CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Wind on the lakeshore kept things cool downtown Saturday, but that won’t be the case Sunday – all of Chicago is expected to feel record-breaking heat all day and night, with a 20 degree spike along Lake Michigan.
With an “excessive heat warning” in effect until Monday, temperatures Saturday were expected to reach the mid to high 90s, but peaked at 93 degrees at Chicago Midway International Airport and 91 degrees at O’Hare International Airport, according to the National Weather Service. The lakeshore stayed breezy with temperatures in the mid-70s, thanks to leftover winds from morning thunderstorms over Lake Michigan.
Temperatures are expected to stay in the mid 90s across the city Sunday, and the heat will be around all day.
“It took a while for some places to heat up [Saturday] in the heart of the city, but it’ll be off to the races tomorrow,” said meteorologist Matt Friedlein. “The impact will be felt through the entire Loop, the entire metro.”
Friedlein said the mark of a true heat wave is a lack of relief – which we won’t get much of Sunday.
Sunday’s predicted high temperature of 97 would set a record; the highest recorded temperature for June 17 is 96 degrees, back in 1957, and we’re likely to break another record once the sun sets. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 80s all night – the highest recorded temperature at night on June 17 is 77 degrees in 1984.
The excessive heat warning is in effect due in part to the heat index, which Friedlein said comes from three big factors – temperature, moisture in the air and “the combined feeling on the human body.”
Saturday, the index reached 100 degrees at Midway and 97 degrees at O’Hare – on Sunday the highs will be upwards of 102 degrees.
An index that high can make for hazardous conditions, particularly for elderly and those without air conditioning.
“The city’s cooling centers become key at times like these,” Friedlein said.
Saturday’s heat didn’t appear to cause a rush at those cooling centers.
A senior center in South Shore reported that it was pretty much like any other Saturday, and cooling centers at police stations across the city said the number of visitors looking to cool off was typical for a summer day.
In addition to threats from the heat itself, the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers and business owners to be on the lookout for air conditioning scams this weekend, including unsolicited phone or door-to-door calls.
The bureau has filed more than 200 complaints against heating and air conditioning companies in the city this year and is warning residents to do their homework on air conditioning companies before making any purchases or letting anyone into their home.
The heat warning will be in effect until Monday, when temperatures are expected to reach a high of 94 degrees, according to the weather service.