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Oppressive heat will linger in McLean County all week

Be prepared for a continuation of heat indices in the 104 to 118 degree range each day through at least Thursday. Friday will bear close watching as it could still be quite hot south of I-70.
National Weather Service
A look at forecasted max heat index values each day through Thursday. This National Weather Service forecast is current as of late Monday afternoon.

There’s an extreme heat warning in effect until Thursday night for McLean County and much of central Illinois, according to the National Weather Service.

Dangerously hot conditions with heat index values of 105 to 115 degrees are expected each day. That increases the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities, according to the National Weather Service.

You should drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned spaces if possible, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

The weather service says we could see record high temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday.

School disruptions

The heat is causing some issues for central Illinois schools.

Bloomington Junior High School will have a remote learning day on Tuesday. That's "due to the current heatwave putting a strain on the air conditioning units at BJHS" and "the building is not able to keep up and maintain satisfactory cooling in the building."

Other District 87 schools are not impacted.

In Unit 5, all junior high outdoor games and practices are canceled on Monday, the school district said on Facebook. High school games and practices have also been adjusted. Depending on the sport, they are either canceled or pushed back later into the evening or moved indoors. Coaches will communicate plans with parents and players.

Extreme heat safety tips

The American Red Cross of Illinois offers these extreme heat safety tips:

  1. Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  3. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  4. If you don’t have air conditioning, seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
  5. Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  6. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  7. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  8. Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  9. Take frequent breaks and use a buddy system when working outdoors.
  10. Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water and shade.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.