Tuesday, October 26, 2010



The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

Today a significant weather event occurred throughout the Midwest and North America.  A powerful low developed over the North-Central Midwest, rivaling the deepest non-tropical low that was ever recorded on the U.S. mainland.  Chicago, some 625 miles southeast of the center of this cyclone, recorded its deepest ever October low at 981.7 mb.  The storm was amazing in the size it attained.  At its height, it covered some 31 states and its wind circulation involved three quarters of the North American continent.  By comparison, the November cyclone that doomed the iron ore transport ship Edmund Fitzgerald, attained a low of  980.4 mb.  Today's storm stands at 956.3 mb at Orr, Minnesota.  It is expected to deepen slightly before weakening.

Storm Radar just after it passed through Chicago

Interestingly, Chicago's experience of the storm was quite varied, depending on what you think a severe storm should be.  If you were looking for rain, the storm was a real let down.  It rained heavily for a very short time during Chicago's rush hour.  If you think of a storm as wind, my goodness, this was a doozy!   There were gusts in excess of 55 mph and sustained winds in the 40 mph range.  These winds are expected to last into tomorrow before the weather becomes just "breezy."

What better thing to do than go down to the Lakefront and get some stunning pictures of the waves crashing against the shoreline?

Uh, not here...

Or here...

Oh, look, here are some!

As you can see, despite all of the wind, there simply were no waves to be had.  That was because the prevailing wind was screaming out of the west-south-west and pushing everything over to the other side of the lake!

Don't worry though, on the north end of the lake, things were shaking up pretty good...

...with some waves getting up to 23 ft in height away from the shore.


I did get one gorgeous shot of a tree up against the incredible skies this storm gave us.

All, in all, a very interesting weather day.

My favorite recipe from Lake Michigan is as easy as can be... but you will never forget the incredible sweetness of fresh lake perch sauteed in butter.  I don't season at all... simply butter and perch.

3 lake perch, cut into fillets
Fresh homemade butter

1.   Melt 2 Tblsp butter in medium saute pan over medium high heat until it foams.
2.   Add perch fillets and cook until flesh becomes white... do not overcook!  Just a couple of minutes on each side.
3.  Serve with boiled petite red potatoes and steamed broccoli.

I want some now!

1 comment:

  1. It's been too long since I've checked in with "Down to Earth". Very interesting post. I love the reference to Mr. Lightfoot's song!