Dark clouds loom over Wrigley Field Friday, July 1, 2011, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~ Sun-Times
Updated: July 1, 2011 4:09PM
A cloud cover caused by Thursday night’s violent thunderstorms is keeping Chicago-area temperatures from rising as high as expected Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service says.
Earlier this week, forecasts had warned of temperatures in the high 90s and a heat index of 105 degrees.
Still, National Weather SErvice meteorologist Richard Castro said, the Chicago area should reach hot temperatures as soon as the clouds move out of the area.
“Once the clouds do clear, the temperatures will warm up quickly despite the fact we missed most of the heat within the day because of the thunderstorms,” Castro said.
Castro said the area was starting to warm up and could still reach the upper 80s to lower 90s late Friday afternoon.
The combination of clouds covering the area and “thunderstorm outflow” — the cooling produced by air that flows out during storms — are what is keeping the area cool so late in the day, Castro said.
High winds are also being reported Friday. That includes a 64 mph wind recorded at 1:15 p.m. at the Chicago Crib, about three miles from the shoreline, Castro said. At O’Hare and Midway airports, 35 to 40 mph gusts were recorded.
Saturday should still be hot, in the lower 90s with a heat index of close to 100 degrees, Castro said.
After Saturday, a cold front should sweep through the area. Some scattered storms are possible during the afternoon Saturday and there is also a slight risk of severe thunderstorms, Castro said.
But that’ll be the worst of the weather, according to Castro.
“The good news is the rest of the weekend looks beautiful,” Castro said. Both Sunday and Monday there should be mostly sunny skies and high temperatures, lower 80s or upper 70s.”