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Hurricane Charley -- Witness Charley's full-fury as he crashed ashore along the SW Florida coastline ... Plus hurricane shots from 1984-2003, including Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Gilbert, Hurricane Floyd, and Hurricane Opal.

Hurricane Andrew DVD covering the hurricane that devastated the northwestern Bahamas, the southern Florida peninsula and south-central Louisiana in late August 1992.


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TORNADO*





Enhanced Fujita Scale
Original Fujita Scale ...

EF-Scale
Number

Intensity
Phrase

Wind
Speed

EF0

Light Damage

65-85 mph

Peels surface off some roofs; some damage to gutters or siding; branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over.

Confirmed tornadoes with no reported damage (i.e. those that remain in open fields) are always rated EF0

EF1

Moderate
Damage

86-110 mph

Roofs severely stripped; mobile homes overturned or badly damaged; loss of exterior doors; windows and other glass broken.

EF2

Consider-
able
Damage

111-135 mph

Roofs torn off well-constructed houses; foundations of frame homes shifted; mobile homes completely destroyed; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated; cars lifted off ground.

EF3

Severe
Damage

136-165 mph

Entire stories of well-constructed houses destroyed; severe damage to large buildings such as shopping malls; trains overturned; trees debarked; heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown; structures with weak foundations blown away some distance.

EF4

Devast-
ating
Damage

166-200 mph

Well-constructed houses and whole frame houses completely leveled; cars thrown and small missiles generated.

EF5

Incredible
Damage

>200 mph

Strong frame houses leveled off foundations and swept away; automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 m (109 yd); high-rise buildings have significant structural deformation; incredible phenomena will occur.


*
Tornadoes are possible in Arlington Heights, Illinois, especially during Spring, Summer and Fall. Tornadoes can spawn with much less warning than a hurricane. The path of destruction for a single tornado is much more narrow than a hurricane, but wind speeds are potentially much greater. Damage can be much more severe in that narrow path. Tornadoes can form in or near hurricanes.


NEARBY TORNADO, MICROBURST AND WINDSTORM HISTORY

May 18, 2000 -- Severe Thunderstorms
Severe thunderstorms in the northwest and north suburbs of Chicago blew down over 1,000 trees in Highland Park, and produced a wind gust of 84 mph at Palwaukee Airport (1542 CDT). Downed trees in Arlington Heights (1530 CDT) blocked many streets from Palatine Road to Northwest Highway, where the public works department used end loaders to clear the streets by pushing downed trees to the parkway. Some trees were 80 to 100 years old. Many downed trees smashed cars and damaged homes. Much damage occurred along a line of the Lake-Cook County line, including Palatine, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, and Wilmette. A man in Wilmette was killed when a tree fell on his car.

August 28, 1990 -- Tornado
A large, killer tornado spun a path of destruction across Kendall and Will Counties in northeast Illinois. This tornado was on the ground for over 16 miles, touching down first near Oswego and lifting 20 minutes later in Joliet. The worst damage occurred in the towns of Plainfield and Crest Hill. 29 people were killed by this F5 tornado, and another 350 were injured. Total damage was estimated around $165 million. Before the tornado developed, the severe thunderstorm produced wind gusts in the 80-100 mph range.

June 29, 1990 -- Microburst
A microburst wind estimated around 150 mph did extensive damage in the town of Streamwood, in the Chicago metro area. At least $10 million damage was done to 25 stores and industrial buildings. Radar and eyewitness accounts indicated no rain or thunderstorms in the immediate vicinity of the area at the time.

August 13, 1987 -- Flash Flood
Major flash flooding occurred in the Chicago metropolitan area.  Much of the flooding was in the western and northern suburbs. Thunderstorms repeatedly moved across the area with O'Hare Airport reported 9.35 inches of rain in an 18 hour period.

May 31, 1985 -- Dust Storm
A dust storm occurred across the northern quarter of Illinois.  Winds during the storm were 30 to 50 mph, with some gusts to 70 mph. Visibility in towns and cities was between 1 and 5 miles, but outlying areas near farm fields had local visibility less than 20 feet. Numerous accidents were caused by the low visibility, with one person killed and 22 injured. Soil erosion losses were estimated around $3 million.

July 16, 1980 -- Microburst
Millions of dollars in damage was done by a strong microburst and blinding rain that hit the south side of Chicago during the morning. Winds were estimated to be as high as 100 mph in the microburst. Further west, the same storm system produced a tornado near the town of Hampshire, destroying two silos containing 48,000 pounds of corn.

