A blast of heat and humidity will continue to broil the region in the coming days, transitioning from thus-far breezy summer weather to the sweltering seasonal conditions those without air conditioning have dreaded.
“We’ve had hotter weather, but were’ looking for temps into the low 90s,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Ratzer. “At least a couple times a summer we get this sort of thing.”
Though temperatures aren’t expected to climb out of the 90s, factor in a high level of humidity, and outdoor conditions will feel as though the mercury broke 100, according to weather service data.
On Tuesday the heat index, which reflects how hot outdoor temperatures actually feel, could climb as high as 100 degrees, according to the weather service.
And those heat index conditions are supposed to intensify throughout the week. They could climb as high as 101 or 102 degrees by Friday, when thunderstorms are forecast to cool off the region.
In Chicago latent heat absorbed by concrete, glass and steel means city-dwellers will not get the same reprieve as those in the outlying areas. That means temperatures could be between 5 and 10 degrees hotter in the city at night, Ratzer said.
The heat and humidity, which first hit Monday, is believed to have caused the deaths of at least two people, according to preliminary findings by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Young children, the elderly and the infirmed are advised to find a place with air conditioning and stay there.
“What we recommend is to take it easy,” Ratzer said. “If you have to work outside, take breaks in the shade and drink a good amount of water. Otherwise, if you can, try to get into air conditioning to give your body a break.”