It was really hot.
Wednesday’s heat wave broke a 28-year-old Chicago record when temperatures soared to 96 degrees at O’Hare International Airport.
The National Weather Service recorded the record around 4:30 p.m. The previous record, a 95 degree record set in 1994, was also captured at O’Hare, where the city’s official temperatures are recorded.
“Almost every site that we monitor, I think they’ve all broken records,” said meteorologist Brian Leatherwood. The temperature reached 100 degrees at Midway Airport, he added.
The intense humidity made it feel even hotter across Chicagoland. Heat indices – how the body senses temperature – climbed to 104 in Joliet and 106 in Henry County. Indexes remained in the upper 90s in downtown Chicago, Leatherwood said.
The record is not that unusual and not part of any obvious trend, he said.
“We really had a pretty cool summer,” Leatherwood said. The weather is expected to cool down this weekend.
The cold front that brought on Wednesday night’s thunderstorm will also drop temperatures into the low 90s on Thursday. And with less humidity, it will look like the recorded temperature.
The Chicago area will see sunshine this weekend, with highs in the mid-80s on Friday and upper 70s on Saturday. Temperatures will be lower near the lake, Leatherwood said.
“We will have lots of sunshine, it will be nice and cool,” he said.
Sunny skies and high temperatures in the mid-80s are expected Sunday as Chicago celebrates Juneteenth.
Leatherwood said people shouldn’t forget sunscreen.
“Sometimes when we’re stuck indoors in the heat, we get too excited and forget that we still have to protect ourselves,” he said.
If this mild weekend does not allow you to put on sun balm, next week maybe. The city could then experience another round of hot weather, Leatherwood said, with increased humidity and temperatures that could return heat indexes above 100 degrees.