Winnebago and Boone Counties Offer Relief From Heat

May 25, 2018

With temperatures reaching up into the 90s this weekend, Winnebago and Boone counties are offering relief from the heat.  

In Rockford, the Men’s and Woman’s Crisis centers, Pilgrim Baptist Church and The Carpenter’s Place will be open as cooling centers during extreme heat advisories and warnings issued by the National Weather Service.

The Village of Machesney Park, Pecatonica Village Hall and the Belvidere Salvation Army will also open their doors to those looking to get out of the heat. In the event of severe weather and heat advisories, more sites may open.

Jenna Dooley/WNIJ

Northern Illinois University bids farewell to its longtime staff meteorologist this week.

Gilbert Sebenste has been passionate about the weather for a long time. He says that, when he was four or five years old, he attended a picnic with his parents when the weather started to turn ominous.

“… then all of the sudden as I am riding a kiddie ride -- it was a helicopter ride that went about 20 feet above the ground -- and as I am spinning around up there, I look west and I see these angry, boiling clouds," he recalled. "I am like, ‘Oh, this isn’t good.’”

Larry Stephens


Nearly all schools in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin are closed. Many local government offices are closed, as well.

Northern Illinois University is canceling classes and university offices are closed for Friday, Feb. 9. at all locations. The school is reopening for events starting at 4:00 Friday afternoon, including those scheduled to commemorate Feb. 14, 2008. Normal operations resume at midnight.

"Fall Leaves" by Flickr User Carl Mueller / (CC X 2.0)

This year's fall has been the warmest on record in Illinois since 1931.

Climatologist Jim Angel says the statewide average temperature for September through November was 59.4 degrees, or 5 degrees above normal. The same three months of 1931 were slightly warmer at 59.8 degrees.

November of this year was the fifth warmest November on record. The statewide average temperature in November was 47.4 degrees, nearly 5 degrees above normal. The warmest November in Illinois was in 2001 when the average was 49.9 degrees.

Larry Stephens

Winter makes a comeback tonight in northern Illinois. There’s a winter storm warning along the Wisconsin border, with four to six inches of heavy, wet snow starting at 6:00 this evening.

This fast-moving storm will bring 2 to 4 inches everywhere else north of I-80. Wind and ice could complicate tomorrow morning’s commute.