Sandy’s impacts on Chicago, 1 year later

Sandy’s impacts on Chicago, 1 year later

Posted: Updated:
Source: NOAA Source: NOAA
Source: NOAA Source: NOAA
Source: NOAA Source: NOAA
Source: NOAA Source: NOAA
Source: NOAA Source: NOAA
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It was a year ago today that Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc in the northeast.

One day after making landfall, Sandy's impacts were felt as far east as the Chicago area. Sandy produced winds close to 70mph offshore in Lake Michigan and 60mph wind gusts on land. In addition to high wind gusts, these strong northeast winds produced near record breaking waves on Lake Michigan.

The south mid-lake buoy, which is 43 miles east/southeast of Milwaukee, recorded a wave height of 21.7 feet making it the second highest wave height on record.

Here is a list of the top 5 highest waves recorded at the south mid-lake buoy:

1) 9/30/2011 – 22.9ft

2) 10/30/2012 – 21.7ft

3) 11/11/1998 – 20.3ft

4) 10/20/2011 – 19.2ft

5) 9/23/1989 – 18.4ft

According to the National Weather Service in Romeoville, records for the south mid-lake buoy date back to 1981. However the buoy is deployed seasonally from early spring through late fall. It is possible that larger waves could have occurred on Lake Michigan during the winter months when the buoy was not deployed. So these values represent the highest waves on record.

What makes the storm even more remarkable is the duration of extremely high waves. At the south buoy every hourly observation from 5 a.m. through 2 p.m. on October 30th had wave heights of 18 feet or greater, which is ten hours of 18 foot waves. Going back through the 31 years of archived data from the mid-lake south buoy, this is a new record for most number of consecutive hourly observations with waves 18 feet or greater surpassing the November 10-11 1998 event when there were seven consecutive hourly observations with waves 18 feet or greater.

October 30th also saw three more hours of 18 feet or higher waves later in the day, making 13 hours total. Prior to October 30th, there had only been 15 hourly observations with wave heights of 18 feet or higher on record which really speaks to how remarkable the waves were with this storm.

Here is a list of the top wind gusts recorded around the Chicago area, including NW Indiana:

  • GARY REGIONAL AIRPORT (LAKE IN) 1145 AM OCT 30 60 MPH
  • 1 WNW NEW CHICAGO (LAKE IN) 134 AM OCT 30 50 MPH
  • PORTER COUNTY MUNICIPAL AIRPORT 707 AM OCT 30 49 MPH
  • 2 SW VALPARAISO (PORTER IN) 632 AM OCT 30 49 MPH
  • 2 WNW BURNHAM (COOK IL) 100 AM OCT 30 47 MPH
  • EAST CHICAGO (LAKE IN) 1242 AM OCT 30 45 MPH
  • LOCKPORT (WILL IL) 1100 AM OCT 30 44 MPH
  • 2 E LAKEMOOR (LAKE IL) 735 AM OCT 30 44 MPH
  • 2 SE HOBART (LAKE IN) 716 AM OCT 30 44 MPH
  • CHICAGO MIDWAY AIRPORT (COOK IL) 1051 AM OCT 30 43 MPH
  • 2 W CHICAGO (COOK IL) 1218 PM OCT 30 43 MPH
  • 1 SE SOUTH CHICAGO (COOK IL) 1112 PM OCT 29 42 MPH
  • 1 WSW EAST CHICAGO (LAKE IN) 125 AM OCT 30 41 MPH
  • SOUTH HOLLAND (COOK IL) 100 PM OCT 30 40 MPH

Click here for an in-depth look at Hurricane Sandy from when it formed to its end.

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