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The Super Storm of 2010

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Published on Feb 6, 2011

The October 2010 North American storm complex was a record non-tropical cyclone event occurring across North America. The massive storm complex caused a wide range of weather events including a major serial derecho stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, a widespread tornado outbreak across the Southeast United States and Midwest and a blizzard across portions of the Canadian Prairies and the Dakotas. The cyclone's lowest minimum pressure of 953 mbar (28.11") made it the most intense extratropical cyclone ever recorded in the continental United States, surpassing the lowest US pressure of 958 mbar from the Great Ohio Blizzard of 1978

Significant snowfall was reported on the backside of the storm. The heaviest snow fell in parts of Minnesota where 9 inches (22.5 cm) of snow was reported in St. Louis County, Minnesota. Heavy snow also occurred in North Dakota, southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan.

The non-tropical cyclonic storm generated wind speeds of up to 70 mph caused by a severe low pressure zone over Nebraska on the October 24th.

Akron, Cleveland, Findlay, Marion, Lorain, Mansfield, Toledo, Wooster and Youngstown, Ohio all witnessed heavy winds on the 24th.

American Midwest was hit by an intense low pressure system which would later become an extratropical cyclone (later known as 'Carmen' in Europe after November 8) between October 25 and 27.

Severe weather battered Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio on the 25th and 26th of October, producing strong winds, rain, hail, widespread tornadoes and the major 'Chiclone' on the 26th. Severe weather that hit Illinois and Indiana was dubbed a 'Chiclone' (for Chicago+cyclone). It was the region's second strongest storm on record. The weather station in Bigfork, Minnesota recorded a state record air pressure 955.2 millibars (28.21 inches of pressure), typical of a Category 3 hurricane. The National Weather Service reported that a tornado with a maximum speed of 115 mph touched down about four miles east of Peotone in Will County, south of Chicago at that morning and traveled 2.9 miles and caused downed power lines and partially destroyed a home. Another tornado was reported to have landed in Racine, Wisconsin.

Heavy damage was reported in the Chicago area, particularly in Kane, Will, Kankakee, and Iroquois Counties in Illinois and in Porter County in Indiana. The winds had flipped single engine planes on their sides at DuPage Airport in West Chicago, and flights were delayed by 30 minutes on to O'Hare and Midway airports]. More than 300 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport and more than 60,000 ComEd Co. customers were without power due to the severe weather throughout the Midwest. Several other, less powerful tornadoes also occurred in Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Nebraska and New York state. Heavy snow also fell in south western Ontario. There were no fatalities with this system.

A GOES satellite image on October 26 showed what could be considered the eye of the storm over the Minnesota-Ontario border, with outlying clouds reaching as far as Alberta, southern Nunavut, Newfoundland, eastern Montana, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine and Bermuda.

The storm developed so quickly, that it was declared to be a weather 'bomb', which is a extremely fast developing storm that drops at least one millibar of pressure per hour for 24 hours; a phenomenon more commonly seen over water than land.

The morning of October 26, a serial derecho caused widespread damage from Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio Tuesday. Louisville, Ky; Cincinnati, Cridersville, and Toledo, Ohio, Nashville, Tennessee Indianapolis were hit at 9 am CDT, and Detroit was hit during the midday and early afternoon hours. Other cities impacted by the storms included Pittsburgh, Pa., Buffalo, N.Y., and Charleston, W.Va. Tornado damage to homes was also reported in and around Peotone, Ill., and Kokomo, Ind., while another tornado reportedly uprooted and downed trees onto homes near Racine, Wis.

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