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(Tom Swinnen / Pexels)

The city’s guidelines for 2020’s unprecedented outdoor fall-to-winter dining season allow for several types of heaters, but fire pits aren’t one of them.

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Trees crashed onto cars and into streets during storms in Chicago on Aug. 10, 2020. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

As Chicago gets ready for cooler weather, many parts of the country are being hit by wildfires, hurricanes and the aftermath of last month’s destructive derecho. We learn more with atmospheric scientist Scott Collis.

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(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

To mark summer’s official end, city officials on Monday released new guidelines designed to help restaurants and some bars keep serving diners and drinkers outside once temperatures drop.

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Chicago's winter dining design challenges drew more than 600 submissions. (Courtesy of Edward Peck Design)

The city asked for creative winter outdoor dining ideas, and Chicagoans delivered, offering 643 submissions ranging from the practical to the ridiculous. 

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Hazy skies over Chicago are due to smoke from West Coast wildfires. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Smoke from the West Coast wildfires has drifted into northern Illinois, creating milky white or gray skies over what should be a sunny Chicago, according to the National Weather Service.

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Chicago is looking for creative ways to extend outdoor dining into winter. (JillWellington / Pixabay)

In a bid to keep restaurants open once cold weather hits, the city has launched a competition aimed at generating creative, yet feasible, ways to extend outdoor dining into Chicago’s winter. 

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Less than an inch of rain was recorded at O’Hare in the month of August, pushing Chicago toward drought. That’s likely putting stress on trees, so give them a soak.

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Runners enjoy Chicago’s lakefront trail. (WTTW News)

Chicago is facing a lot of unfunded infrastructure needs in the coming years, according to officials. And it’s not just roads, bridges and streetlights that need work. The city’s lakefront is grappling with another year of high lake levels.

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Trees crashed onto cars and into streets during storms on Aug. 10, 2020. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

City crews are still clearing debris from last week’s powerful derecho. Thousands of trees were lost, which has renewed the call by some for an Urban Forestry Advisory Board to manage Chicago’s green infrastructure. 

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Beware of high waves on Lake Michigan near piers, jetties and other shoreline structures. (WTTW News)

The National Weather Service is warning people to steer clear of Lake Michigan due to high waves and strong currents. That doesn't just apply to beachgoers and swimmers. Shoreline structures can be dangerous too.

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Neighbors with power have set up charging stations for those without in the Lincoln Square community. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The physical destruction caused by Monday’s powerful storm, which saw a tornado touch down in Rogers Park, was as devastating as a hurricane, according to ComEd. Now some neighbors are leading the charge on helping out.

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Monday's storm caused widespread damage, including in Chicago’s Lincoln Square, where a Weatherbug station recorded an 85 mph wind gust. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Rogers Park during Monday’s powerful storm. Thousands of Chicagoans remained without power Tuesday morning. 

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A group of neighbors surveys the damage to vehicles on their block after a severe thunderstorm battered Chicago neighborhoods, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. (Tyler LaRiviere / Sun-Times / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

A rare storm packing 100 mph winds and with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest on Monday, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

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(Daniel Dione / Flickr)

The city is directing residents without air conditioning to its cooling centers and park district splash pads and renewing calls for people to check in on elderly and vulnerable family members, friends and neighbors.

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(Zoltan Matuska / Pixabay)

With temperatures set to soar in Chicago in the coming days, Dr. Allison Arwady reassured residents that it’s “safe and appropriate” to use air conditioning in their apartments and homes without risking the spread of COVID-19.

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Mayor Richard M. Daley shares his skepticism about heat-related deaths in the summer of 1995. (WTTW News)

A look back at Chicago’s deadly heat wave — and how it compares to the coronavirus pandemic — with Eric Klinenberg, author of the 2002 book, “Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago.”