Everyone has an opinion on global warming and climate change, and we’ll leave that debate to other times and other forums, but there’s little doubt we’ve seen our share of extreme weather in Kane County, IL, the past several years.
That said, the Kane County weather in 2016 really wasn’t all that bad, when you think about it.
The year started with a few notable incidents of extreme cold and snow. Although not as cold as two years prior, we saw temperatures of -8 degrees in January. A wintry mix blew in on Groundhog Day and more heavy, wet snow and winds in late February.
Winter’s freezing temperatures held on until April, but spring wasn’t really devastating until June, when storms hammered Kane County and nine tornadoes touched down in communities throughout northern Illinois.
For the most part, summer was benign, but we had a heat wave in July that was among the worst in two years.
In the last month, however, things changed. We’ve seen 7-inch snowstorms, wind chills at or near -30 and school closings due to cold but followed it up a few days later with the third snowless Christmas in the past three years.
While many folks throughout the nation are lamenting the events of 2016 as the year comes to a close — from the recent deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds to Zika virus to the wild and woolly primary and general elections — we have to say that the weather in our neck of the woods was rarely among the year’s top headlines.
What 2017 will bring is anybody’s guess.
NWS Chicago’s Top Weather Events 2016
It’s early but …
- Dec. 16-18, 2016: Two minor snow events, including a heavy lake effect snow band with 8+ inches into far northwest Indiana.
- Dec. 10-11, 2016: Snow totals of 6-12 inches across northeastern Illinois.
- Dec. 4, 2016: Heavy wet snowfall for the first event of the season; largest December snowfall for Chicago O’Hare in 11 years.
One of the warmest autumns results in latest first autumn freeze on record for Rockford.
- Sept. 28, 2016: More than a dozen sightings of waterspouts over southern Lake Michigan.
- Aug. 29, 2016: Isolated very heavy rainfall brings flooding.
- Aug. 28, 2016: Flash flooding from 4 inches to over 6 inches.
- Aug. 12-20, 2016: Multiple 4+ inches rain episodes.
- Aug. 9, 2016: Weak landspout tornado on the southwest side of Chicago.
- July 29, 2016: Flash flooding near the I-88 corridor including parts of the west and south Chicago metro.
- July 21-24, 2016: Humid and hot weather brings multiple days of storms, with scattered wind damage in Chicago area.
- July 17, 2016: EF-1 tornado near Cabery, IL in Ford County and 2 inches to 6 inches of rain.
- July 13, 2016: Severe winds along and south of I-80 with a picturesque sky afterward.
- July 7, 2016: Localized heavy rainfall in northeast Illinois.
- July 6, 2016: Isolated wind damage 3 inches of rain in north central Illinois.
- June 22, 2016: More than a dozen tornadoes in northern Illinois, including an EF-2 near Marseilles to Seneca and in Pontiac.
- June 14-15, 2016: Heavy rainfall and scattered wind damage in north central Illinois.
- May 25, 2016: Isolated wind damage and locally heavy rainfall.
- May 11-12, 2016: Heavy rainfall across north central IL brings isolated flooding.
- April 25, 2016: Hail in far northeast Illinois including to golf ball size in Wauconda in Lake County.
- April 3, 2016: Impressive single day temperature change; fifth largest on record in Rockford.
- April 2, 2016: Strong winds and snow squalls.
- March 16, 2016: Strong non-thunderstorm winds across northern IL and northwest Indiana.
- March 15, 2016: Early season storm brings hail across area, and tornadoes to northwest and central Illinois.
- A mild and below normal snowfall winter.
- Feb. 24, 2016: Blizzard conditions in northwest IN and far eastern IL, with totals over a foot
- Feb. 19, 2016: Widespread wind gusts of 60+ mph cause damage.
SOURCE: National Weather Service Chicago