Summer solstice brings storms, start of heat wave

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Chicago resident Jimena Flores (under towel) and other family members dash into the Adler Planetarium in the rain today. ( Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune)

The first heat wave of the year is rolling in, just in time for the summer solstice, and it is being announced by a line of strong storms.

Temperatures could reach the upper 80s today and then 90 or higher Saturday through the middle of next week. It may be the longest streak of 90-plus weather since the middle of July last year.

The heat will be accompanied by high humidity. The heat index (what it feels like) will be somewhere in the middle to upper 90s.  Don’t be surprised if the first heat advisories of the summer are issued within the next couple of days.

As often happens with hot, humid weather, thunderstorms are expected in parts of the Chicago area, especially near the Wisconsin border, according to the National Weather Service.

As of about noon, radar showed a diagonal line of strong storms spreading from Kenosha through south of Rockford, generally heading east.

The summer solstice arrived at 12:04 a.m. today, marking the start of astronomical summer when the sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky. The sun will be above the horizon for 15 hours and 14 minutes today, 6 hours and 6 minutes more daylight than last Dec. 21, the winter solstice and the start of astronomical winter.

Globally, we experienced the 8th warmest spring on record, while May was the third warmest (tied with 1998 and 2005).  May was the 339th straight month with above average global temperatures.  That is more than 28 years in a row.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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