Season’s first heatwave arrives in Chicago this week

All 77 of Chicago’s public pools will open Monday just in time for a week of extreme heat.

The heatwave kicked off Sunday with an expected high of 90 degrees. Weather service experts forecast temperatures to remain in the 90s for most of the week with hardly any chance for clouds.

“Temperatures getting below the 90s is not in the cards until maybe next Sunday,” said David King, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville.

Monday and Tuesday will be especially hot as temperatures hit the mid-90s. Making things hotter is the extra humidity headed our way, King said.

“There’s a chance of the temperature feeling close to 100 degrees, that humidity just makes it feel so much hotter,” King said.

The Chicago area will feel some of the effects of a “heat dome” forecasted along the Atlantic Ocean seaboard, King said, but we won’t feel the worst of it. The heat dome, which happens when high pressure traps heat over an area, will mainly impact parts of Ohio and the Detroit area, according to the weather service.

King said he doesn’t expect the weather service to issue any heat warnings for the Chicago area this week; alerts get sent out when temperatures exceed 105 degrees.

But people should still be careful when they’re outside, as the heat can still take a toll, King said. He encourages people to take breaks in the shade or inside, always bring water and sunscreen, and generally limit outside activities. Keep an eye on elderly people and babies, as they are especially sensitive to high temperatures, he added.

“Just because we don’t have a heat advisory out doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions,” King said.

The weather service issued an air quality alert that ends Monday evening. Anyone dealing with respiratory diseases should limit their time outside.

The city will also open six cooling centers this week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. The centers are located at:

  • Englewood Center – 1140 W. 79th St.
  • Garfield Center – 10 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • King Center – 4314 S. Cottage Grove
  • North Area Center – 845 W. Wilson Ave.
  • South Chicago Center – 8650 S. Commercial Ave.
  • Trina Davila Center – 4312 W. North Ave.

All pools open for the season

The city’s 50 outdoor pools and 27 indoor pools will open for the season on Monday, the Chicago Park District announced Sunday.

The park district says it has hired enough lifeguards to staff all of the city’s pools. Staffing troubles have prevented the district from opening every pool during recent summers — only half of the pools were open in 2022.

The pools will be open six days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Schedules for each of the pools can be found here.

“We worked hard to strengthen our lifeguard pipeline and to yield sufficient candidates to open all beaches and pools, and it has paid off,” Rosa Escareño, park district CEO and superintendent, said in a statement.

“Due to our extensive hiring efforts, Chicago residents and families will enjoy their summer and cool off in our beaches and pools.”

One of those efforts was the Lifeguard Explorer Training Program, which recruited from pools on the South and West sides. Participants received swim lessons to prep for the lifeguard license swim test and learned the basics of lifeguarding.

The pay for lifeguards was raised this year from $16.19 an hour to $19 an hour, the park district said. Lifeguard swim tests were also offered earlier in the year and during evenings and weekends.

After four years of sitting empty, the Humboldt Park Beach also opens Monday. All of the city’s 22 beaches opened on May 24. Beaches and pools close for the season after Labor Day on Sept. 2.

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