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High winds bring dangerous waves as hotter weather arrives in Chicago

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Plus, Wednesday was 2019’s hottest day yet

So far this year has produced some dismal weather, and the chilly temperatures in early summer were so unusual that it prompted people to question whether we’d ever see warmer days. Well finally, in mid-July the heat is here—Wednesday was this year’s hottest day yet with a high of 94 degrees.

The latest outlook from the National Weather Service Chicago shows that while Thursday is cooler, the temperatures this weekend will likely bring above-average heat. July is one of the hottest months in Chicago historically, and the hottest day on record was July 24, 1934, when the high was 105 degrees.

On top of the hotter weather, there is also a warning for dangerous swimming conditions in Lake Michigan and officials advise people to stay out of the water. High winds will bring “life-threatening” waves between 3 to 6 feet and strong currents through Thursday. For updates on the conditions, residents can check the weather service’s interactive beach hazard map.

Rip currents can sweep swimmers quickly into deeper water, but there are also structural currents that form along piers which are quite dangerous, too. Most Chicago beaches have protective break walls which help mitigate the impact of large waves and strong currents, but visitors should still wait to swim until hazard warning has ended.