Weather Trivia by Month for Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana

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 February  Weather Trivia Statements

February 1
February 1, 1985:  THE ARCTIC AIR THAT INVADED NORTHERN ILLINOIS AT THE END OF JANUARY HUNG AROUND INTO THE BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY. THE LOW DROPPED TO 14 BELOW AT CHICAGO AND 22 BELOW AT ROCKFORD...SETTING NEW RECORD LOW MINIMUM TEMPERATURES. IN ADDITION HIGH TEMPERATURES AT CHICAGO ONLY CLIMBED TO 4 ABOVE WHILE AT ROCKFORD 3 ABOVE. ALTHOUGH A RECORD LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE WAS NOT SET IN CHICAGO...ONE WAS SET AT ROCKFORD.

February 2
February 2, 1983: HEAVY WET SNOW FELL OVER NORTHERN ILLINOIS ON THIS DATE. ALTHOUGH NOT A SIGNIFICANT SNOWSTORM IN TERMS OF ACCUMULATIONS... 1.45 INCHES OF LIQUID PRECIPITATION FELL AT CHICAGO WHILE ROCKFORD REPORTED 0.88 INCHES. THIS SET NEW GREATEST PRECIPITATION RECORDS AT BOTH STATIONS.

February 3
February 3, 1996:  A COLD SNAP MOVED INTO NORTHERN ILLINOIS... SETTING MANY RECORD TEMPERATURES THROUGHOUT THE AREA. IN ROCKFORD... A MORNING RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE WAS SET AT 24 BELOW ZERO AND CHICAGO HAD A RECORD LOW OF 19 BELOW ZERO. OVER A 3-DAY PERIOD...10 DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE RECORDS WERE SET BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES.

February 4
...CHICAGO...February 4, 1924:  RECORD PRECIPITATION FOR THIS DATE IN CHICAGO WAS SET AT 1.26 INCHES OF WATER EQUIVALENT. THE HIGH TEMPERATURE WAS 35 DEGREES...AND THE PRECIPITATION WAS IN THE FORM OF A VERY WET SNOW...ACCUMULATING TO 3 INCHES BY MIDNIGHT.

...ROCKFORD... FEBRUARY 4, 1973: THE WARM SPELL THAT STARTED BACK IN JANUARY CONTINUES ON THIS DATE. THE HIGH TEMPERATURE CLIMBED UP TO 49 DEGREES SETTING A NEW RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE. THIS WAS ALSO THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE RECORDED DURING THE MONTH.

February 5
February 5, 1979:  THE BRUTAL COLD WINTER OF 1978-1979 CERTAINLY MADE ITS APPEARENCE. ON THIS DATE THE LOW PLUMMETED TO 17 BELOW AT CHICAGO AND 21 BELOW AT ROCKFORD. THESE WERE JUST TWO OF THE THIRTEEN VARIOUS TEMPERATURE RECORDS SET DURING THIS WINTER SEASON. AS A RESULT THE WINTER OF 1978-1979 ENDED UP AS THE FIRST COLDEST WINTERS ON RECORD AT ROCKFORD AND THE SECOND COLDEST AT CHICAGO.

February 6
February 6, 1982:  IT WAS A VERY COLD MORNING THROUGHOUT NORTHERN ILLINOIS AS ARTIC HIGH PRESSURE MOVED INTO THE AREA. BOTH CHICAGO AND ROCKFORD HAD RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES FOR THIS DATE WITH 14 AND 20 BELOW ZERO RESPECTIVELY.

February 7
...CHICAGO... February 7, 1967:  12.1 INCHES OF NEW SNOW FELL FROM THE FIRST THROUGH THE SEVENTH OF THE MONTH. WHILE THIS MAY NOT SEEM SIGNIFCANT...THE MONTH BEGAN WITH 19 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND. BY THE 6TH A SNOW DEPTH OF 28 INCHES WAS RECORDED. THIS IS THE SECOND GREATEST SNOW DEPTH IN CHICAGO HISTORY.

...ROCKFORD... February 7, 1972:  THE COLDEST DAY OF THE MONTH OCCURRED ON THIS DATE. THE HIGH ONLY CLIMBED TO 5 ABOVE WHILE THE LOW PLUMMETED TO 16 BELOW SETTING NEW LOW MAXIMUM AND LOW MINIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS.

