JOLIET – Excessive heat is expected to hit Will and Grundy counties – and the rest of the Chicago region – Thursday and Friday.
National Weather Service meteorologists expect the weather to be partly cloudy Thursday and Friday with high temperatures in the mid-90s. The NWS issued Tuesday an excessive-heat watch for later in the week, warning of hot and humid conditions on those days.
The combination of mid-90s temperatures with dew points approaching the upper 70s will mean heat indexes between 105 and possibly 115 degrees, which is considered dangerous by the NWS. The heat index is a measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity is factored in with actual air temperature.
NWS meteorologist Kevin Donofrio said that while there have been days this summer when temperatures were in the 90s, the heat didn’t last long.
“This time around, people should be prepared for at least two days of dangerous heat conditions and four days of uncomfortable heat conditions,” he said.
Compared with the past two summers, this one has been warmer, he said.
For the month of July so far, temperatures generally have been hotter than the month last year and in 2014, according to NWS preliminary monthly climate data. Temperatures were hotter in 2013 and especially 2012, when they exceeded 100 degrees.
In response to the anticipated excessive heat, Joliet officials warned residents and reminded them to check on the elderly, those with medical conditions and those with special needs during the extremely hot weather, according to a city news release.
People should not sit in hot cars, even for a short time. Children and pets also should never be in a hot car.
Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to the extreme heat, according to Ready.gov, a website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
People living in urban areas may be at greater risk of the effects of prolonged heat conditions, as asphalt and concrete store heat longer and gradually release it at night, which can produce higher nighttime temperatures, according to the website.
Joliet city officials urged seniors to contact their local aging services agencies or the Illinois Department on Aging Senior Help Line at 800-252-8966 for assistance with locating senior centers, adult day service sites and other buildings that serve as cooling centers.
Joliet Deputy Fire Chief Ray Randich said firefighters will be staying in Thursday and Friday and not doing extra work in light of the excessive heat.
Joliet Fire Chief Joe Formhals said in a news release that heat adds extra stress to the body if people spend time outdoors and they should take extra precautions, such as drinking plenty of water.
Designated cooling centers will be available to residents seeking relief from the heat.
Joliet city officials said the Louis Joliet Mall, Illinois Department of Unemployment Services at 45 E. Webster St., Illinois Rehabilitation Service Center at 1617 W. Jefferson St. and other public places will give shelter.
Throughout the rest of Will County, cooling centers will be available in Bolingbrook, Braidwood, Elwood, Frankfort and Homer Glen, among other communities, according to the Will County website.
• Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothes
• Drink plenty of water
• Stay indoors when possible
• Check on the elderly and those with medical conditions and special needs
• Never leave children or pets in a hot car
• Louis Joliet Mall, 3340 Mall Loop Drive, Joliet
• Daybreak Center, 611 E. Cass St., Joliet
• MorningStar Mission, 350 E. Washington St., Joliet
• Illinois Department of Unemployment Services, 45 E. Webster St., Joliet
• Illinois Rehabilitation Service Center, 1617 W. Jefferson St., Joliet
• Bolingbrook Fire Station No. 4, 1111 W. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook
• Bolingbrook Fire Station No. 5, 1900 Rodeo Drive, Bolingbrook
• Braidwood City Hall, 141 W. Main St., Braidwood
• Channahon Fire Station No. 1, 24929 S. Center St., Channahon
• Diamond Village Hall, 1750 E. Division St., Diamond
• Elwood Village Hall, 401 E. Mississippi Ave., Elwood
• Frankfort Village Hall, 432 W. Nebraska St., Frankfort
• Godley Village Hall, 150 S. Kankakee St., Godley
• Homer Glen Village Hall, 14933 S. Founders Crossing, Homer Glen
Sources: Will County, city of Joliet
Note: People should call ahead to confirm if a facility is available.