WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

Historic Midwest Storm's Greatest Hits

By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
11/01/2010, 4:10:23 AM

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UPDATE: According to this page, there was a seiche but only at Green Bay Wisconsin.

UPDATE: The official word on pressure records from this storm has been published by the National Weather Service. This is a super in-depth article. In short, yes MN & WI were broken but all-time non-tropical continental U.S. was not.

It was a long day yesterday at AccuWeather as meteorologists covered and forecast the strongest low pressure system to ever affect the interior United States. Low pressure records were also broken in Minnesota and Wisconsin. 24 tornadoes were reported and winds were as high as 81 mph at Butlerville, Ohio. These incredible tornado damage pictures were taken in Cridersville, OH:


Additional tornado information are available from NWS-Chicago (photos) and NWS-Northern-Indiana and NWS-Wilmington-OH.

The station with the lowest pressure was Big Fork, MN, which dropped to 28.20" Hg at 4:13 PM yesterday. As you can see, this reading blew away previous years on the same day.


Prior to this, the record low pressure for the interior (non-coastal contiguous) U.S. was 28.28", set in Cleveland during the 1978 storm, which still holds the "Great Lakes" record (which presumably includes the waters and Canada). The NWS says "non-tropical" which also works although I didn't get a chance to check on Nor'easters which are non-tropical.


Wave heights spiked over 26 feet this morning at Buoy #45136 in northern Lake Superior.


Some of the pressure/wind plots from coastal stations looked as good as during hurricanes, for example at the Rock of Ages Lighthouse winds gusted to 68 knots (78 mph) and pressure fell nearly to 28.40".


The number of NWS Spotter reports was so high that it overflowed their Google Map. All in all, 310 reports were received (mostly wind), making yesterday the 9th most active severe weather day of 2010. Very impressive indeed for October.


The high winds were due to the immense pressure difference between the storm and a high pressure system to its southwest. Check out the RadarPlus screen capture I posted yesterday to visualize the pressure and winds.


Here is a video of one of the Indiana tornadoes caught on tape:

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)