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Chicago weather: Severe storms possible as cold front slams into humid air

CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago weather will be hot, steamy and stormy Wednesday as heat indices rise over 100 degrees and an approaching cold front brings the potential for severe weather this afternoon.

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Will, Ford Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, Livingston, and southern Cook counties in Illinois as well as Benton, Jasper, Lake, Newton and Porter counties in Indiana until 7 p.m.

The Chicago area and northwest Indiana are under a “slight” risk of severe weather – a level 2 out of 5 – according to the Storm Prediction Center.

WATCH | Doctor offers tips to stay safe in high heat, humidity

“While storms don’t look too impressive right now, they are bulldozing into some very muggy air and they’re going to put that very muggy air to use,” ABC7 Meteorologist Greg Dutra said.

The storms are expected to develop over the far western suburbs and strengthen as they move east toward the city.

“There’s a chance that counties like Kane County, Kendall County, Grundy County, maybe even the extreme western portions of DuPage County, don’t quite see the worst of these storms as they start to pop up and really get going,” Dutra said. “But Chicago and points off to the east are definitely going to catch the stronger storms.”

Heavy downpours and frequent lightning will be likely with any storms that develop Wednesday afternoon, Dutra said. Gusty winds and hail are also a possibility, as well as flash flooding in localized areas.

WATCH | ABC7 AccuWeather Forecast

Officials warn that the hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses, which could develop in less than 30 minutes after strenuous outdoor activity.

Residents are advised to take extra precautions, including drinking plenty of fluids, staying in air-conditioned areas and staying out of the sun. If possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or in the evenings if you work or will be spending time outside. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible as well.

Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat Stroke:

  • Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness (coma)
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature
  • Fatal if treatment delayed
  • Heat Exhaustion:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Thirst
  • Heavy sweating
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Decreased urine output
  • Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool or shaded location, officials said. A heat stroke is an emergency, and 911 should be called.

    Residents in need of assistance during the extreme heat should call 311. Residents can also request a wellbeing check by downloading the CHI311 app, visiting or calling 311.

    They also recommend checking up on relatives and neighbors.

    The city of Chicago operates cooling areas located at the city’s six community service centers. The cooling areas operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays to Fridays. Visitors are required to wear a face covering while in the cooling areas. DFSS will provide free face coverings for guests who do not have one and want to utilize the cooling areas.

    They’re located at:

    – Englewood Center – 1140 W. 79th St.

    – Garfield Center – 10 S. Kedzie Ave.

    – King Center – 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

    – North Area Center – 845 W. Wilson Ave.

    – South Chicago Center – 8650 S. Commercial Ave.

    – Trina Davila Center – 4312 W. North Ave.

    During hours of operation, residents can also find relief in one of the city’s more than 75 Chicago Public Library locations and more than 31 Chicago Park District fieldhouses as well as 176 splash pads.

    Officials also remind people to never leave young children or pets unattended in vehicles under any circumstance.

    The cold front will bring cooler and drier conditions for Thursday, but the heat will build back for the weekend.

    Cook County Radar | DuPage County Radar | Will County Radar | Lake County Radar (IL) | Kane County Radar | Northwest Indiana Radar

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