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..A PERIOD OF DANGEROUS HEAT EXPECTED ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA... .A multiple day episode of dangerous heat is expected later this week centered on Friday into the start of the weekend. This heat will expand into the area Thursday afternoon and persist through Friday and into Saturday. There is a potential for showers and thunderstorms Thursday morning that may keep Thursday cooler than forecast, but confidence is increasing in dangerous heat arriving by Friday. Additionally, there will be little relief from the heat overnight Thursday and Friday. The urban heat island core of Chicago is most susceptible to night time temperatures that do not cool significantly, limiting the amount of relief that can occur at night. Clouds could cut back temps a little across northernmost counties (Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Lake and Ogle Counties Saturday, so those counties are under a Heat Advisory through Friday. ...EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING... The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued an Excessive Heat Watch, which is in effect from Thursday afternoon through Saturday evening. * HIGH TEMPERATURES...Peaking in the 90s each day, with Friday and Saturday potentially in the upper 90s to near 100 degrees. * MAXIMUM HEAT INDICES...Peaking 102 to 112 each day. * LOW TEMPERATURES...Lows only in the upper 70s to near 80 on Thursday and Friday nights will offer little to no relief from the heat. * IMPACTS...The cumulative effects of temperatures and heat index values this high could lead to heat related illnesses with prolonged exposure. Those without air conditioning, elderly, small children, and pets are especially susceptible. Plan ahead. Have a cool place to shelter from the heat. Avoid outdoor activity, especially strenuous ones, during the peak heating times of the day. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... An Excessive Heat Watch means that a prolonged period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Drink plenty of fluids...stay in an air-conditioned room...stay out of the sun...and check up on relatives and neighbors. The extended duration of heat, combined with nearly full sunshine, and oppressive warmth even at night will lead to potentially hazardous conditions, particularly for the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. Residents of the city of Chicago can call 3...1...1...to request well being checks for elderly friends or family members, or for information on finding the nearest cooling center.