Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Severe Winds in 'The Windy City'

The above image was just taken from the Chicago area radar site.  Wind gusts of 71 mph have been recorded at Chicago O'Hare Airport during the last 15 minutes.  Strong, gusty winds of 65-75 mph and hail up to golfball size will continue a possibility with this activity as it traverses through the Chicago Metro Area for the next half hour to 45 minutes.  I guess the "Windy City" is certainly living up to its name this evening.

On an editorial note...the NWS in Chicago has had Tornado Warnings out for the Metro area for much of the last hour for "tornado-like winds" that may be produced by thunderstorms.  I have a problem with tornado warnings being issued for specifically non-tornado events.  A tornado warning should be issued for a tornado threat, not a high wind threat.  A properly worded severe thunderstorm warning can carry just as much impact as a tornado warning (i.e., "This is a very dangerous situation with widespread damaging wind gusts up to 75 mph possible...").  To me, issuing a tornado warning for "tornado-like winds" does nothing but muddy the water...and I don't know about you, but when was the last time you were concerned about 75 mph winds in a tornado?  When I think of "tornado winds" I think of 150 mph plus - end of story.

I will now step down off of my soap box and resume my role as your mild-mannered weather reporter........thank you for your indulgence....


Anonymous said...

I heard it hasn't been this windy in Chicago since Obama was last in the senate!!!!!!! LOL

Shamrock said...

I agree with you, Rob. They need to be very careful how they word weather threats in my opinion. Tornado winds and straight line/damaging winds are not the same. I've been in both. I think also when they use that wording that they lessen the danger in the minds of some people when there is a tornado warning you know? "Oh hey-I've been in a severe thunderstorm with tornado like winds-we'll be safe in the house." I'm on your side on this one, friend :)