BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Waiting for the seiche ....

Yes, we in Chicago are now waiting on our very own midwestern tidal wave ... the level of the lake down here dropped two feet this afternoon, giving us warning that a seiche ("saysh") was on the way. Now, Chicago gets hit with these all the time, but they're typically one to two inches in height, so nobody notices ... however in 1954, a ten foot high wall of water smacked right into North Avenue beach (about a mile up from us here), and killed a number of people, so the weather folks do pay attention when the warning signs happen.

What causes these are fast-moving storms with associated high-pressure fronts, these sweep across (or along) the lake and essentially push a large mass of the water up on one side ... when the storm passes, this water heads back in the other direction ... usually inconsequentially, but sometimes dramatically. My "Desktop Weather" thing has been being very dramatic about this all day with various warnings, so we're looking out the windows to see if we can see something coming in. They're not being very precise with it, though, as the warning goes all the way to 9pm tonight!

Visit the BTRIPP home page!

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