Chicago's first day of summer: Sun gives way to afternoon storms

June 21, 2013 8:58:29 PM PDT
Strong thunderstorms moved into the Chicago area Friday afternoon, putting a temporary hold on summer. But just hours before, life was all about the beach after warmer temperatures arrived.

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"It was pretty cold. It felt like winter last week, so I'm glad summer is finally here," said Bridget Barron, beachgoer.

Friday marked the first official day of summer. Fresh out of school, Alexis Sanchez and his friends wasted no time enjoying it.

"The sun was out in the morning but it's not anymore. The water was pretty cold, but it's good," said Sanchez.

But while summer may be gone today, the warm weather will return Saturday.

With increasingly hot weather expected for the weekend and throughout next week, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications reminded residents and visitors to Chicago to be prepared for the possibility of extreme temperatures and thunderstorms.

The public should stay informed about weather-related conditions and know what precautions to take and where to go to get relief from the heat.

"Extreme heat can be dangerous, and thunderstorms, with lightning, heavy rains and high winds can greatly impact our families, pets, lifestyle and activities. OEMC continues to monitor weather conditions and is prepared to activate plans and alert the public should a situation occur," said OEMC Executive Director. Gary W. Schenkel.

As temperatures rise, OEMC reminds the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. "Heat exhaustion" is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. "Heat stroke" is more serious, and occurs when the body starts to lose its ability to regulate itself.

The telltale signs of heat stroke are:

  • An extremely high body temperature, such as 103 degrees or above

  • Dizziness and nausea

  • A throbbing headache and a pulse that is rapid and strong

  • Skin that is red, hot and dry
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