Tornado and Derecho!

You may have heard that, as part of the derecho that passed through Illinois on Monday 08/10/2020, a tornado also passed through the Rogers Park neighborhood. A very few of you may have also wondered if I made it through unscathed.

I did. In fact, despite the civil defense sirens blowing, I didn’t realize there had actually been a tornado until the next morning. The Weather Bureau in Chicago had tornado warned part of the derecho traversing Chicago’s north side, but the box seemed to end a few blocks south of my apartment. The tornado ended up passing just a few blocks north of my apartment. The wind was pretty lively for a time outside my window, but it seemed like the straight line wind typical of a derecho. And I’ve seen more intense and damaging (window breakage) winds in the courtyard than Monday’s. While the rain was pretty heavy, it was accompanied by only a brief scattering of light hail.

To be fair, on Monday NOAA also wasn’t entirely sure there had been a tornado. There are, however, videos showing rotating debris, and Tuesday morning saw a helicopter documenting wind damage. This brief video by local resident Nathan Pierre shows the tornado entering Lake Michigan and becoming a water spout is way cool, however:

The only storm chaser in Illinois that I follow is Andrew Pritchard. I like him because he generally explains what he’s doing and why; in other words, his work is not just spectacle but educational. He’s based down in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, but he chased the storm as far north as Yorkville (not far from my old home town). Here is his account:

As spectacular as these scenes from Illinois may be, the storm was actually worse in Iowa, with winds upwards of 100 mph. It had faded considerably by the time it reached Chicago!

Author: rmichaelroman

... whatever ...

5 thoughts on “Tornado and Derecho!”

    1. For me, it was a good storm. If I owned a car, I might be singing a different tune: trees and cars seemed to be the biggest casualties. According to the Weather Service, there were 7 tornadoes in the Chicago metro area, all but one rated EF-1 and that outlier was an EF-0. The Rogers Park tornado didn’t have the longest track, but it was the widest of the 7 (estimated maximum 300 yards) and, by just a little, the most powerful (estimated peak winds of 110 mph).

      For an overview of the storm in Chicago, see https://www.weather.gov/lot/2020aug10. This only covers the Chicago area, but under “NWS Office Recaps” you can find links to storm accounts from other Weather Service offices.

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