Chicago Forecast

Chicago weather: Near-record warmth with temperatures feeling like 105; air quality alert issued

In Illinois, an Air Pollution Action Day is issued when air quality is forecasted to be at or above the Orange or “Unhealthy/Sensitive Groups” category, officials said

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Editor's Note: At 1:35 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Central LaPorte County in Indiana, warning of 60 mph winds and quarter-sized hail. The warning was expected to be in effect until 2 p.m. Our original story continues below.

Heat, humidity and air quality alerts continue for most of the Chicago area Monday, with temperatures in the mid 90s and heat indices upwards of 100 degrees, the NBC 5 Storm Team said.

According to NBC 5 Meteorologist Alicia Roman, Monday is just the first in a long stretch of hot days.

MORE: Chicago's public pools will open for the season on Monday – with a major change

"Every single day this week will feature temperatures in the 90s and high humidity as well," Roman said.

The forecast Monday across the Chicago area calls for a high temperature of 96 degrees -- which could tie the record for the Chicago area, set in 1957, Roman said.

"No lakefront cooling today," Roman stressed.

Additionally, humidity levels Monday will straddle the line between "muggy" and "extreme," Roman added, noting dewpoint temperatures in the 60s and 70s.

"Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate," Roman warned.

MORE: As temperatures soar, here's how to protect yourself from heat-related illness

Monday could also see isolated afternoon storms as the day heats up, Roman said.

"There's a low-end chance for a storm with the heating of the day," Roman said. "Not everyone will see it."

Locations that do see storms could see quick, heavy downpours, Roman said.

Temperatures in 90s and isolated storm chances will continue through the rest of the week, Roman said, with relief not arriving until the weekend as a cold front passes through.

At that time, more showers and storm chances are expected, Roman said, with temperatures dipping back down into the mid 80s Sunday.

Air Pollution Action Day issued for Chicago area

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency declared Monday an Air Pollution Action Day in several Chicago-area counties "due to elevated ground-level ozone," according to a press release from the IEPA.

The Action Day includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Lake, McHenry and Will counties, the release said. It will remain in effect until Midnight.

In Illinois, an Air Pollution Action Day is issued when air quality is forecasted to be at or above the Orange or “Unhealthy/Sensitive Groups” category for two or more consecutive days. A similar air quality alert was also issued Sunday.

As of 5:30 a.m., Monday, according to AirNow, the Chicago area's Air Quality Index measured at "Moderate," which ranks as level two on a six level scale. However, the AQI is expected to reach level three, "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups," as the day continues.

The AQI is measured based on five major air pollutants, including ground-level ozone, particle pollution and others. Ozone levels tend to be elevated during spells of hot weather, and more particle pollution occurs when residents use air conditioning units in their homes and businesses, officials say.

Those with pulmonary illnesses and other risk factors such as asthma, children and teens, older adults, and individuals who are routinely active outdoors for six or more hours per day should reduce exposure outdoors during the alert, according to officials.

Those who worry about being affected should look out for the following symptoms: wheezing, coughing, a fast
heartbeat, fatigue, chest pain and shortness of breath. If symptoms worsen, you should call your doctor or 911.

People are urged to take the following steps to reduce their contributions to air pollution, especially on action days, according to the state EPA.

  • Limit Driving – combine errands, walk, or bike if possible.
  • If driving, avoid idling, consolidate errands, and keep your vehicle and other engines
    properly tuned.
  • Conserve energy to reduce energy demands.
  • Use environmentally friendly household and cleaning products.
  • Avoid using gasoline-powered equipment like lawnmowers and leaf blowers.
  • Notify colleagues, friends, and family to help protect their health and encourage actions.
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