Very strong winds are likely in the brown-shaded areas and I’m concerned that some of the local forecasts are underforecasting wind speeds with this event along with its duration. There will be gusts above 50 mph in some areas. On the lakes, especially Lake Superior and northern Lake Michigan, gusts above 60 mph are likely and marine storm warnings are in effect. The strong winds will start tonight and persist into at least tomorrow night.
The title of this posting refers to the lyrics of Gordon Lightfoot’s immortal Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The lyrics are here. It tells the story of the 1975 storm that sunk the giant ore carrier. You can listen and follow the lyrics by clicking here.
UPDATE: Per the NWS in Chicago this storm will have lower barometric pressures (and, likely, stronger winds) than the Edmund Fitzgerald storm. Here is the list. Barometric pressure in inches of mercury (the way it is conveyed on TV) is the last column.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
1030 AM CDT MON OCT 25 2010
HOW THE UPCOMING CYCLONE RANKS AMONG OTHER NOTABLE CYCLONES
OVER THE GREAT LAKES.
RANK EVENT DATE MINIMUM PRESSURE
1. GREAT OHIO BLIZZARD 1/26/1978 28.05 IN
2. UPCOMING EVENT 10/26-27/2010 28.35 IN
3. ARMISTICE DAY STORM 11/11/1940 28.55 IN
ANNIVERSARY STORM 11/10/1998 28.55 IN
4. CYCLONE OF 1913 11/7-9/1913 28.60 IN
/AKA WHITE HURRICANE/
5. EDMUND FITZGERALD STORM 11/10/1975 28.95 IN