Monday, February 28th, through Friday, March 4th, is Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Week. During this time it’s a good idea to freshen up on your severe weather safety plans. If you don’t have one, it’s an even better time to put one together!

Severe weather can occur any time throughout the year, but is most favored during the months of April-June in northern Illinois. But as the January, 2008, Poplar Grove tornado and November, 2010, Caledonia tornado showed us severe weather and tornadoes can occur even in the ‘off-season’. In fact today, February 28th, marks the 5 year anniversary of the tornado outbreak that occurred in northern & central Illinois. According to Chicago National Weather Service there were ten tornadoes that occurred in northern and central Illinois. Two of those tornadoes, rated EF-1, occurred in Ogle and Whiteside counties near Oregon and Coleta. This is just another example highlighting severe weather during the colder seasons. The more favored time of day for severe weather & tornadoes to occur is typically between 3pm and 10pm, but severe weather can occur at any time of the day. Damaging winds and flash flooding often times occurs with more overnight severe weather.

During severe weather preparedness week, take time with your family to review your severe weather safety plan. If you don’t have one, now is the time to put one together. Along with making sure you have safety procedures to follow at home, make sure they are in place at school, work, while on the road, etc. The First Warn Weather Team will continue to provide information throughout the week, highlighting severe weather terminology, safety, and ways to receive watches and warnings. For more on severe weather preparedness week, you can always visit Chicago National Weather Service.