Excessively Hot Wednesday:

Tuesday was the beginning of what’s to be the hottest stretch of the year thus far. For most, temperatures peaked in the upper 80s. But when you factor in dew points in the low to mid 70s, heat indices ranged from the 95° to as high as 105°. As expected, the National Weather Service has upgraded all of our counties to an Excessive Heat Warning.

This will run from 11AM Wednesday to 8PM Thursday as it’s looking increasingly likely that heat indices are to reach between 105° and 115° both days. Sunshine is to dominate each of the next two days, with winds primarily blowing out of the southwest. Overnight lows tonight will be more of the same from this morning, with most falling into the upper 70s.

Timing of Front is Key:

Thunderstorm chances today will be very limited today due to a decent cap in the atmosphere. But as we’ve hinted at the past few days, the timing of our next frontal passage could hinder our full heating potential Thursday afternoon. If we see this front push this far inland, we could see the chance for a few isolated showers and thunderstorms. This would mean that heat indices won’t be as intense. If not, however, then we remain excessively hot, humid, and dry. With Thursday’s low chance for storms does comes a low risk for severe weather.

The Storm Prediction Center placed a sliver of Winnebago and Dekalb Counties, along with all of Boone, McHenry, and Walworth Counties under a level 1 Marginal Risk for severe weather. If we do manage to see any thunderstorm become severe, gusty winds will be the primary concern. We won’t see much cooling after the cold front comes through early Friday. Expect highs Friday to land in the upper 80s. It won’t be until the weekend where we see a significant cooling trend in our temperatures, leaving us in the upper 70s.

Prioritize Heat Safety:

With it being excessively hot and humid these next few days, remember to take the necessary precautions to stay safe during the prolonged heat. If you can, avoid being outdoors. But if you can’t do that, remember to prioritize heat safety. 

You can beat the excessive heat by wearing light colored clothing, taking frequent breaks in the shade and air conditioning, and of course remaining hydrated. Heat exhaustion and stroke can occur rather quickly if outdoors for too long.

Several days of high heat and humidity, with little relief at night, can put added stress on your body. It’s important to know the signs of heat related illness and take the necessary steps to relieve those or seek medical attention if necessary.

While this hot, humid air can be uncomfortable to us, we also need to keep in mind how it affects our four-legged friends. Because remember, pets ARE family as well. I put this out there every time we correlate pets and the excessive heat. To ensure the safety of your pets, make sure they have plenty of water to keep them hydrated.

When it’s time for them to use the restroom, keep their walks short and keep their paws off of the hot pavement. When the the air temperature reaches 90°, concrete temperatures soar to 135° to 145°, even hotter once air temperature reaches 95°. It’s far safer to walk them on grassy surfaces, preferably those where there’s shade.