Rockford Can Be Windy, But Let’s Compare
If you haven't been outside today to notice, it's really windy in Rockford today. As a matter of fact, we have a high wind warning in effect until 6pm, with sustained winds of 30-40 mph, along with gusts that could exceed 60 mph. Yeah, that's pretty windy, and it does call for caution.
That begs the question, what is the highest recorded wind speed in Illinois? Meteorologist Tom Skilling answers that in a column from a few years back in the Chicago Tribune:
Chicago's record high wind occurred Feb. 12, 1894, when the official site was atop the Federal Building, some 300 feet above street level. During a fierce winter storm, northeast winds gusted to 87 m.p.h. (during which winds near 70 m.p.h. were recorded for more than 10 consecutive hours, causing massive drifting of 10 inches of new snow that had fallen). The highest wind in March was 84 m.p.h. reported at O'Hare around 4:15 p.m. on March 27, 1991, during a fast-moving thunderstorm that produced hail and 1.05 inches of rain.
Now, that's some wind! Obviously, there's no video of that wind event in Chicago, but I did find some video taken in Norway a few years ago as Storm Ivar was rocking Scandinavia:
Who needs to watch a mime "walk against the wind" when you've got conditions like these?