“EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING” HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR WEDNESDAY AND AN “EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH” IS IN EFFECT FOR THURSDAY
N THE CURRENT HOT SPELL: A high of 99° Wednesday would break the 1947 record of 97° for the date which has stood for 76 years.
A high of 100° Thursday would tie the record for the date—also set in 1947. It should be noted that a wind-shifting cold front will be flirting with area—and the speed with which is sinks into the area will impact the high temps we ultimate see. But much of the area is in for intense heat Thursday before a welcome break takes place by Friday and over the coming weekend.
Models current put top dew points in coming days building to oppressive 77° levels. That could lead to heat indices as high as 114°.
Anyone who lived through the GREAT CHICAGO HEAT WAVE of July 12-15, 1995 will never forget it and knows extreme heat can be more than just an inconvenience—it can be deadly.
The loss of life which occurred in that oppressive spell of heat in July 1995 remains the greatest of any natural disaster in Chicago Weather history. And the National Weather Service has established the EXTREME HEAT is the deadliest of all extreme weather events in the United States.
The City of Chicago has become very proactive in dealing with extreme heat, opening COOLING CENTERS. Just dial “311” to find the location of a cooling center near you.
AMONG ITS IMPACTS:
- IT RESULTED IN over 500 lives lost in Chicago and hundreds more across the Midwest.
- The highest temperature recorded for any Chicago area reporting station during this event was 106° at Midway Airport on July 13th. The only other documented higher temperature at any Chicago site on record was 109° at Midway Airport during the Dust Bowl in 1934.
- Incredibly high dew points (a key measure of atmospheric moisture) were observed (near or above 80°) and the combination of temperatures and dew points resulting in a peak heat index of 124-125°. High dew points and relative humidities impact the ability of our bodies to cool themselves.
THE HOT WEATHER WHICH IS AHEAD WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY will be oppressive—with high temps flirting or breaking records both days and dew points soaring to among the highest levels observed this year.
Dew point won’t be quite as extreme as the low 80s which occurred in July, 1995 when low 80° dew points were observed—but they’ll be PLENTY HIGH—and exertion in this level of heat should be approached with care.
A look at the upper air patterns between the July 1995 extreme heat episode and the conditions predicted Wednesday and Thursday, shows the patterns are quite similar, featuring an expanded dome of hot air centered on the Midwest.