National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Wet Travel Conditions for the East; Snow and Wind for the Pacific Northwest and Rockies

A storm lifting northward toward the Great Lakes will bring periods of rain and gusty winds for the eastern third of the country today. For the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, accumulating snow and strong winds will make for hazardous traveling conditions through tonight. A stronger storm is forecast early in the week with the threat of severe thunderstorms for the Mississippi Valley. Read More >

It was a windy couple of early December days across the area. Responsible for these winds had been a strong weather system, known as a low pressure, that tracked from the Plains to Lake Superior.  This system deepened and rapidly along its path, with a significant temperature difference ahead and behind it.

Fast Facts:
  • The peak wind gusts observed at area airports were 58 mph at Gary Airport and 56 mph at Rockford Airport and Waukegan Airport.
  • The strongest wind gust at Chicago O'Hare was 49 mph at 12:54 a.m. on early Tuesday morning.  From 2 pm Dec 4 through 5 pm Dec 5, winds gusted to 40+ mph at least once in 21 of those 27 hours!
  • For Rockford, from 8 pm Dec 4 through 4 pm Dec 5, winds gusted to 40+ mph at least once in 16 of those 20 hours.
  • The winds caused isolated minor damage per media reports, such as a gas station canopy in Alsip, IL and some windows blown out in a few locations.
  • Temperatures on Monday were near record highs in the mid 60s, and then fell sharply to around 30° by Tuesday morning, with wind chills in the teens to 20°.
Low Pressure Map
Hourly map of mean sea level pressure and temperatures (image) from Dec 4 into Dec 5.



Peak Winds
    ORD     RFD
Peak Wind Gusts     Chicago (ORD) Observations     Rockford (RFD) Observations



Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Chicago IL
534 AM CST Wed Dec 6 2017 /634 AM EST Wed Dec 6 2017/

...Peak Wind Gusts From December 4-5...

Following are a list of the highest wind gusts at area airports
and Lake Michigan marine platforms. The winds did cause isolated
minor damage.

Land Location                Speed     Time/Date       Provider
Gary Airport                 58 MPH    0245 PM 12/05   AWOS
Rockford Airport             56 MPH    1107 PM 12/04   ASOS
Waukegan Airport             56 MPH    0900 PM 12/04   ASOS
Valparaiso Airport           55 MPH    0130 PM 12/05   ASOS
Peru Airport                 54 MPH    1235 AM 12/05   AWOS
Rochelle Airport             54 MPH    1235 AM 12/05   AWOS
Sugar Grove - Aurora Airport 53 MPH    0135 PM 12/05   ASOS
Dupage Airport               53 MPH    1257 PM 12/05   ASOS
Chicago O`Hare               51 MPH    0203 PM 12/05   ASOS
Chicago Midway               51 MPH    0207 PM 12/05   ASOS
De Kalb Airport              51 MPH    0115 PM 12/05   AWOS
Rensselaer Airport           49 MPH    0755 PM 12/04   AWOS
Wheeling - Chi Exec Airport  46 MPH    1215 AM 12/05   ASOS
Romeoville - Lewis Airport   46 MPH    0835 PM 12/04   AWOS
Lansing Airport              46 MPH    1135 PM 12/04   AWOS
Pontiac Airport              46 MPH    0735 PM 12/04   AWOS
Morris Airport               45 MPH    1135 AM 12/05   AWOS
Joliet Airport               44 MPH    1255 AM 12/05   AWOS
Kankakee Airport             44 MPH    0855 PM 12/04   AWOS

Marine Location                Speed     Time/Date     Provider
Chicago Crib                 62 MPH    1140 PM 12/04   MARITIME
Michigan City C-man          60 MPH    0220 PM 12/05   MARITIME
Burns Harbor                 51 MPH    0250 PM 12/05   NWS-GLOS
Calumet Harbor               46 MPH    0842 PM 12/04   NWLON
Waukegan Harbor              45 MPH    0240 AM 12/05   NWS-GLOS

Observations are collected from a variety of sources with varying
equipment and exposures. We thank all volunteer weather observers
for their dedication. Not all data listed are considered official.