Northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana, including the Chicago and Rockford metro areas, are no strangers to natural disasters. The local area is vulnerable to winter storms, flooding, drought, extremes of heat and cold, and a number of thunderstorm hazards, including tornadoes, flash floods, lightning, large hail and damaging winds. Areas along the Lake Michigan shore are also vulnerable to lakeshore flooding, seiches, and rip currents. This graph shows the number of storm-related fatalities in Illinois since 1995.
However, more people die from exposure to temperature extremes (by an order of magnitude) than from all storms.
It should be noted that National Weather Service only documents fatalities that are directly caused by the weather event. Most traffic fatalities on wet or snow covered roads are considered to be indirect deaths.
Here are some links to information about some of the local area's worst weather disasters;
Links to detailed summaries of specific events -
Heat Waves and Cold Snaps
Miscellaneous Significant or Record Weather Information
You can also scan through our Archive of Top News Stories for summaries of significant weather events since December 2005.
Bring your FLL team to the National Weather Service office!
If your FLL group would like to visit the National Weather Service office in Romeoville, we will be holding an Open House Saturday September 21 from 900 AM to 300 PM. If that date doesn't work for your group, small group tours can be arranged by contacting Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jim Allsopp at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-834-1435 from between the hours of 800 AM and 800 PM. Tours can be arranged Monday through Friday 800 AM to 430 PM, excluding federal holidays, when staffing is available.