Chicago Weather: Forecast calls for near-record heat

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued an Excessive Heat Warning, which is in effect from 11 a.m. CDT Friday until 7 p.m. CDT Saturday for our viewing area.

The record high for Friday is 97, and ABC7 meteorologist Tracy Butler is forecasting a high of 95.

The record high for Saturday is 99, and ABC7 meteorologist Tracy Butler is forecasting a high of 97.

Here's a look at heat index values for Friday and Saturday.

On this summer Friday Chicago is sizzling, the city sweltering even in the shade.

"You're just drenched with sweat, so it's pretty brutal. But as long as you're staying hydrated and you've got a nice hat on, you'll be alright," said James Macias, working in the heat.

Macias is one of many working outside. He spent Friday power-washing and weeding at Holy Name Cathedral.

"Cool water in your face, cool towels, stuff like that. It all helps," he said.

With Chicago baking in a triple digit heat index, city officials are asking residents to remember to check on the vulnerable and know your limits.

Chicago's Office of Emergency Management reminds you to stay hydrated, wear light-colored clothing and don't spend too much time in the sun.

"Safety is everyone's responsibility, so we remind everyone to stay hydrated and check on our neighbors and family," said Rich Guidice, OEMC deputy commissioner.

Residents can call 311 to request a well-being check and with more than 80 events in Chicago this weekend, officials say to know your limits.

"If you're out, because people like to be out in this hot weather, it's really important that you limit your activities to those activities in the early mornings or in the evening when it's cooler," said Julie Morita, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

"We are expecting large crowds at our beaches and park district pools this weekend. Please be sure to heed the direction of lifeguards on duty and look out for one another," Guidice said.

North Avenue beach and Crown Fountain at Millennium Park were quite busy Friday.

Ryan Mitchell enjoys bringing his daughter to Crown Fountain.

"It's hot, it's free, it's close," Mitchell said. "If it wasn't for things like this or pools, no one would like summer.

The Chicago Fire Department warned residents not to open the fire hydrants in your neighborhood, even though it might bring relief. It's illegal and dangerous; too often kids are struck by vehicles in the street.

And in heat like this officials said children and pets should never be left in a car; there is no amount of time inside a vehicle that is safe for them.

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There are festivals and outdoor activities across the Chicago suburbs this weekend, but whether you're attending or working, it's important to stay cool and hydrated.

The heat caused pavement to buckle in Naperville at Illinois Route 59 and Cantore Road. The northbound center lane is closed, Naperville police said. Drivers should proceed slowly.

Lisle's Eyes on the Skies festival organizers are hoping for a strong turnout despite the hot weather.

The event is expected to draw in as many as 50,000 people for the volunteer-run fundraiser with proceeds benefiting local charities.

"It's one of the best ones in Chicagoland area. It's run all by volunteers. There's nobody in our entire festival that gets paid," said Mike Gonda, and festival organizer.

The hot temperatures prompted some changes to the festival this year. For the first time, organizers set up misting fans throughout the festival grounds to keep attendees cool as they enjoyed the hot air balloons, live music and carnival rides.

In addition, organizers said they will allow people to bring in sealed and labeled bottles of water Friday and Saturday to encourage people to stay hydrated throughout the day.

"It's not just being hydrated when you get here. You really need to be hydrated before you come out to the festival," Gonda said.

Before the gates opened to the public, vendors set up shop under the hot sun. Those offering up hot plates had to endure the sizzle from both the grills and the 90 degree temperatures.

"(It's) miserable," said Papa G with Uncle Bubba's Barbecue. "But when you look at the meat and see what's going on, you know, you get a little joy out of it. At least I do."

It's a labor of love for Papa G, who said he worked out a system going from the grill to the shade to make sure he doesn't get heat exhaustion.

"You get used to it. You got to do what you got to do. It's got to get done so you got to be out here," he said.

As for attendees, Gonda said even though tens of thousands are expected to attend, today they expect a lower turn out.

"We'll probably be challenged today with the heat. Typically in the past, I've been doing this for 35 years, when we have days like this people will usually come out later in the evening," he said.

The festival goes through the weekend. Admission for Eyes to the Skies is $10 and children 8-years-old and younger are free.

Lisle residents get free admission up until 3 p.m. with valid I.D. with Lisle address.


CLICK HERE for an interactive map to find a Cooling Center near you in Illinois.
CLICK HERE to see the cooling centers for Gary, Indiana

The Illinois Tollway began round-the-clock hot weather patrols Friday in order to locate and assist stranded drivers in the dangerously high temperatures. If you need motorist assistance, call *999 from a cell phone and note the roadway and direction of travel, as well as the nearest milepost or crossroad. Stranded motorists should turn on emergency lights and remain in their vehicle until help arrives.

Oases along the tollway serve as cooling centers for motorists. Click here for a list of oases on Illinois Tollawys.


The excessive heat isn't just challenging for people, pets are also affected.

The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has issued several tips for dogs and cats in hot weather.

First and foremost, never leave a pet inside a vehicle-even in the shade with the windows open. Dogs and cats don't sweat, they pant. The CVMA says that sometimes they are unable to pant fast enough to cool down.

Always provide cold water and a portable bowl when you're out with your pet.

While exercise and walks are great for dogs, don't force them to run around after a meal in hot, humid weather. Also, try to exercise and walk pets early in the morning or later in the day when it's not as hot.

Dogs' paw pads are sensitive to heat and can burn. Don't make your pooch stand on hot asphalt for long periods of time and watch for signs of discomfort.

The CVMA recommends keeping cats indoors during extreme heat and providing lots of shade for pets that spend time outside. Older and overweight animals should be kept indoors in a cool, ideally air-conditioned, room.

Dogs with long, heavy coats should be trimmed to approximately one-inch according to the CVMA. However, the association also cautions against shaving fur all the way down to the skin and exposing pets to possible sunburn. Pets are not immune from skin cancer, so keep an eye out for any changes in skin color, too.

An Excessive Heat Watch means that a prolonged period of high temperatures is expected. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Drink plenty of fluids...stay in an air-conditioned room...stay out of the sun...and check up on relatives and neighbors. Take extra precautions...if you work or spend time outside. When possible...reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. To reduce risk during outdoor work...the occupational safety and health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an 9 1 1.

An Excessive Heat Warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely. Drink plenty of fluids...stay in an air-conditioned room...stay out of the sun... and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.
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