Meteorologists with Chicago’s National Weather Service generally spend their days sitting in their Romeoville office, looking ahead — analyzing data and trends to warn some 10 million area residents what conditions to expect in the future.Property
Since Sunday night’s devastating thunderstorms, however, roughly half or more of the 14 meteorologists who work in the office have spent their shifts in the field, working on damage-surveying teams in Naperville, Woodridge, Darien, Burr Ridge and Willow Springs.
They are trying to quantify past events to answer lingering questions about the strongest, most devastating tornado to hit the Chicago area in at least six years.
Scott Lincoln, a senior service hydrologist, said those staffers are trying to ‘solve the puzzle’ of what happened beginning about 11:10 p.m. Sunday in Naperville.
‘We’re collecting all sorts of information from radar data, to pictures, to even, sometimes, we get personal accounts from people,’ Lincoln said.