March 12, 1976 -- Tornadoes
Three strong tornadoes affected northeast and east central Illinois during the afternoon hours.  One moved across DuPage and Cook Counties, peeling many long-span roofs back near O'Hare Airport.  Two people were killed by this tornado.  A second tornado moved from near Oswego to Villa Park, destroying several homes in a subdivision near Oswego.  A third tornado started in Kankakee County near St. Anne, moving east into Indiana.

September 28, 1972 -- Tornado
A strong tornado moved across Lake County, from North Chicago to Lake Michigan, around sunrise.  $1 million damage was reported, especially to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where many barracks were destroyed.

April 21, 1967 -- Tornadoes
Northern Illinois was struck by 17 tornadoes, including several in the Chicago metropolitan area. One violent tornado moved through Belvidere (east of Rockford), killing 24 people and injuring another 450, including 13 deaths at the Belvidere High School.  School buses at the high school were overturned with their roofs ripped off while school was getting out. Seventeen victims ranged in age from 6 to 23 years old. Businesses and homes were demolished. One woman was pinned in her car with a broken back. Damage to Belvidere totaled about $20 million, including destruction of 400 cars at the local Chrysler plant.  A marriage certificate from Belvidere was later found south of Milwaukee.  A school bus south of Harvard was ripped in half, as driver and students hid in a ditch.  A second violent tornado touched down in Elgin and moved northeast to Lake Zurich, causing $10 million damage.  A third violent tornado touched down near Palos Hills and moved across through Oak Lawn and the south side of Chicago to Lake Michigan.  This tornado struck during Friday rush hour, and many of the 33 deaths and 500 injuries occurred in vehicles stopped at traffic lights.  Cars were tossed in the air. At Suburban Bus Depot three buses were tossed one atop the other. Acres of homes and businesses were leveled. Over $50 million damage was reported from the tornado outbreak. A game ticket from a Clark station (gas station) in Oak Lawn was later found in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

June 9, 1966 -- Tornado

Intermittent damage from Hoffman Estates to the north edge of Prospect Heights and Palwaukee Airport were caused by a tornado. Hangars were destroyed and planes were flipped at Palwaukee Airport. About 80 families were left homeless in Arlington Heights, after a home and several apartment buildings lost their roofs. Houses under construction near Hintz and Arlington Heights Road were leveled or left precariously tilted, but standing. Damage was estimated at $4 million.

June 23, 1962 -- Tornado
A tornado in Cook County severely damaged 14 homes in Oak Forest, with 40 others having minor damage.  Damage was estimated at $1.1 million along the half mile long path.

September 14, 1928 -- Tornado
A violent tornado, estimated at F4 intensity with winds over 200 mph, tore across Rockford.  The tornado first touched down 8 miles south southwest of Rockford, and moved across the southeast part of the city.  Four factories were damaged or destroyed, including the Rockford Chair and Furniture Company.  Eight workers were killed there when the 3-story building collapsed.  About a mile downstream, 3 boys were killed in a garage.  The tornado was on the ground for 26 miles, dissipating in Boone County near Capron.  A total of 14 people were killed, with around 100 injuries reported.

SOURCES:
Belvidere Community Unit School District 100 has a FEATURE on their website which chronicles the 1967 tornado

Oak Lawn Public Library
The 1967 Oak Lawn Tornado

Direct quotes and paraphrased text from the public domain text of the following:

NWS Office Central Illinois Trivia Pages

NWS Office Chicago May 2000 (pdf)

HURRICANE*





Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Category

Wind
Speed

CAT ONE

74-95 mph
64-82 kt
119-153 km/hr

Storm surge generally 4-5 ft above normal. No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage. Hurricane Lili of 2002 made landfall on the Louisiana coast as a Category One hurricane. Hurricane Gaston of 2004 was a Category One hurricane that made landfall along the central South Carolina coast.

CAT TWO

96-110 mph
83-95 kt
154-177 km/hr

Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some roofing material, door, and window damage of buildings. Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some trees blown down. Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings. Hurricane Frances of 2004 made landfall over the southern end of Hutchinson Island, Florida as a Category Two hurricane. Hurricane Isabel of 2003 made landfall near Drum Inlet on the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane.

CAT THREE

111-130 mph
96-113 kt
178-209 km/hr

Storm surge generally 9-12 ft above normal. Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 5 ft above mean sea level may be flooded inland 8 miles (13 km) or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences with several blocks of the shoreline may be required. Hurricanes Jeanne and Ivan of 2004 were Category Three hurricanes when they made landfall in Florida and in Alabama, respectively.

