Summer's hottest spell to date shows no signs of going away, at least through the coming weekend. The area will broil today for a third consecutive day, and while temperatures may not hit 100, it will feel like it.
A heat advisory is in effect through tonight in the far southern and western suburbs. An excessive heat watch is in effect from Wednesday morning through late Thursday night for the entire metropolitan area.
the National Weather Servicde has also issued a dense fog advisory until 4 p.m. this afternoon for areas along the lake. The fog happens when the cooler lake air mixes with the high humidity over the land; the resulting fog and low lying clouds will dimish quickly the farther away from the lake you get.
The hottest temperatures of the past six years loom for Wednesday and Thursday, according to
"The heat which grips much of the country is occurring within a gargantuan air mass which sent 90-degree or higher temperatures into all or parts of 43 states Monday," Skilling reports at the Chicago Weather Center. "Hotter Midwest readings included 99 degrees at Des Moines and Omaha, Neb.; 98 at Minneapolis; 97 at St. Louis and 95 degrees at La Crosse, Wis. Closer to home, residents of
Commonwealth Edison says it has 300 repair crews out this this week in anticipation of the heat, and has added people at its call centers. Not since 1999 has the electric utility had significant problems throughout its system because of heat, but ComEd wants to be ready to restore customers as quickly as possible, said spokesman Bennie Currie. Calling ComEd as soon as an outage happens is the fastest way to get service restored quickly, he said.
"It's one thing when it's cool and there's an outage--it's another when it's hot out, you don't want to wait around," Currie said.
In the Chicago area, highs today will range from the lower middle 90s in the far southwest suburbs to the lower or middle 80s near the lake. A cool front sliding down the western shores of Lake Michigan will turn winds easterly today, lowering temperature and humidity levels for communities and neighborhoods within a few miles of the lakeshore.
The highest heat index readings this week—a measure that incorporates humidity to gauge how hot it actually feels—will be 105 to 110 in the far southern and western suburbs.
There is also a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms today, especially this morning.
Wednesday's high is expected to be close to 97, with a heat index of 106. Thursday will also be sunny and hot, with a high near 95 and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
But scattered 100-day aren't out of the question Wednesday or Thursday, Skilling says. Chicago hasn't recorded an official 100-degree day since 2005.