February 8
February 8, 1925:  MILD AIR SETTLED OVER NORTHERN ILLINOIS CAUSING TEMPERATURES TO CLIMB TO SPRING-LIKE READINGS. ON THIS DATE...THE HIGH TEMPERATURE AT CHICAGO CLIMBED TO 62 DEGREES WHILE THE LOW ONLY FELL TO 54. THIS LED TO A NEW RECORD HIGH MAXIMIUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS TO BE SET. LIKEWISE AT ROCKFORD THE HIGH AND LOW WERE 56 AND 40 RESPECTIVELY. ALTHOUGH A NEW RECORD HIGH FOR THE 8TH WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1990...THE RECORD HIGH MINIMUM OF 40 DEGREES STILL STANDS TODAY.

February 9
February 9, 1870:  WHILE OUR NATION WAS STILL YOUNG...WE SAW A NEED FOR WEATHER REPORTS. ON THIS DATE...THE U.S. CONGRESS AUTHORIZED THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO TAKE WEATHER OBSERVATIONS AT KEY MARINE PORTS... ASSIGNING THIS FUNCTION TO THE ARMY SIGNAL SERVICE. THE INTENTION WAS TO PROVIDE ADVANCED WARNING OF STORM SYSTEMS THAT COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT MARINE INTERESTS. THIS SERVICE IS THE FORERUNNER TO NOAA'S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

February 10
...CHICAGO...February 10, 1981:  A SNOW STORM SLAMMED INTO NORTHERN ILLINOIS STARTING ON THIS DATE. 9.7 INCHES FELL ON THE 10TH AND ANOTHER 1.5 INCHES FELL ON THE 11TH. ALTHOUGH THIS STORM IS NOT A RECORD BREAKER IN TERMS OF AMOUNTS... THIS WAS THE LAST BIG SNOW STORM (AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES OR MORE) UNTIL JANUARY 1ST THROUGH THE 3RD IN 1999! THIS IS THE LONGEST STRETCH (ALMOST 18 YEARS) IN CHICAGO'S HISTORY FOR BACK-TO-BACK BIG SNOW STORMS.

...ROCKFORD... FEBRUARY 10, 1944:  A TWO-DAY SIGNIFICANT SNOW STORM HIT THE ROCKFORD AREA STARTING ON THIS DATE. 6.0 INCHES OF SNOW FELL ON THE 10TH WHILE 6.5 INCHES FELL ON THE 11TH. HOWEVER DURING THE MONTH THREE OTHER DAYS RECORDED SNOW FALL AMOUNTS GREATER THAN AN INCH. COMBINED...THIS LEFT FEBRUARY 1944 WITH ATOTAL OF 21.8 INCHES...WHICH IS THE 3RD GREATEST MONTHLY SNOWFALL TOTAL ON RECORD.

February 11
February 11, 2003:  A STRONG AND FAST MOVING LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVED OUT OF THE NORTHERN PLAINS AND INTO NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON HOURS. AHEAD OF THIS SYSTEM WAS SNOW WITH WIND GUSTS AS HIGH AS 45 MPH...PRODUCING "WHITEOUT" CONDITIONS IN MANY COMMUNITITES. SOME LOCATIONS IN WINNEBAGO...LASALLE...AND LIVINGSTON COUNTIES HAD THUNDER WITH THE SNOW...WITH LIGHTNING EVEN BEING REPORTED IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO. BEHIND THE FRONTAL SYSTEM WERE NORTHWEST WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 65 MPH...WITH MANY AIRPORTS REPORTING WIND GUSTS BETWEEN 45 AND 55 MPH. UNFORTUNATELY THE WINDS AND "WHITEOUT" CONDITIONS MOVED ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND INDIANA DURING THE EVENING RUSH HOURS...MAKING TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS IN MANY COMMUNITIES.

February 12
...CHICAGO...February 12, 1894: HEAVY SNOW FELL ON THIS DATE...TOTALING TO 7.9 INCHES. ALTHOUGH NOT THE LARGEST SNOWSTORM TO HIT THE AREA...IN TERMS OF AMOUNTS... THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WAS THE WIND. THIS WINDY CITY REALLY LIVED UP TO ITS NAME AS WINDS AVERAGED NEARLY 70 MPH FOR MORE THAN TEN HOURS AND REACHED A MAXIMUM VELOCITY OF 87 MPH AT 11 AM. THIS IS THE ALL-TIME MAXIMUM WIND IN CHICAGO HISTORY. AS A RESULT...OVER A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS DAMAGE OCCURRED DURING THE SNOWSTORM.

...ROCKFORD...February 12, 1917:  THIS WAS THE LAST OF A FOUR CONSECUTIVE NIGHT PERIOD WHERE LOW TEMPERATURES FELL TO SUBZERO READINGS. IN FACT... THERE WERE TEN NIGHTS DURING THE MONTH WHERE LOWS FELL TO ZERO AND BELOW. AS A RESULT...FEBRUARY 1917 IS THE 9TH COLDEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD.

