National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


During the afternoon and evening of Saturday, March 5th, a strong early spring low pressure system tracked through the Midwest. Storms developed during the afternoon in Iowa and produced multiple tornadoes before eventually merging into a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) that moved eastward into northern Illinois by mid-evening. Multiple wind gusts of 70 mph or greater were noted across the NWS Chicago county warning area as this line of storms moved through, and even an 81 mph gust was observed at Rockford Airport.

In addition to the storms, the low pressure system was also responsible for producing non-thunderstorm wind gusts in excess of 50 mph in some locations both before and after the line of storms rolled through the area.

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