CHICAGO (WLS) -- After a rainy and cold spring, Chicagoans wasted no time getting outdoors to enjoy the hot weather.
The official high at O'Hare Tuesday was 89, just 1 degree shy of the record 90 degrees set in 2011.
With humidity factored in, heat indices across the Chicago area were in the upper 90s Tuesday afternoon.
Jason Pammler and his daughters couldn't have better weather for a play date on North Avenue Beach.
"Well we just got up this morning and we decided that we would go for a walk on the beach," Pammler said. "For my birthday, they gave me little coupons and one of them was a walk on the beach, so I cashed it in."
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Temperatures were in the 70s Tuesday morning as commuters ditched the cold weather gear for summer clothes.
"Oh yeah it's absolutely gorgeous," Megan Connolly said while walking her dog. "It's been really nice after a horrible nonexistent spring... so it's kind of crazy that I wore my winter coat on Thursday and now I'm in a tank top."
Soaking up the sun was on the agenda for people across the Chicago area. The warm weather was a welcome break for Emilia Maglio and her friends.
"I think it's great," Maglio said. "Especially after being cooped up inside with all the rain for the past few days."
They met in Glenview, where it was downright muggy. But the dramatic turn in temperatures didn't seem to bother Mark Saperstein. He and his friend dined alfresco for lunch, which was just the beginning for Roy Lipner.
"We're gonna have dinner outside, my wife and I, barbecue," Lipner said. "First day to do this is fantastic."
In Chicago, people flocked outdoors, where runner April Pickett welcomed the heat.
"I love it," Pickett said. "I've been waiting for this weather. I love running. This beats the cold for sure, so I'm more than excited about it. We've been waiting for this."
More and more boats are in the harbors - a sure sign of summer - and the lakefront a popular destination for families and their furry friends. Daniel Morgan took his dog Beans for a long walk.
"She's a terror when she's inside so getting her out has been such a help," Morgan said. "Walking her three, four miles a day has been much better when it's 80 degrees like this as opposed to 20 or 30 like it was a couple of weeks ago."
Near-record heat has Chicagoans enjoying sun, outdoors on hottest day of year so far
O'Hare hit 89 degrees, just short of record set in 2011