Heat warning extended as temperatures keep climbing
Sun-Times Media wire July 6, 2012 2:48PM
Joshua Ortega, 7, of Joliet, cools himself off with a water fan bottle at the Farmers Market in downtown Joliet, Illinois, Friday, July 6, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 7, 2012 11:14AM
For the third-time on record, Chicago has cracked the 100-degree weather for the third day in a row.
As of 2:51 p.m., it was 103 degrees at O’Hare Airport. On Wednesday, it was 102 degrees, and on Thursday, it was 103.
Even as Chicago again hit 100-degree heat, forecasters said the expected cool down is going to take a little longer than originally forecast.
Now, the National Weather Service is saying the city and the suburbs will bake in what would be a record fourth straight day of temperatures above the century mark on Saturday.
An excessive heat warning that has been in effect for all of northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana until 10 p.m. Friday has been extended to 4 p.m. Saturday for Cook, Lake, Kane, DuPage, McHenry and Lake (Ind.) counties, according to the National Weather Service. The warning is in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday for Will and Kankakee counties.
This marks only the third three-day heat wave of 100-degree weather since records began in the 19th century, and the first since 1947.
And if the 100 forecast for Saturday holds, it would mark the first time ever the city has seen four straight days of triple-digit temps.
The all-time heat record of 105 degrees was set on July 24, 1934, and was part of a hot spell that claimed the lives of hundreds of Chicagoans. But authorities said Thursday that lessons learnt from the more recent, infamous 1995 heat wave that killed more than 500 appear to be paying off this time.
It was so hot Thursday, Joliet mailman Rey Marquez walked his route on the near West Side with a wet towel on his head, strapped on with a rubber band.
He stopped in one yard to re-wet his towel and head with a garden hose.
“Hydration, water, a rag on the head,” he said, explaining how he beats the heat. “Keep your body moist. Put a wet towel around the neck.”
Marquez and others who have to work outside have had to deal with the blazing heat all week. The Joliet area has had temperatures in the 90s — and a couple of days in the 100s — for five days in a row.
Marquez, who has been delivering mail in Joliet for 25 years, said he’d rather work in snow.
“You can only take off so much. In the winter you can add clothes,” he said.
The heat wave broke at least one record Thursday.
At 2 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service in Romeoville reported the temperature hit 103 degrees at O’Hare Airport. That broke the record for July 5, which was 102 degrees.