This Illinois County Gets The Most Severe Weather In The Whole State


Thunderstorm lightning with dark cloudy sky

Photo: Getty Images

Illinoisans are no strangers to severe weather events. The weather can change from one day to the next, and winter is about to be “icy (and) flaky” this year.

Still, some parts of the state experience more severe weather than the rest,. Over the summer, Stacker sought the county with the most severe weather in every state, using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data (focusing on “storm events large and small” from 2010 to 2020). Here’s what the data journalism hub’s report states:

“Take thunderstorms. There are roughly 100,000 thunderstorms every year in the United States, and 1 in 10 is considered severe. They cause flash floods, spark fires, and create hail, killing more people each year than do tornadoes, lightning, or hurricanes. Severe weather is growing more intense as well. Flash floods tear through dry waterbeds, city streets, and sewer drains at breakneck speed. But in developed urban areas, rain falls on impervious surfaces like sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways. Without land to absorb it, the water inundates roadways, culverts, and underpasses. Hail storms are expected to become more dangerous as the planet keeps overheating. Researchers predict climate change will mean fewer days of hail ahead, but an increase in the size of hailstones, making them more destructive and more lethal.”

So, which county gets the most storms in Illinois? Stacker found that it’s Cook County, where Chicago is located. The report credits Cook County’s training thunderstorms (which “can repeatedly build in the same areas for hours and produce serious flooding”) for earning the No. 1 spot. See the full report here.


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