102-degree heat ties record for July 4
Updated: October 24, 2012 10:11PM
The temperature hit 102 at O’Hare for a brief moment Wednesday afternoon, tying for the hottest Independence Day on record.
The record temperature for July 4 in Chicago is 102 degrees, set in 1911. At 1:42 p.m., the mercury reached 102 degrees at O’Hare International Airport, where the city’s official temperatures are recorded, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.
By 2:00 p.m., the temperature had dropped back down to 101 degrees.
The National Weather Service and local government agencies throughout the Chicago area are urging residents to stay hydrated, keep cool, not to spend too much time in the sun and check on others during this heat wave, which is expected to bring high temperatures at or near 100 degrees for the next few days.
An excessive heat warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Friday for Cook County and a heat advisory is in effect until 10 p.m. Friday outside of Cook County, according to the weather service.
While it may cool off a bit in the suburbs tonight, with lows in the mid-70s, downtown the temperature still won’t get much lower than the low to middle 80s, according to the weather service. Heat indices -- meaning what it actually feels like outside with both the heat and humidity -- will be in the 90s in much of the city tonight.
Other than the record-setting mark established in 1911, the high temperature has never gotten above 100 on the 4th of July in Chicago’s history, according to the weather service. Last July 4, the high temperature was 89 degrees.
Thursday and Friday are also expected to reach 100 degrees, the weather service said. Thursday was expected to be intensely hot and humid, with hazy, partly cloudy skies. A record high temperature could be reached on Thursday, since the record high, set in 1911, is 102 degrees, and high temperatures Thursday could be between 100 to 104 degrees. Peak afternoon heat index readings could be between 110 to 115 degrees.
High temperatures are expected to be in the upper 90s Friday, with peak afternoon heat index readings between 105 to 110, the weather service said. The record high for July 6 is 99 degrees, set in 1988.
The weather service also reminds people not to leave children or pets in a closed vehicle, even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach 140 to 190 degrees within 30 minutes on a hot sunny day.