August 4th, 2008 Severe Weather @ Wrigley

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

On August 4, 2008 thousands of fans gathered to watch a baseball game between the Cubs and Astros at Wrigley Field for a 7:05 PM start.  The atmosphere was very unstable with southerly winds that brought moist warm air into Chicago. Temperatures were near 90 degrees that afternoon.  With both of those components the NWS released a heat advisory until 8:00 PM as heat indexes reached between 100-105 degrees.  This is a perfect scenario for  storms to explode, and they did just that.
At around 6PM the storms started to form a “bow echo” West of Chicago.  This type of storm can produce widespread wind damage.  This individual bow echo produced winds up to 94 MPH as it approached Chicago.

Meanwhile at Wrigley, it was a close game between the Cubs and Astros with the Astros leading 2-0.  During the top of the 6th inning fans were encouraged to take shelter in the stadium as a Tornado Warning was issued for downtown Chicago.  The first baseman of the Houston Astros Lance Berkman ducked and ran into the dugout twice after 2 very close lightning strikes.  He refused to come out to the field again.  Umpires then waved everyone off the field.
After a 2 hour and 45 minute delay, crews got the field up and ready for playing. Thousands of fans came back out as the game was resumed.  Fifty minutes later in the 8th inning the game was delayed again while Berkman lead the team off the field.  At around midnight the game was cancelled.
Even during a pennant race, the Cubs felt the umpires made the right decision.
5 Tornadoes were confirmed in the Chicago Area
Griffith, IN, EF-2
Bloomingdale, IL EF-1
Bolingbrook, IL EF-1
Orland Park, IL EF-0
Boswell, IN EF-0


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