Rockford is a mid-sized city located on both banks of the Rock River in far northern Illinois. Often referred to as "The Forest City", Rockford is the county seat of Winnebago County, Illinois, USA. As reported in the 2010 U.S. census, the city was home to 152,871 people, the third most populated city in the state behind Chicago and Aurora. The metropolitan area has 339,178 residents as of the 2000 census. During the latter part of the 20th century Rockford was the second largest city in Illinois and is currently the most populated city in Illinois outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. The current mayor is Lawrence J. Morrissey, an independent re-elected to a second four-year term in April 2009.
Rockford is located at 42°16′11″N 89°4′11″W / 42.26972°N 89.06972°W / 42.26972; -89.06972 (42.269770, -89.069754). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 56.7 square miles (146.9 km²), of which, 56.0 square miles (145.1 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²) of it is water. Neighboring communities that border Rockford, and are considered an integral part of the Rockford metro area, are Loves Park, Machesney Park, Belvidere, and the villages of Winnebago, Roscoe, Rockton, New Milford, and Cherry Valley. The Rock River is the traditional center of the Rockford area and is its most recognizable natural feature.
Due to its location in the midwest, Rockford's climate contains four clearly defined seasons. Summers are usually warm with the average high temperature in July, the hottest month, being 83 °F (28 °C). The winter months can bring bitterly cold air masses from Canada. The average high temperature in January, the coldest month, is 27 °F (−3 °C). June is Rockford's wettest month while February is the driest. During a typical year, Rockford receives 36.3 in (922 mm) of precipitation.