Chicago Weather: 'Excessive' heat wave expected this weekend

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Keep in mind, just because the sun sets doesn't mean the heat will let up all that much in the city. The concrete acts as a heat island and radiates back out at night. (WLS)

Get ready for the heat. It could feel like more than 100 degrees through the weekend. Folks at Pride Fest are ready with festival season kicking into high gear as many people across the city are preparing for this heatwave.

Temperatures will soar into the upper 90s Saturday morning through Monday evening. With the heat index, it could feel like more than 100 degrees at times. The sunset won't bring much relief, as the heat indices were expected to remain in the 90s in the evenings and possibly into the overnight hours.

The National Weather Service said Cook County will be under an Excessive Heat Watch from Saturday through Monday.

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Get ready for the heat. It could feel like more than100 degrees through the weekend.

They're trucking them in at Clark Devon Hardware. Palettes of box fans and window unit air conditioners ahead of the weekend heatwave. Customer David Mack was preparing for feels-like temps of over 100 degrees.

"Considering how the weather's been the last few years, it just gets hotter and hotter, so gotta get more of these [air conditioners]," Mack said.

Some advice from the experts: keeping cool in your home is about more than just turning the air on.

"So it's not even just about getting the A/C, they need to think about sealing their windows, making sure that cold air isn't leaving, that they can push it further inside of the house maybe using fans to help get more of a really nice, cool air flow in their home," said Geremiah Somerville with Clark Devon Hardware.

Festival season is kicking into high gear with this weekend's Pride Fest. Organizers are expecting 16,000 people over two days and they say, "Let that heat come."

"I'm telling people to enjoy it. This has been the longest winter ever, then a cold spring and a cold start to summer but in terms of heat safety, we have a cooling center, we have a lot of water stations, all of our businesses will be open so you can pop in there," Chad Honeycutt, Executive Director Northalsted Business Alliance

Bring the water to the 40th annual Puerto Rican People's parade on Saturday, too.

Keep in mind, just because the sun sets doesn't mean the heat will let up all that much in the city. The concrete acts as a heat island and radiates back out at night. Temps could be in the 90s.

At 31st Street Beach the kids have the right idea. They're running through the water and the mist. Keeping their bodies cool while they're outside is exactly what doctors say you need to do regardless of your age.

The biggest thing - stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. If you're going to run, exercise or hit the beach this weekend in the heat make sure you have plenty of fluids.

"Make sure that they're hydrated before, during activity and especially after activity even if the kids aren't thirsty," said Lurie Children's Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Dr. Marcelo Malakooti. "Often times the kids aren't going to drink like the adults are, so they really have to push these fluids on them."

Keep out of the direct sun if you can, and in both kids and adults, stay vigilant for the signs of heat stroke.

"Some early signs will be tiredness. Some fatigue. They'll definitely be sweating a lot. They'll definitely be hot to the touch and they'll just want to sit down," said Dr. Malakooti. "Wash them down with a cold sponge or cloth, make sure they stay hydrated, take any clothes off of them if they're really hot."

With feels-like temps as high as one 105, keep an eye open for the signs of heat exhaustion like tiredness and fatigue and heat stroke.

"The more severe ends of this are going to be headache, dizziness, loss of consciousness, even seizures," Malakooti said.

Chicago residents can call 311 for information about city cooling centers or to request a well-being check for friends or family who may be affected by the heat.

The city says the Department of Family & Support Services has six community service centers that double as cooling centers during the summer. Five of those centers are open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie is open 24 hours a day.

Seniors without air conditioning are encouraged to go to one the city's 15 senior centers on weekdays. Five centers are also open on Saturdays and two are open on Sundays.

Some libraries, park facilities, police stations and other city-operated places serve as cooling centers in the evenings and weekends. Call 311 for after-hours cooling information.

The city also encourages people to check on seniors and other heat-sensitive family and friends or call 311 for a well-being check.

Cook County has also released a list of cooling centers that are open throughout the suburbs, some of which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The full list and operating hours are available HERE.

Chicagoans find ways to beat the heat

The American Red Cross and the city are warning people of the danger. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are two of the biggest problems.

The high temperatures and humidity could lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, the weather service said. The risk is higher for the elderly or people with preexisting health conditions.

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An oppressive heat wave is set to hit the Chicago area Saturday, with heat indices up to 105 degrees expected to linger during the afternoon hours throughout the busy festival week

Officials urged people to limit strenuous outdoor activities, check on their elderly neighbors and wear loose-fitting clothing.

"Drink lots of water, stay cool, normally have a baseball cap on. I think all of that kind of thing really helps," said runner Therese Procter.

Alexa Rutledge is planning on taking a boat tour this Sunday, when the heat index is expected to top 100 degrees.

"Kinda regretting it. It does have an awning so maybe we'll be ok but we'll play it by ear but for right now we're going on the river huh?" said Alexa Rutledge, Corgi owner.

Businesses on Rush Street like Whispers Cafe are getting ready. Gelato there is likely to go fast as it's gobbled up by people who will be trying to beat the heat.

"Just this morning I came in and from last night we had a lot of empty containers so if that says anything just for last night and it was in the high 60s, low 70s, then I can't imagine how much more we're gonna sell over the weekend," said Nora Bonifas with Whispers Café.

Tavern on Rush says they have lots of ice to go around for people who choose to sit outside.

"We didn't really have a spring this year so the winter lasted a little longer than we all thought and people are just dying to get some sunlight," said Tavern on Rush Manager Addie Shiflett.

Monday afternoon will see a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening before temperatures drop again, according to the weather service. Tuesday is expected to be partly sunny with a high near 75.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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