDING OFF A HOUSE. POWER POLES DOWN
 232 WNDG BARTLETT IL (31 WNW CGX) 4/1235
            3 INCH THICK TREE BRANCH BLOWN DOWN AND MANY SMALLER BRANCHES TORN
 231 WNDG MORRIS IL (12 E MMO) 4/1235
            TREE DOWN ON GUN CLUB ROAD. 
 233 WNDG JOLIET IL (29 ENE MMO) 4/1240
            4 INCH TREE LIMB DOWN ON WAKE ISLAND RD JOLIET 
            1 1/2 INCH TREE LIMBS WERE REPORTED BLOWN DOWN 
 235 WNDG 1 S JOHNSON CREEK WI (27 E MSN) 4/1250
            MULTIPLE TREES DOWN. 
 236 WNDG ARLINGTON HEIGHTS IL (23 NW CGX) 4/1320
            TREE LIMBS DOWN. 
 237 WNDG CHICAGO IL (0 NW CGX) 4/1330
            TREES ON BUILDINGS AT 4700 BLOCK OF FRANCISCO AT 1400 NORTH KOSTNER
 238 WNDG EVANSTON IL (12 NNW CGX) 4/1335
            KEENEY AND SHERIDAN ROAD. LARGE TREE ACROSS ROADS
 239 WNDG OAK LAWN IL (11 SSW CGX) 4/1345
            BLOWING WOOD PLANKS FROM A BUILDING UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN THE 52
 240 WNDG EVANSTON IL (12 NNW CGX) 4/1353
            300 BLOCK OF SOUTH BOULEVARD. LARGE TREE BLOCKING THE ROAD.

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