February 13
...CHICAGO...February 13, 1950:  A MAJOR ICE STORM DURING THE MORNING...TOGETHER WITH STRONG WINDS...DAMAGED OR TORE THOUSANDS OF TREES IN THE CHICAGO METROPOLITAN AREA. MANY BUILDINGS WERE DAMAGED...AND UTILITY POWER AND PHONE LINES WERE RIPPED APART BY THE HEAVY WEIGHT OR BY FALLING TREES AND BRANCHES. EVERYTHING WAS COATED WITH AT LEAST ONE QUARTER INCH OF ICE. TOTAL PROPERTY DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED TO EXCEED THREE MILLION DOLLARS. THOUSANDS OF HOMES WERE LEFT WITH NO ELECTRICAL POWER OR PHONE SERVICE.

...ROCKFORD... FEBRUARY 13, 1946:  9 INCHES OF SNOW WAS DUMPED ON ROCKFORD OVER A TWO DAY PERIOD. THE STORM STARTED ON THIS DATE...DROPPING 6.5 INCHES WHILE ANOTHER 2.5 INCHES FELL ON THE 14TH. THIS WAS NOT THE ONLY SNOW RECORDED DURING THE MONTH AS THERE WERE TWO OTHER DAYS THAT RECORDED MORE THAN AN INCH OF SNOW. COMBINED THIS RESULTED IN THE 7TH SNOWIEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD.

February 14
February 14, 1990:  A SNOW AND ICE STORM BLANKETED MUCH OF ILLINOIS ON THIS VALENTINES DAY WITH 6 TO 12 INCHES OF SNOW AS THE STORM MOVED THROUGH. CHICAGO RECEIVED 8.3 INCHES OF SNOW WHILE ROCKFORD ENDED UP WITH AN EVEN 6 INCHES.

February 15
...CHICAGO...February 15, 1966:  AN ICE JAM ALONG THE FOX RIVER FORMED AND CAUSED THE RIVER TO SPILL OUT OF ITS BANKS NORTH OF ST. CHARLES. AS A RESULT...150 PEOPLE HAD TO BE EVACUATED FROM THEIR HOMES.

...ROCKFORD... FEBRUARY 15, 1920: A BRIEF COLD SNAP SET IN FOR MID MONTH AT ROCKFORD. THE HIGH ONLY CLIMBED TO 3 ABOVE WHILE THE LOW PLUMMETED TO 13 BELOW. THIS LED TO LOWEST MAXIMUM AND LOWEST MINIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS TO BE ESTABLISHED THAT STILL STAND TODAY.

February 16
February 16, 1989:  AN EXTREMELY STRONG ARTIC HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVED INTO NORTHERN ILLINOIS. BOTH ROCKFORD AND CHICAGO HAD THE HIGHEST BAROMETRIC PRESSURE READING IN RECORDED HISTORY ON THIS DATE...AS BOTH CITIES HAD A BAROMETER READING OF 30.98 INCHES.

February 17
February 17, 1981:  SPRING BEGAN A LITTLE EARLY THIS YEAR TO NORTHERN ILLINOIS. UNSEASONABLY MILD WEATHER SPREAD ACROSS THE AREA...WITH DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURES SOME 25 TO 30 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL FOR SEVERAL DAYS. THESE VALUES ARE MORE TYPICAL FOR APRIL RATHER THAN FEBRUARY.

February 18
...CHICAGO... February 18, 1983:  IN CHICAGO...THE MORNING LOW TEMPERATURE WAS 32 DEGREES. ALTHOUGH THIS WASN'T A RECORD BY ANY MEANS...IT SIGNIFIES THE VERY MILD WINTER SEASON OF 1982-83. THIS WINTER HAD NO LOW TEMPERATURES THAT WERE BELOW ZERO. EVEN THOUGH THIS WAS AN UNUSUALLY MILD WINTER...IT RANKED 14TH AS THE ALL-TIME WARMEST. THE WARMEST WINTER SEASON IS 1877-78.

...ROCKFORD... February 18, 1936:  THIS WAS THE COLDEST DAY DURING THE MONTH AS THE HIGH ONLY CLIMBED TO 1 ABOVE WHILE THE LOW PLUMMETED TO 19 BELOW. BESIDES NEW LOWEST MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS ESTABLISHED ON THIS DATE...FEBRUARY 1936 GOES DOWN AS THE COLDEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD.

