Heat wave blankets Chicago

By Xu Jing
  • World
  • Tuesday, 18 Jun 2024

CHICAGO, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Chicagoans have been taken aback by the heat wave when they stepped out of houses Monday morning.

Chicago Metropolitan Area is one of a dozen large metropolitan areas in the United States shrouded under a heat wave stretching from the Midwest to the Northeast that is expected to linger for at least five days, with temperatures each day above 32 Celsius degrees. Monday was forecast to see temperature reaching 36 Celsius degrees.

In a message on social media X, formerly twitter, on Monday, the National Weather Service Chicago said "today will mark the beginning of a multi-day stretch of hot and muggy weather featuring heat indices that may near or even exceed 100 degrees (37.77 Celsius degrees) at times."

Hot, dry conditions can in turn lead to high concentrations of ground-level ozone, Chicago Tribune reported Monday. Different from the naturally occurring ozone layer that is higher up in the atmosphere, ground-level ozone can have adverse effects on human health and produce a burning feeling in the throat, airways and lungs, leading to swelling, shortness of breath, asthma attacks, coughing, chest pains and throat irritation.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is urging Chicagoans to limit outdoor activities for sensitive groups, including children and people with pulmonary or respiratory disease.

Chicago City Department of Family and Support Services opened cooling centers Monday at its six community service centers, as well as its senior centers.

"What is truly remarkable about this heat wave is its duration," the Chicago Sun-Times reported, quoting Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford. Given forecasts, it is likely Chicago will reach into 32 Celsius degrees and above for seven consecutive days.

On average, Chicago experiences about four days of 32 Celsius degree temperatures in June every year. The city's longest stretch of 32 Celsius-degree weather for June occurred in 1954, and lasted 11 days.

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