Typical Weather

Lewis University is located in Illinois, part of the U.S. Midwest, and there are four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  Here are the temperature ranges for these seasons:

Spring  30° to 50° Farenheit  -1° to 9° Celsius
Summer  50° to 100°  F    9° to 38° C
Fall  30° to 50° F  -1° to 9° C
Winter  10° to 35° F -12 to 2° C

(At times winter temperatures can be as low as -30° F, but this is rare.)

When packing to come to the U.S. and to Lewis University, you may already have items you would like to bring with you to help cope with these varying temperatures.  However, if you do not have proper clothing for the changes in the varying temperatures,  please be prepared to purchase these necessary items when you arrive in the United States.  The International Student Services office can offer advice and assist you with shopping.

For some years, the world's scientists have been telling us that the earth is losing some of its ozone layer, and the sun's ultra-violet rays (UV) are becoming stronger, resulting in an increased rate of skin cancer and cataracts of the eye.  If you wear eye glasses, it is a good idea to invest in glasses with UV protection, or get a pair of dark glasses with UV protection.  It is also wise to wear a sunscreen with SPF (skin protection factor) 15 on a daily basis (even if you have darker skin color).

Severe Weather

Nearly every place in the world has occasional severe weather.  This section will help you be prepared for any severe weather that you may encounter here.

Thunder and lightning   In the spring and summer, and occasionally in the fall, we have thunder storms.  These usually occur with rain, though sometimes without.  Of course, thunder is not dangerous, but lightening can be.  If lightening is in the area, it is a good idea to unplug your computer and other appliances.  If you are outdoors, remember that lightening is attracted to high surfaces; seek lower areas, and if possible, go inside a building.

Very high temperatures  The summer may bring very high temperatures.  If you are without air conditioning, or if you go out of an air conditioned environment, you will want to take precautions.  Be sure to drink enough water.  If you leave your home, it is a good idea to carry water in a plastic bottle with you.    If you have a car, keep some bottled water at hand.  (You will notice that many people these days carry a bottle of water with them in all seasons.)  Use fans at home to circulate the air, and wear lightweight clothing.

Very low temperatures  Winter brings low temperatures, which may require some adjusting.  Cold weather means drier air.  Drink plenty of water to make up for the lack of humidity (this may sound like advice for hot weather, but it serves for cold weather too!).  Use plenty of lotion on your skin after bathing to keep it from being dried and itchy.  Make sure you have enough warm clothing:  long underwear (inexpensive and available in the late fall months at stores like Wal-Mart, Target, etc.), sweaters, heavy socks, heavy shoes or boots (ankle-high styles are a good choice), gloves, scarves and a hat (remember that a good deal of heat is lost in cold weather from one's head, and especially from one's breath).  Don't forget a good, thick coat.

Snow and ice  With winter come inevitable snowfalls.  Snow can be quite beautiful - and fascinating if you come from a country where there isn't any.  Traveling in snow, however, can be tricky. You will find that city snow vehicles will quickly plough the snow and put salt on the roads to melt remaining snow.  However, at the time of the snowfall, sometimes the salt trucks cannot quite melt the snow fast enough, and the road may be slushy or slippery.  Also, sometimes snow is melted and then refrozen, making a slippery surface on the roads.

If you drive a car, and you are unaccustomed to driving in snow and ice, GO AT HALF YOUR NORMAL SPEED OR LESS, especially when accelerating, when braking, and when going around a curve.

While you are driving in winter, it is a good idea to keep a box in your trunk with a blanket, a flashlight, some candy bars or chocolate, some candles to set inside an empty coffee can, lighter, and water.  Best of all, keep a fully charged cell phone.

Tornados  Tornados are among one of the most furious and devastating quirks of nature!  By learning a few simple facts and taking the proper preventative measures,you can be prepared in the event that tornados strike.

A tornado watch means tornados may be expected to develop.

A tornado warning means a tornado has actually been sighted.

When the skies look threatening, listen to the radio. The National Weather Service tracks all weather systems with sophisticated radar and is usually able to give adequate warning of violent weather conditions.  When a watch is issued, keep valuables at hand - passport and documents, car keys, etc.  It is wise to have a flashlight.  If you are at Lewis, listen for the tornado siren. Follow any directives from Campus Security.

For protection, move to the lowest level of your building. Get under a heavy table or work bench if possible. If you have no basement, take cover in small, windowless interior rooms on the lowest level, such as closets or bathrooms.  If you are in an office building or school, protect yourself in an interior hallway or a lower floor. Avoid auditoriums or gymnasiums or other structures with wide, free-span roofs.

School authorities will alert you when the danger is past.  Notify your relatives of your safety. Local authorities may take time trying to locate you if you do not send word. Limit your calls to one minute each. Do not tie up the telephone lines with unnecessary calls.  Cooperate in the general clean-up of debris.