CAT FOUR

131-155 mph
114-135 kt
210-249 km/hr

Storm surge generally 13-18 ft above normal. More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences. Shrubs, trees, and all signs are blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain lower than 10 ft above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 6 miles (10 km). Hurricane Charley of 2004 was a Category Four hurricane made landfall in Charlotte County, Florida with winds of 150 mph. Hurricane Dennis of 2005 struck the island of Cuba as a Category Four hurricane.

CAT FIVE

>155 mph
>135 kt
>249 km/hr

Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required. Only 3 Category Five Hurricanes have made landfall in the United States since records began: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, Hurricane Camille (1969), and Hurricane Andrew in August, 1992. The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane struck the Florida Keys with a minimum pressure of 892 mb--the lowest pressure ever observed in the United States. Hurricane Camille struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast causing a 25-foot storm surge, which inundated Pass Christian. Hurricane Andrew of 1992 made landfall over southern Miami-Dade County, Florida causing 26.5 billion dollars in losses--the costliest hurricane on record. In addition, Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity and is the strongest Atlantic tropical cyclone on record with a minimum pressure of 888 mb.

SOURCE:
National Hurricane Center



Hurricanes are not expected in Arlington Heights, but are common in the fall and late summer on or near Florida, the Gulf Coast and the Eastern Coast of the United States. Tornadoes can be formed in hurricanes. Hurricanes form in the ocean over warm water and disintegrate over land. Hurricane Season generally starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30.


MAJOR HURRICANES
2005 -- RITA
2005 -- KATRINA
2005 -- EMILY
2005 -- DENNIS
2004 -- JEANNE
2004 -- IVAN
2004 -- FRANCES
2004 -- CHARLEY
2003 -- ISABEL
2001 -- IRIS
2001 -- TS ALLISON
2000 -- KEITH
1999 -- FLOYD
1998 -- MITCH
1995 -- OPAL
1994 -- TS ALBERTO
1992 -- ANDREW
1989 -- HUGO
1988 -- GILBERT
1983 -- ALICIA
1979 -- TS CLAUDETTE
1972 -- AGNES
1969 -- CAMILLE
1960 -- DONNA
1957 -- AUDREY
1955 -- CONNIE AND DIANE
1954 -- HAZEL
1954 -- CAROL AND EDNA
1944 -- GREAT ATLANTIC
1938 -- NEW ENGLAND
1935 -- FL KEYS LABOR DAY

1928 -- SAN FELIPE-OKEECHOBEE

1926 -- MIAMI
1919 -- ATLANTIC-GULF
1900 -- GALVESTON

Details from
Hurricane History from National Hurricane Center


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GLOSSARY

Beaufort Wind Scale

Cloud-to-Ground

Cyclone
C

Flash Flood Warning Flash flooding is actually occurring or imminent in the warning area. It can be issued as a result of torrential rains, a dam failure, or ice jam.

Flash Flood Watch Flash flooding is possible in or close to the watch area. Flash Flood Watches are generally issued for flooding that is expected to occur within 6 hours after heavy rains have ended.

Flood Warning Flooding conditions are actually occurring or are imminent in the warning area.

Flood Watch High flow or overflow of water from a river is possible in the given time period. It can also apply to heavy runoff or drainage of water into low-lying areas. These watches are generally issued for flooding that is expected to occur at least 6 hours after heavy rains have ended.

Front

Fujita

Funnel Cloud

Hurricane

Hurricane Season generally starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

Hurricane Warning Hurricane conditions are expected in the warning area in 24 hours or less

Hurricane Watch Hurricane conditions (sustained winds greater than 73 mph) are possible in the watch area within 36 hours.

Lightning

Mesocyclone

Microburst A sudden, violent downdraft of air over a small area (less than 2.5 miles wide). Microbursts are difficult to detect and predict with standard weather instruments and are especially hazardous to airplanes during landing or takeoff. Winds can exceed 100 mph in a small time period of less than 15 minutes. The damage signature of a microburst is damage from wind spread outward as in a circle.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning A severe thunderstorm has actually been observed by spotters or indicated on radar, and is occurring or imminent in the warning area.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Conditions are conducive to the development of severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area.

Spotter

Squall

Storm Chaser

Tornado

Tornado Warning A tornado has actually been sighted by spotters or indicated on radar and is occurring or imminent in the warning area. If the storm is tracked on radar, there is usually an expected path that is indicated complete with arrival times for each suburb that is in the path.

Tornado Watch Conditions are conducive to the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area.

Touchdown

Tropical Storm Watch Tropical storm conditions with sustained winds from 39 to 73 mph are possible in the watch area within the next 36 hours.

Tropical Storm Warning Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area within the next 24 hours.

Typhoon




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