February 19
...CHICAGO... February 19, 1994:  HEAVY RAIN FELL OVER NORTHERN ILLINOIS ON THIS DATE. A TOTAL OF 0.95 INCHES FELL AT CHICAGO WHILE 0.97 INCHES FELL AT ROCKFORD. BOTH SET A NEW RECORD GREATEST PRECIPITATION ON THE 19TH. THIS ALSO FELL IN A WETTER THAN NORMAL FEBRUARY AS 1994 IS THE 4TH WETTEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD AT ROCKFORD WHILE IT RANKED IN THE TOP 30 WETTEST FEBRUARYS AT CHICAGO.

February 20
...CHICAGO...February 20, 1931:  DOWNTOWN CHICAGO RECORDED ONLY A TRACE OF PRECIPITATION ON THIS DATE...WHICH WAS VERY TYPICAL FOR THE WINTER OF 1930-31. THIS SEASON WAS THE DRIEST WINTER ON RECORD WITH ONLY 1.60 INCHES OF LIQUID PRECIPITATION...THAT INCLUDES BOTH RAIN AND MELTED SNOW. FEBRUARY OF 1931 RECEIVED NEARLY HALF OF THIS SEASON'S TOTAL PRECIPITATION.

...ROCKFORD... FEBRUARY 20, 1929:  WINTERS ICY GRIP TOOK HOLD OF ROCKFORD DURING THE MONTH AND PARTICUARILY ON THIS DATE. THE LOW PLUMMETED TO 22 BELOW...SETTING A LOW MINIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORD. IN ALL THERE WERE A TOTAL OF TWELVE DAYS WHERE THERE WERE SUBZERO LOW TEMPERATURE READINGS. THIS AIDED IN FEBRUARY 1929 AS THE 10TH COLDEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD.

February 21
February 21, 1997:  A STORM SYSTEM MOVING THOUGH NORTHERN ILLINOIS BROUGHT ABUNDANT RAINFALL TO THE REGION ON THE 20TH AND 21ST. A LARGE AREA OF THE STATE REPORTED IN EXCESS OF 3 INCHES OF RAIN. SOME LOCAL AMOUNTS PASSED FOUR INCHES. CHICAGO REPORTED A TWO-DAY TOTAL OF 4.07 INCHES...NEARLY ALL IN THE FORM OF RAIN. NOT NEARLY AS MUCH FELL AT ROCKFORD AS THEIR TWO-DAY TOTAL WAS 1.68 INCHES. THIS HEAVY RAIN MADE FEBRUARY 1997 THE SECOND WETTEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD WITH A MONTHLY TOTAL OF 5.56 INCHES WHILE ROCKFORD REPORTED A TOTAL OF 2.83 INCHES...WHICH IS THE 7TH WETTEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD.

February 22
February 22, 1994:  HEAVY SNOW FELL ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS, BEGINNING IN THE AFTERNOON AND CONTINUING INTO THE NEXT DAY. SNOWFALL TOTALS INCLUDED 9.1 INCHES AT CHICAGO AND 9.3 INCHES IN ROCKFORD. STRONG NORTHEAST WINDS CAUSED CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING OF THE SNOW...CLOSING SOME INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS AND MANY SECONDARY ROADS.

February 23
...CHICAGO... February 23, 1967:  A SHORT-LIVED BLIZZARD MOVED INTO THE CHICAGO AREA, WHERE 4 INCHES OF SNOW FELL IN TWO AND A HALF HOURS DURING THE EVENING. VISIBILITY WAS NEAR ZERO MOST OF THE TIME AND WINDS GUSTING TO 47 MPH WERE RECORDED. IN NORTHWEST INDIANA...82 MPH GUSTS WERE OCCURRING. ALTHOUGH THE TEMPERATURE WAS 14 DEGREES...THUNDER AND LIGHTNING WAS OBSERVED THROUGHOUT THE METROPOLITAN AREA.

...ROCKFORD... February 23, 1910:  THE LOW TEMPERATURE ON THIS DATE PLUMMETED TO 12 BELOW. THIS WAS THE FIRST IN A THREE CONSECUTIVE DAY STRETCH OF BELOW ZERO LOW TEMPERATURE READINGS. IN ALL THERE WERE SEVEN NIGHTS THAT RECORDED SUBZERO READINGS. THIS PLACED FEBRUARY OF 1910 IN THE TOP TWENTY COLDEST FEBRUARYS ON RECORD.

February 24
...CHICAGO...February 24, 1965:  A STRONG WINTER STORM MOVED INTO THE CHICAGO AREA...CENTERED ON THE 24TH...WITH 11.5 INCHES OF SNOWFALL RECORDED. VERY STRONG NORTHEAST WINDS CAUSED CONSIDERABLE DRIFTING WITH SNOW DRIFTS OF UP TO SEVEN FEET IN SOME AREAS. SEVERAL STREETS AND ROADS BECAME IMPASSABLE FOR DAYS.

