Chicago Heat Wave: Excessive Heat Warning Takes Effect

The entire Chicago area will be under an Excessive Heat Warning Friday and Saturday as heat index values could rise as high as 115 degrees for some.  

The National Weather Service preemptively issued the warning Wednesday afternoon for Cook, DeKalb, Kane, Lake, DuPage, Lasalle, Kendall, McHenry, Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties in Illinois and Lake, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana, as well as Kenosha County in Wisconsin. 

The warning was pushed back for most counties following a round of morning storms Thursday. The alert began at 3 p.m. Thursday for most, but at 10 a.m. Friday for Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry and Kane counties and Kenosha County in Wisconsin. The warning continues for all through 7 p.m. Saturday. 

Air temperatures are forecast to rise to between 96 and 101 degrees, though Heat Index readings could be between 105 and 115 degrees. Temperatures will likely drop only to around 80 degrees in the city Friday night, offering "little to no relief from the heat," according to the National Weather Service. 

"The cumulative effects of temperatures and heat index values this high could lead to heat related illnesses with prolonged exposure," the warning states. "Those without air conditioning, elderly, small children, and pets are especially susceptible. Plan ahead."

Residents are being urged to find a cool place to shelter from the heat and to avoid outdoor activity during peak heating times of the day. 

The National Weather Service also said "the urban heat island core of Chicago is most susceptible to night time temperatures that do not cool significantly, limiting the amount of relief that can occur at night." 

ComEd announced Tuesday that it is increasing crew staffing and opening its Emergency Operations Center to "respond quickly if power outages occur." 

Anyone who experiences an outage is urged to test "OUT" to 26633 ot call (800) 334-7661. Spanish-speaking customers can call (800) 955 8237. 

Metra also said trains will need to operate at reduced speeds in the heat. 

"When temperatures exceed 95 degrees, Metra is required to reduce train speed by 10 mph to compensate for heat related stress on the tracks," the rail agency tweeted Wednesday. 

The city could see some relief Sunday, which looks to be partly sunny and not as hot with highs in the upper 80s. Still, humid conditions are expected with a chance of showers and storms.

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