Rain Passes Through

Friday's weather was full of things to talk about:  oppressive heat, high humidity and then thunderstorms.

Damage reports seem to be isolated to the southwest suburbs.  Downed trees are reported in Romeoville, LaSalle, Downers Grove and Bolingbrook.

"Some pretty good winds went through there," said Eric Lenning, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Romeoville, according to the Beacon-News.

But the threat of severe weather has ended.  The National Weather Service cancelled a Severe Thunderstorm Watch about an hour before it was initally set to expire at 9 p.m.

A flash flood watch lasts until late morning on Saturday.

Cooler temperatures are also in the wake of the passing storm.  Temperatures that were in the mid-90s earlier Friday have fallen to the more comfortable mid-70s.

Still, humidity remains high.

Earlier in the day, the heat was uncomfortable and dangerous.  In Bourbonnais, the Heat Index -- how hot it feels -- was at 110 during the 5 p.m. hour.  Air temperatures at Chicago's airports were registering in the mid- to low-90s.

The City of Evanston had declared a heat emergency for Friday, opening cooling centers for people to avoid heat-related illnesses.

Part of the blame for the high humidity can be put on the line of severe weather that crept south over the Wisconsin/Illinois border late Thursday night. 

The storms dropped near-record rainfall in Milwaukee, flooding basements and leaving streets impassable. One man in a Cadillac Escalade had to be rescued after the vehicle was swallowed by a massive sinkhole.

There have been 12 90-degree days in Chicago so far in 2010 – the highest since 2005, according to the weather service. The record was set in 1988, when there were more than 25 90-degree days through up to this point.

The high heat index poses risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke for people working outdoors or engaging in strenuous activities. The weather service advises drinking plenty of fluids, staying out of the sun and in air conditioned rooms and check on relatives and neighbors.

"The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible," the National Weather Service saidweather service said.


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