Tuesday Heat One Degree Shy of Record-Breaking

June 7 record set in 1933 stands, National Weather Service says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Look for clear skies and high heat overnight. (Published Wednesday, Sep 14, 2011)

    Record-setting heat?  Close, but no cigar.

    Chicago's official high Tuesday -- 96 degrees -- was just one degree shy of beating a heat record set in 1933, the National Weather Service said.

    Still, it was the warmest the area has felt since Aug. 1, 2006 when the mercury hit 99 degrees.

    The highest heat index recorded by the weather service on Tuesday was 100 degrees at Northerly Island in downtown Chicago. Last year, the hottest that area reached was 95 degrees within the heat index.

    Due to heat indices being just below the threshold, however, the National Weather Service did not issue a heat advisory.

    Still, the temperatures prompted warnings from the city's Department of Emergency Management about staying hydrated and checking on senior neighbors.

    "Extreme heat and humidity is more than just an inconvenience," Chicago Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair said during a press conference Tuesday. "It is dangerous and in some cases can be deadly."

    Several human services workers were out Tuesday checking on elderly people who live alone. Specifically, they were looking to make sure that people have air conditioners or fans and city services in place. If someone is without air conditioning, they can get a free ride to one of the city's several cooling centers by calling 311.

    "You may want to go check on family yourself if you're out driving, just to be on the safe side.  And call us for back up," said Pamela  Spraggins.

    All of the well-being checks done Tuesday turned up no problems.

    The Chicago area will feel little relief overnight as temperatures are expected to remain in the upper 70s before climbing again to nearly 100 on Wednesday. 

    There's a slight chance for severe weather Wednesday afternoon/evening and through the early hours of Thursday.

    Chicago residents are urged to call 311 for assistance in case of emergency and to find cooling center locations, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    High humidity levels can cause heat illnesses that require medical attention. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic beverages. Do not leave pets unattended in vehicles.  

    High heat reportedly forced the closure of North Avenue Beach on Memorial Day, though some say it was because of gangs.