Chicago Severe Weather

Suspected ‘microburst' causes tree damage on Chicago's Far South Side

More severe weather could occur Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service

Ray Leichner

A suspected ‘microburst’ has led to tree damage in multiple neighborhoods on Chicago’s Far South Side, with some limbs crashing into cars and homes and closing down several streets.

According to 19th Ward Ald. Matthew O’Shea, the suspected microburst occurred during a severe thunderstorm that impacted the Chicago area on Monday afternoon.

The National Weather Service received numerous reports of tree damage in several neighborhoods, including Chatham, Grand Crossing, Beverly, Washington Heights and Roseland.

Homes and cars were impacted by some branches, with some roads left “impassable,” according to O’Shea’s office.

Residents in need of assistance are urged to call 311 or visit the city of Chicago’s website.

According to the National Weather Service, a microburst is defined as a ‘column of sinking air’ that can cause significant damage at the surface.

They occur when an updraft is so strong that it suspends ‘large amounts of droplets and hailstones’ in the upper reaches of a storm, and once the updraft weakens, the core will plummet to the ground and spread in all directions once it gets there.

That rapid spread of wind and rain can cause damage in the immediate vicinity, according to the NWS.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued ahead of the storm that impacted the city, bringing gusty winds and heavy rainfall to numerous locations.

More severe weather could occur Tuesday, as the city of Chicago is at a “slight risk” of severe storms, with higher risk levels recorded in the western suburbs of the city.

Those storms will likely develop and arrive late Tuesday evening, and could continue into the overnight hours Wednesday.

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