...ROCKFORD... February 24, 1930:  ROCKFORD RESIDENTS ENJOYED A TASTE OF SPRING AS VERY MILD AIR MOVED OVER THE AREA. THIS WAS THE 7TH IN AN EIGHT CONSECUTIVE DAY STRETCH WHERE HIGH TEMPERATURES CLIMBED TO AT LEAST 50 DEGREES. AS A RESULT OF THIS WARM SPELL...FEBRUARY 1930 IS THE 3RD WARMEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD.

February 25
February 25, 2000:  UNSEASONABLY MILD WEATHER HAD SPREAD ACROSS MUCH OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ILLINOIS. BOTH CHICAGO AND ROCKFORD HAD RECORD-SETTING HIGH TEMPERATURES OF 72 AND 70 DEGREES RESPECTIVELY. AT ROCKFORD...THIS ALSO GOES DOWN AS THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED IN FEBRUARY. THIS WARM SPELL LASTED FOR SEVERAL DAYS...SETTING ADDITIONAL RECORDS BY THE END OF THE MONTH.

February 26
...CHICAGO... February 26, 1899:  HEAVY RAIN FELL ON CHICAGO AS A TOTAL OF 0.92 INCHES WAS RECORDED ON THIS DATE. THIS ENDED UP SETTING A RECORD FOR THE GREATEST PRECIPITATION ON THE 26TH...A RECORD THAT STILL STANDS TODAY.

...ROCKFORD... February 26, 1912:  A TWO-DAY SNOWSTORM HIT ROCKFORD...STARTING ON THIS DATE. A TOTAL OF 10 INCHES OF NEW SNOW WAS RECORDED. BESIDES THIS 10 INCHES...THERE WERE FOUR OTHER DAYS WHERE SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF AT LEAST AN INCH WAS RECORDED. THIS LED TO FEBRUARY 1912 GOING DOWN AS THE 16TH SNOWIEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD.

February 27
February 27, 1976:  AS SPRING NEARS...TEMPERATURES NORMALY BEGIN TO CLIMB UP DURING THE LAST FEW DAYS OF THE MONTH. ON THIS DATE...MILD AIR OVERSPREAD NORTHERN ILLINOIS. ROCKFORD RECORDED 68 DEGREES AND CHICAGO HAD 75 DEGREES. BESIDES BOTH STATIONS SETTING NEW HIGH MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS...THE 75 DEGREES WAS ALSO THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED IN CHICAGO.

February 28
...CHICAGO...February 28, 1900:  THE LAST DAY OF THIS WINTER SEASON DEALT A NASTY BLOW TO THE CHICAGO AREA. DOWNTOWN CHICAGO RECEIVED 11.3 INCHES OF SNOW. WHILE THIS IS A LARGE AMOUNT FOR ONE DAY...THE CITY WAS SPARED THE BRUNT OF THE STORM. SEVERAL CITIES TO THE SOUTH RECEIVED WELL OVER 20 INCHES OF SNOW...SETTING RECORDS THAT HAVE YET TO BE BROKEN.

...ROCKFORD... February 28, 1962:  ALTHOUGH THIS IS TYPICALLY THE LAST WINTER DAY IN A METEOROLOGICAL WINTER...WINTER WAS NOT ABOUT TO GO AWAY FOR ROCKFORD CITIZENS. ON THIS DATE...THE HIGH ONLY CLIMBED TO 17 DEGREES WHILE THE LOW DIPPED TO 7 BELOW. THIS SET NEW LOWEST MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS.

February 29
...CHICAGO... February 29, 1976:  ALTHOUGH LEAP YEARS ONLY OCCUR EVERY FOUR YEARS...THIS DATE HOLDS THE RECORD AS THE WETTEST FEBRUARY 29TH...WITH 0.55 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION. FEBRUARY THUNDERSTORMS ROLLED ACROSS THE METROPOLITAN AREA WITH MODERATE RAINS BEING REPORTED. BUT BY LATE EVENING SLEET BEGAN TO FALL MAKING TRAVELING VERY HAZARDOUS.

...ROCKFORD... February 29, 2004:  JUST LAST YEAR ROCKFORD REPORTED ITS FIRST MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION ON A LEAP YEAR. A TOTAL OF 0.06 INCHES FELL. A NEW HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD WAS ALSO SET ON THIS DATE AS THE HIGH CLIMBED TO 64 DEGREES.


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