It Could Feel Like 115 Degrees This Week as Weather Service Issues Excessive Heat Watch for Chicago

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Chicago will feel more like Phoenix this week with heat indices of 105-115 degrees possible.

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The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for Wednesday and Thursday, when the combination of high temperatures and oppressive humidity are expected to create dangerous conditions.

During a media briefing with reporters on Monday afternoon, meteorologists said heat indices on Wednesday could eclipse 120 degrees, particularly in rural communities surrounded by corn fields.  


In Chicago’s urban core, the overnight heat index Wednesday will remain near 90 degrees, offering little relief, the weather service said.

“Cooler by the lake” won’t apply, either, at least not on Wednesday, meteorologists said, with the scorching heat expected to reach right up to the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

People should reschedule outdoor activities, the service said, and special attention should be paid to the elderly, children and pets.


With Chicago Public Schools students and teachers heading back to class Monday, concerns have been raised about the lack of central air conditioning in many of the district's buildings. District officials told the Chicago Tribune 99% of buildings had air conditioning, but didn’t specify how many rely on window or portable cooling units.

After three women died in a Rogers Park senior apartment complex during a spring heatwave in 2022, City Council enacted new laws requiring cooling areas in large buildings and senior living facilities. 

Some parts of the Chicago region could dodge the worst of the heat if thunderstorms develop near Lake Michigan, but that scenario doesn't seem likely for Wednesday, according to the weather service.

Friday will be much more comfortable, thanks to the arrival of a cold front at some point on Thursday, but forecast models currently vary widely on the timing of the cool down, meteorologists said. 

This article has been updated.

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 |  [email protected]


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