CHICAGO
07/19/2011 11:53 am ET | Updated Sep 18, 2011

Chicago Heat Wave: Worst Still Coming As Heat Index Nears 110 Degrees

Chicago is certainly not the only city suffering from extreme heat and high humidity at the moment--but things are expected to get worse before they get better.

On Tuesday, WGN's Tom Skilling reported that the city could see the hottest temperatures in six years on Wednesday and Thursday--as humidity levels push the heat index to 110 degrees in the far southern and western suburbs.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch, which is in effect through late Thursday night. The NWS warns that temperatures in the upper 90s will combine with "oppressive humidity values to result in dangerous high heat." They also say that nighttime won't bring much relief, as the humidity is expected to stick around and temperatures will stay in the mid-80s.

“Basically, the entire area will bake Wednesday and Thursday,” National Weather Service meteorologist Richard Castro told the Chicago Sun-Times. He went on to say that current temperatures are usually experienced in Miami during the summer, and that a "tropical air mass" is moving east through the country.

Chicago officials have opened six cooling centers, many of them in lower-income neighborhoods, along with hundreds of air-conditioned public buildings. The centers were used Monday, but not packed. About 117 people sought assistance.

The city urges people to check on seniors or people who are isolated, or to call 311 to request a well-being check. So far, no heat-related deaths have been reported.