The record for hottest Memorial Day is 95 degrees, set in 2012. Monday's high is expected to be 93 in Chicago, coming close to the record. Inland temperatures could reach 98, with cooler temperatures in areas near Lake Michigan.
Many sought to escape the heat by heading to beaches, leading to busy parking lots on the North Side along the lakefront. As of 1 p.m., Chicago Police said they had closed the Montrose, Wilson, Lawrence and Foster parking lots to traffic.
After a scorching hot parade in River Forest, Ana, 9, and Chloe Broaddus, 11, started a new tradition with a water balloon fight.
"It's really hot outside and we thought it would be better to just cool off," Chloe said.
The predicted heat sparked the cancellation of the Naperville Memorial Day Parade, which was scheduled for Monday morning, city officials said late Sunday. Even though there is no parade, a Memorial Day was held in Central Park.
Flashing traffic signs alerted residents in Naperville Monday morning. A spokesperson said they decided to cancel the parade due to excessive heat. Organizers are worried about heat exhaustion and dehydration.
This was the first cancelled parade in Naperville Fire Department Bureau Chief of EMS James Kubinski's 16-year tenure on the parade's organizing board.
"We've never seen a 90 degree day for the start of the parade at kickoff at 10:30," Kubinski said.
Vietnam Veteran Wayne Fischer said they were looking forward to the march but understand the decision.
"If one person goes down, that's bad news. We'll make up for it we always do here," Fischer said. "It's a very patriotic community and we do other parades and stuff so we're not too concerned about missing something."
Naperville residents with young children also supported the decision.
"We don't want her to overheat, especially in these kinds of temperatures. So maybe it's a good thing they cancelled," said Andrew Podio of his young child. Podio travelled to Naperville in hopes of seeing the parade.
West suburban Lisle also called off its parade and picnic, but the Veterans Remembrance ceremony was still held at the Lisle Veterans Memorial.
People who are going to be outside Monday should take plenty of breaks, wear proper clothing, wear sunscreen, drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine and move strenuous activity to the mornings and evenings to stay safe in the heat.
Dr. Guy Miller of the Edward Hospital Emergency Room said residents should watch for signs of heat stroke such as excessive sweating, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and confusion.
Children and the elderly are at greatest risk for heat-related problems, Miller said. Miller also urged residents not to hesitate to get medical help if a person seems unwell in the heat.
Tuesday is expected to be sunny with some late clouds and a high of 86. Rain is likely on Wednesday from remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto. One to two inches of rain is forecasted.