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Posted at 03:08 PM ET, 10/19/2011

South Florida tornado and Chicago waves: big East Coast storm hits hardest on its edges


The roof of a Sunrise, Fla. home sits in the pool early Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011 after a tornado damaged more than two dozen homes in the area. Officials say the tornado left a 2 mile-long trail of damage in a suburban South Florida neighborhood. (J Pat Carter - AP)
Spanning from the Florida Keys to eastern Maine and as far west as Wisconsin, a sprawling storm system with two areas of low pressure is producing a wide range of inclement weather conditions. Interestingly, the storm system is packing its biggest punch near its extremities. The Florida Keys have been inundated with rain, a devasting tornado ripped through Broward county in south Florida and Chicago’s lake front is already being pounded by massive waves.

In Key West, the Miami Herald reports 4.64 inches of rain has fallen since Wedensday and about a foot since Friday, flooding streets. Just to the north, a powerful EF-2 tornado with winds to 120 mph tore through Broward county Tuesday night, damaging 25 homes according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Hundreds of miles to the northwest, the Lake Michigan shoreline in Chicago is under a lakeshore flood warning through 4 p.m. CT Thursday due to predicted waves as high as 20-25 feet. Sustained winds of 30-35 mph with gusts as high as 55-60 mph, prompting a high wind warning, are forecast to drive the wave action.

High waves are already crashing along the shores of Lake Michigan today

AccuWeather discusses some possible impacts in the true-to-form Windy City:

“Lakeshore Drive, one of Chicago’s most traveled routes, could experience flooding due to the dangerous waves expected to crash onshore,” stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards.

“Some of Chicago’s nicest beaches could sustain damage,” Edwards continued.

Another possible weather trouble spot is the mid-Atlantic, under a slight risk of severe thunderstorms. A powerful jet stream, and turning winds with height threaten to trigger storms with damaging winds and even an isolated tornado. However, cool northeast winds (in the wake of a coastal low pressure system) in the Richmond to Baltimore corridor, including Washington, D.C., have stabilized the atmosphere limiting (but not necessarily eliminating) the severe weather potential there. If severe weather develops, it’s most likely to occur from the North Carolina Outer Banks through the Hampton Roads into the Delmarva Peninsula.

By  |  03:08 PM ET, 10/19/2011

Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather

 
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