Mark Henderson

Chief Meteorologist
Rockford, IL
Mark Henderson

A native of Schaumburg, Illinois, Mark grew up watching Tom Skilling on WGN-TV in Chicago.

“[I] developed a passion for weather that has stuck with me for more than three decades.”

That passion led him to Valparaiso University and eventually to WIFR on July 5, 2003, following stints in Wisconsin and Michigan.

“I enjoy being able to help our viewers in any way I can, whether by helping a mother decide how to dress her child for school or providing potentially life-saving information during the most dangerous situations.”

Away from WIFR, Mark likes to spend time with his wife, Sara, and their daughters, Juliana and Emilie, cooking, or visiting local restaurants, wineries and craft breweries.

He says his parents were the biggest influence on his life, instilling in him a solid moral foundation, a strong work ethic and an understanding that respect is earned, not given.

“It’s important we embrace the community in as many ways as we can, not just when the cameras are on, but in all that we do. Community involvement, and the personal interactions that come out of it, is one of the easiest ways to set ourselves apart. Being a good steward in our community, and a positive role model, go a long way.”

MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN LIFE: Jesus Christ. He has blessed me with a wonderful family, a tremendous set of friends, the talents to achieve professional success doing the job I love as much today as I did the first day, and so many other blessings too numerous to count.


FAVORITE ENTREE: Orange chipotle chicken

FAVORITE DESSERT: Oreo cheesecake

FAVORITE HOLIDAY: New Year's Eve/Day. It's always nice to be able to hit the reset button, to celebrate the achievements and highlights of the year that's ending and to set new goals for the year ahead.

FAVORITE SEASON: Hands down, summer! It's the season of baseball, grilling out, picnics, festivals and flip-flops!

FAVORITE SPORT: Baseball. I love all sports, but when push comes to shove, nothing can beat my love for my Chicago Cubs.

FAVORITE MOVIES: I'm a huge fan of the "Back to the Future" trilogy. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for "Home Alone." Lastly, as a huge Bill Murray fan, I love both "Groundhog Day" and "What About Bob?"

MOST DARING FEAT: I've participated in Rockford's Polar Plunge more than a dozen times in March, and while that water is ridiculously cold, it is nowhere near as cold as the water I plunged into for a Polar Plunge in St. Germain, Wisconsin, back in 2003, when the temperature at "plunge" time was 10 degrees with a wind chill at negative-5 degrees. Thank goodness there was a hot tub to jump into right after leaving the frigid water!

  • Valparaiso University
  • Affiliations
  • American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval