Normally Windy Autumn in Northern Illinois Especially Windy in 2020; Winds Persist, Damaging 50+ MPH Gusts

Tree trunk broken in high winds in Arlington Heights on Sunday, November 15, 2020
Tree trunk broken in high winds in Arlington Heights on Sunday, November 15, 2020.

Wind damage scenes in Arlington Heights, Sunday, November 15, 2020.

Wind gusts frequently reached 50 to 55 mph for much of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana on Sunday, November 15, 2020 and gusts in the 30 MPH range and even 40 MPH continued.

The peak wind gust was 69 mph at Chicago Midway Airport a little before noon, which was also measured at a nearby NWS Cooperative Observer location. The 69 MPH gust appeared to be a localized burst of higher gusts.

These winds were a result of a rapidly strengthening weather system moving from the Great Lakes into southeast Canada.

This continued the tempo of a windy autumn across the region, as shown in Chicago stats below (October 12 – November 15, 2020) …

Windy Autumn 2020 (SOURCE: National Weather Service Chicago)
Windy Autumn 2020 (SOURCE: National Weather Service Chicago).

November 2020 extended the remarkable wind data on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 16 – Nov. 18), adding an additional three days with wind gusts greater than or equal to 30 MPH, and an additional day with a wind gust greater than or equal to 40 MPH.

A Wind Advisory in effect from Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 09:00 AM CST until 04:00 PM CST. Thursday’s forecast is partly sunny, with a high near 65. Windy, with a southwest wind 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Wind gusts will peak around noon at 46 MPH and gusts will drop to about 32 MPH by 5 PM and 25 MPH by midnight Thursday/Friday.

Mobile Users: Turn display sideways to read tables, if necessary …

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 Public Information Statement

National Weather Service Chicago IL
355 PM CST Sun Nov 15 2020 /455 PM EST Sun Nov 15 2020/

...HIGHEST WIND GUSTS ON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 15...

The following land locations are from ASOS and AWOS locations at area airports. Not all data listed are considered official.

Location                     Speed     Time/Date
----------------------------------------------------
Chicago Midway               69 MPH    1147 AM 11/15
Sugar Grove - Aurora Arpt.   59 MPH    1127 AM 11/15
Peru Airport                 56 MPH    0935 AM 11/15
Kankakee Airport             55 MPH    1135 AM 11/15
Valparaiso Airport           55 MPH    1104 AM 11/15
Wheeling - Chicago Exec. Arp 54 MPH    1105 AM 11/15
Morris Airport               53 MPH    1155 AM 11/15
Chicago O`Hare               53 MPH    1121 AM 11/15
Rensselaer Airport           52 MPH    0155 PM 11/15
Lansing Airport              51 MPH    1215 PM 11/15
Pontiac Airport              51 MPH    1055 AM 11/15
Rockford Airport             51 MPH    1035 AM 11/15
Romeoville - Lewis Airport   49 MPH    1055 AM 11/15
Rochelle Airport             48 MPH    1035 AM 11/15
Waukegan Airport             48 MPH    0608 AM 11/15
DeKalb Airport               47 MPH    1055 AM 11/15
Gary Airport                 44 MPH    1245 PM 11/15


Marine Location              Speed     Time/Date
----------------------------------------------------
Chicago Harrison-Dever Crib  61 MPH    1130 AM 11/15
Waukegan Harbor              46 MPH     100 PM 11/15

Gusts in the 30 MPH range also occurred on Monday, November 16, 2020 (HIGHEST GUST SPEED: 34 MPH) and Wednesday, November 18, 2020 (HIGHEST GUST SPEED: 40 MPH).

Winds on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 were lower but there was a “HIGHEST GUST SPEED” recorded at 31 MPH.

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Tree trunk broken in high winds in Arlington Heights on Sunday, November 15, 2020
Tree trunk broken in high winds in Arlington Heights on Sunday, November 15, 2020.