A hot and humid weekend is shaping up for Chicagoland just in time for the official start of summer, while severe thunderstorms fire nearby to the north.
Summer 2013 officially begins at 12:04 a.m. CDT, Friday, June 21.
An arm of heat and humidity will build northward from the central and southern Plains this weekend. Indications show that northern Illinois will just get into that air.
Temperatures are forecast to touch the 90-degree mark for a several-day stretch.
People are advised to avoid strenuous physical activity during the afternoon when the combination of intense sunshine, humidity, temperature and other factors will push AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures into the middle 90s.
If you must work under these conditions, be sure to wear lightweight, light-colored clothing and be sure to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
Most of the time the weather will be fine for outdoor recreation. However, the entire weekend may not be rain-free.
The region will be near a highway for thunderstorms riding along the northern edge of the rim of heat.
Thunderstorms, some of which will be severe, will frequent areas from the Dakotas to Minnesota, Wisconsin and part of Michigan into the weekend.
There is a chance that a thunderstorm can wander far enough to the south to sweep across Illinois and Indiana on a couple of occasions.
The storms cannot only knock the temperature down briefly, but they can also certainly make the air more humid. A few locations could be hit with a powerful thunderstorm, capable of knocking down tree limbs, causing sporadic power outages and producing frequent lightning strikes in some neighborhoods.
While people are encouraged to enjoy the warm weather, they should keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions, especially when away from shelter, such as at the beach or on the lake.