Possible tornado reported near Hinckley after rare February hail storm: NWS

Tornado watch remains in effect through 10 p.m. Tuesday, wind advisory through 6 a.m. Wednesday

Sleet, heavy rain and hail pummels downtown DeKalb on Tuesday night, Feb. 27, 2024, during a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning weather event, which the National Weather Service called "rare" for this time of year.

A possible tornado was spotted near Hinckley Tuesday night, according to a spokesperson with the National Weather Service, which received a report about a potential touchdown during the evening’s rare severe storm event.

A tornado warning was issued for DeKalb County and surrounding areas, including La Salle, Lee and moved into Kane counties between about 6:45 and 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. The warning has since been allowed to expire.

That doesn’t mean residents are in the clear yet, however.

A tornado watch, which the NWS called “rare” in February in a social media post, remains in effect for most of northern Illinois, including DeKalb County, through 10 p.m. Tuesday. A wind advisory remains in effect through 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service tracked the storm, which brought with it significant rainfall, wind and hail. Sleet and large hail fell across DeKalb County tracking northeast.

Sleet, heavy rain and hail pummels downtown DeKalb along West Lincoln Highway on Tuesday night, Feb. 27, 2024, during a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning weather event, which the National Weather Service called "rare" for this time of year.

Temperatures are expected to plummet Tuesday night, making for a stark contrast from early afternoon temperatures which reached near the mid-70s. Wednesday morning could see temperatures in the low 20s or high teens, forecasts show.

A storm report is underway for the Hinckley area due to tornado reports, a National Weather Service spokesperson said Tuesday night. A tornado warning issues by the NWS highlighted the Waterman, Hinckley area.

The tornado activity was tracked into neighboring Kane County, with tornado reports sent in to the NWS from the Aurora Municipal Airport and Waubonsee Community College, the official said.

A tornado watch means people in the listed counties should be aware of their environment while keeping an eye on the sky and an ear open to local media for broadcast information.

The NWS issues these tips for a tornado warning:

- Get as low indoors as possible, with basements preferred, and avoid windows.

- Tornadoes can be obscured by rainfall or come at night. If the tornado can be seen or heard, it may be too late.

- Don’t waste time opening or closing windows and doors, as it will not protect the building.

- Interior rooms are preferred if a basement is not available. Those in mobile homes should leave in advance of the storm and find a strong building. If there is no shelter available nearby, get into the nearest ditch, low spot or underground culvert.

- Limit outdoor plans or finish them early when tornadoes are possible, and stay close to a sturdy structure if being outside is absolutely necessary.

- Stay away from doors, windows and outside walls.

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