McHenry County weather: Near-record highs, severe storms, then dramatic temperature drop but no tornadoes

No reports of tornadoes touching ground, but region on pace for February to be warmest on record

A lightning strike touches down Tuesday night in Crystal Lake while a tumultuous thunderstorm brings sheets of rain, powerful winds, hail and tornado warnings throughout McHenry County.

The McHenry County area experienced severe thunderstorms followed by one of the more dramatic temperature drops on record Tuesday night into Wednesday.

McHenry County Emergency Management Agency Executive Director David Christensen said there were no reports of damage in the county. There was cloud rotation near Huntley, but Christensen said it was only seen on radar.

“We didn’t have confirmation [of any tornadoes] on the ground,” Christensen said.

Tornadoes were confirmed in Batavia and North Aurora.

Before storms came through the area Tuesday night, McHenry County enjoyed near-record warmth, with highs in the 70s.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jake Petr said record high temperatures for Feb. 27 were measured in Rockford, while the high reported at O’Hare International Airport was 1 degree shy of the record for the date.

O’Hare and Rockford are official sites for National Weather Service records.

A recap of February 27, 2024 storms from the National Weather Service

Wednesday’s temperatures were much cooler, with temperatures in the low 20s about midday. Petr said it was one of the more dramatic temperature drops in the area.

Petr added that the National Weather Service doesn’t officially track temperature drops, but Rockford had a 55-degree temperature drop in January 1996, and O’Hare had a 53-degree temperature drop in that same month.

“It’s going to be close,” Petr said of whether this temperature drop would break the record.

Despite the temperature drop, Petr said February is projected to be the warmest one on record for the region, but the record won’t be official until March 1.