Officials with the National Weather Service are still evaluating whether a supercell thunderstorm produced any tornadoes in the Chicago area on Monday, but they do know that the storm caused straight-line wind gusts in excess of 80 miles per hour in some locations.
According to the latest damage surveys conducted by NWS officials, the vast majority of damage done by the supercell storm appears to have been caused by straight-line winds, not tornadoes, but officials have not ruled out the possibility of any brief touchdowns during the storm.
That storm rolled over parts of northeastern Illinois and northwest Indiana over the span of approximately three hours on Monday, producing damaging winds and quarter-size hail throughout the region.
Most of the damage occurred in areas between Schaumburg and Brookfield, according to NWS officials. Roselle, Bellwood and Westchester all experienced serious damage from the winds, which uprooted trees and snapped branches, causing tens of thousands of residents to lose power.
A wind gust of 84 miles per hour was recorded at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, leading to a brief groundstop of all planes at the airport. Another gust of 69 miles per hour was recorded at Midway.
A funnel cloud was spotted near Streamwood, but it is unclear whether any touchdown took place.
Officials say that Doppler radar indicated that the storm exceeded more than 60,000 feet, saying that the storm was “in the upper echelon” in terms of height.