Weather Updates

Forecast: Heat index over 100 degrees

Santiago Valenci18 San Diego cools off crown fountaMillennium Park an especially hot day. 07/16/13 | Alex Wroblewski~Sun-Times

Santiago Valencia, 18, of San Diego cools off in the crown fountain at Millennium Park on an especially hot day. 07/16/13 | Alex Wroblewski~Sun-Times

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Sizzling forecast
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Updated: July 17, 2013 7:19AM

The Chicago area this week could see a heat index of more than 100 degrees and isolated thunderstorms, according to a “hazardous weather outlook” from the National Weather Service.

“Any isolated locations that do see a thunderstorm could get brief torrential downpours and strong gusty winds along with deadly cloud-to-ground lightning,” according to the National Weather Service.

The sizzling temperatures and storms, building from a large dome of high pressure, won’t be the worst thing about the week, said meteorologist Stephen Rodriguez. “It’s the prolonged nature of this that might not provide any relief for people.” Temperatures should be cooler by the weekend, he said, after a cold front moves in.

People were scarce at many area playgrounds and tennis courts, but water parks were popular.

After finishing a picnic lunch under a small shade tree, David Hlavin and his 3-year-old son joined the crowd keeping cool in the splash pad at Hibernia Park in New Lenox. “It’s absolutely the best place to be,” Hlavin said.

To fight the risk of heat exhaustion, residents can escape to cooling centers and other facilities, such as libraries, park districts or police stations to get relief, said Matt Smith, communication director for Chicago’s Family and Support Services. “We’re here to help out, but people can do the unthinkable and check up on each other too,” Smith said.

Contributing: Susan DeMar Lafferty

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