Midwest braces for storms ahead of sweltering heat wave

Published 9:37 am Monday, July 18, 2016

CHICAGO — Weekend thunderstorms and at least two tornadoes that rolled through the Midwest are expected to give way to a blistering hot and sticky week.

“It’s going to feel the most uncomfortable it’s felt all summer,” Kevin Donofrio, a National Weather Service meteorologist in suburban Chicago, said of the expected heat wave.

Temperatures in Chicago and stretching into Iowa, Missouri and Kansas and up into Wisconsin are expected to reach 90 degrees by Thursday or Friday, with the same story — though perhaps a bit warmer — anticipated in Minnesota. And in all these areas, the humidity is going to make the temperatures feel like they have reached and even passed the 100-degree mark.

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“Anybody that’s out and about running around is going to have to limit their exercise because of the heat,” said Tony Zaleski, a weather service meteorologist in Chanhassen,, explaining that the expected temperatures in the upper 90s would be a good 10-12 degrees above normal for this time of year.

On Sunday, thunderstorms with winds greater than 40 mph rolled through Chicago, Iowa and other parts of the Midwest, the most violent of which apparently hit eastern Iowa.

There, storms, along with two confirmed tornadoes knocked down trees and damaged homes and businesses. In Walford, firefighters had to rescue a man from the rubble of a house that collapsed. The tornadoes, one in Jackson County and one in Scott County, were on the ground for a short time and no injuries were reported with either.

Meteorologists said they expected the thunderstorms would be followed Sunday afternoon and evening by even more powerful storms that had the potential to include winds of 60 mph, large hail and as much as an inch of rain, Donofrio said.