Summer storms can be sudden and scary–on Sunday, the sky turned dark at 3 in the afternoon. Lollapalooza was evacuated, due to the weather. Performances were rescheduled due to the delay.
A tent collapsed in Wood Dale. Sadly, one person was killed.
The most damage was in Rogers Park–rain, lightning, hurricane force winds, large hail, trees knocked down, and power outages. The storm lasted about 15 minutes!
Later in the evening, another line of supercell storms rushed through. The National Weather Service has determined that an EF-1 tornado did touch down in the Grayslake area.
The severity and duration of these storms is astonishing. The blue sky the next morning is almost unbelievable.
It’s not that there was no warning. Weather forecasts even days before were saying conditions were ripe for these kinds of storms arising. Officials at the festival were kept informed of developing weather conditions, and had contingency plans. Lollapalooza was closed early due to the storm at 10 pm. There was quite a light show! This Tribune graphic shows just how many lightning strikes there were on Sunday—
— Tribune Graphics (@ChiTribGraphics) August 4, 2015
The development of such severe storms and their intensity is fast and furious. Here is Tom Skilling’s weather report.
Here’s a look at the structure of a supercell–
Just look at the height of those clouds. They can produce heavy rain, hail and strong winds. See that tiny tornado way down there at ground level? Even an EF-1 tornado can produce winds of over 100 miles an hour.
Supercells are big, fast, rotating, self-organizing systems. That means they can change rapidly, and they can be difficult to predict. They look like a mother ship out of a science-fiction movie, and they are even more dramatic in reality!
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