National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Cold Front Dropping South Across the Western U.S.; Watching Threat for Tornadoes and Flooding in the South

A cold front will push south across the Western U.S. into Tuesday with mountain snow and areas of gusty to high winds. An area of low pressure will form along this front on Tuesday and bring a potential for severe thunderstorms with tornadoes and excessive rainfall in the lower to mid Mississippi River Valley. To the north, heavy snow is possible in parts of the upper Midwest. Read More >


  • Wind gusts of 45 to 65 mph were observed across northern Illinois and northwest Indiana. The strongest winds were associated with fast moving snow squalls. Multiple instances of wind damage occurred, including large trees and tree limbs and power lines downed, with isolated minor structural damage also reported. The high winds caused fairly widespread power outages, with about 80,000 customers without power in northern Illinois at its peak according to ComEd. 
  • The peak wind gusts at both Chicago O'Hare and Rockford were 61 mph, which were the strongest wind gusts observed at automated observation sites. At coastal platforms, the strongest observed wind gust was 65 mph at the Michigan City C-Man Station.
    • ‚ÄčThe 61 mph wind gust observed at Chicago O'Hare was the highest wind gust there since 62 mph on February 19, 2016. 
    • The 61 mph wind gust observed at Rockford was the highest wind gust there since 65 mph on July 13, 2015.
  • Numerous snow showers, at times mixed with graupel and rain, moved over northern Illinois and northwest Indiana during the early to mid afternoon hours. These were what we call convective showers, in that they were formed by simliar processes to convection...or thunderstorms. Thus they produced brief but heavy snowfall rates.  Combined with the winds this brought brief near white-out conditions, including here outside NWS Chicago in Romeoville just prior to 2pm CDT. 1/4 mile visibility was officially observed at the Lewis University Airport (KLOT) AWOS (Automated Weather Observation System) at 1:55 pm CDT before power was knocked out by the strong winds gusting up to 60 mph.
  • A long duration of northwest winds of about 50-60 mph (65 mph peak at Michigan City C-Man Station) over southern Lake Michigan drove very large waves. The highest observed wave heights at the buoy 6 miles north of Michigan City were 15 feet. 
nws logo

Media use of NWS Web News Stories is encouraged!
Please acknowledge the NWS as the source of any news information accessed from this site.

Additional recaps can be found on the NWS Chicago Past Events Page

nws logo