Chicago Forecast

Gusty Winds Expected to Cause Huge Waves, Flooding Along Lake Michigan Thursday

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High winds could cause massive waves on Lake Michigan Thursday, causing increased beach and shoreline erosion and flooding low-lying areas.

The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood warning for Cook County in Illinois and in Lake and LaPorte counties in Indiana beginning Wednesday night and running through the day Thursday. Northerly winds are expected to gust between 45 and 55 mph, and are expected to produce waves of 8-to-12 feet on Lake Michigan.

Waves could reach 16 feet or more, according to the weather alert.

A lakeshore flood advisory has also been issued for Kenosha County in Wisconsin and Lake County in Illinois.

The warning and advisory come as high winds and cool temperatures loom in the forecast for Thursday. A wind advisory has been issued for several northeastern Illinois counties, including Lake, DuPage and Cook, and will expire at noon Thursday.

According to forecast models, wind gusts of up to 50 mph are expected away from Lake Michigan, and winds could be even gustier closer to the lake.

Tree limbs could be impacted by the high winds, and power outages are possible. Travel is expected to be hazardous on west-to-east roads, especially for higher profile vehicles.

Soggy conditions, caused by heavy rains over the last two days, could also lead to trees being uprooted by the strong winds, according to the NWS.

The winds will eventually die down a bit, and warmer temperatures and sunnier skies are in the forecast for Friday and into the weekend.

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