Chicagoans taken aback as heat wave sweeps the city, expected to last for days

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18th June 2024 – (Chicago) Residents of Chicago were caught off guard by a sudden heat wave as they ventured outside their homes on Monday morning. The Chicago Metropolitan Area, along with several other large metropolitan areas in the United States, finds itself enveloped in a scorching heat wave stretching from the Midwest to the Northeast. This oppressive weather is predicted to persist for at least five days, with temperatures soaring above 32 degrees Celsius each day. Monday’s forecast predicted temperatures reaching as high as 36 degrees Celsius.

The National Weather Service Chicago issued a message on social media, warning of a multi-day stretch of hot and humid weather, with heat indices expected to approach or even exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.77 degrees Celsius) at times.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, the hot and dry conditions can result in elevated levels of ground-level ozone, which can have detrimental effects on human health. Ground-level ozone, unlike the protective ozone layer higher up in the atmosphere, can cause throat and lung irritation, swelling, shortness of breath, asthma attacks, coughing, chest pains, and throat discomfort.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is advising Chicagoans, especially individuals with pulmonary or respiratory diseases and children, to limit outdoor activities during this period. To provide relief, the Chicago City Department of Family and Support Services has opened cooling centres at its community service centres and senior centres.

The Chicago Sun-Times highlighted the exceptional duration of this heat wave, quoting Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford. Based on forecasts, Chicago is likely to experience temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius and above for a consecutive seven-day period. Typically, the city encounters about four days with temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius in June each year. The longest stretch of such weather in June occurred in 1954, lasting for 11 days.