National Weather Service upgrades heat watch to warning

Heat indexes set to climb to 110 to 115 degrees Wednesday

John Patyk, 13, tries to keep cool in front of a fan as he tends to his family's Patyk's Farm Market and Greenhouse near Richmond on July 25, 2023. With temperatures in the nineties and high humidity forecasted, cooling centers will be open throughout McHenry County.

The National Weather Service has upgraded Wednesday’s excessive heat watch for McHenry County and surrounding areas to an excessive heat warning.

Heat indexes on Wednesday are set to climb to 110 to 115 degrees, and the warning issued Tuesday notes some areas may see heat indexes reach even higher.

Todd Kluber, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said a cold front is coming through at some point during the day on Thursday, but “it will still be hot,” he said.

“That’s been the one factor that’s been the question,” Kluber said. “How quick does that front get in?”

We’re implementing water breaks every 30 minutes for athletes.”

—  Shannon Podzimek, District 155 director of communications

Most school districts in the area are not planning on closing schools due to the heat wave, but some area school districts have made changes to their schedules.

Marengo-Union District 165 Superintendent Lea Damisch said the school district just wrapped up installing air conditioning earlier this month.

“We’re 100% air-conditioned,” Damisch said. “They must have been clairvoyant.”

Crystal Lake District 47 announced late Monday that West and Canterbury elementary schools will be closed Wednesday and Thursday due to a lack of air conditioning in those schools.

Woodstock District 200 is releasing classes at 11:15 a.m. at Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center; 10:15 a.m. at Dean Street Elementary School Westwood Elementary School, Greenwood Elementary School and Clay Academy; 12:35 p.m. at Northwood Middle School and 12:25 p.m. at Woodstock High School Wednesday and Thursday, according to an email sent to parents. Pre-kindergarten classes at Verda Dierzen and Greenwood Elementary are called off Wednesday and Thursday, according to the email.

Several area high school sporting events have been affected this week.

Marengo High School’s girls junior varsity tennis is canceling matches Tuesday and Thursday, according to the website.

Crystal Lake Central High School’s Tuesday volleyball match against Huntley was moved to Huntley, according to the athletics website. Wednesday’s girls tennis match against Grant was postponed and Thursday’s girls tennis match against South Elgin was rescheduled to Sept. 11 because of heat.

The Cary-Grove High School girl’s varsity tennis match at St. Francis scheduled for Thursday was canceled because of the weather, according to the athletics website.

Prairie Ridge High School’s Girls golf varsity match scheduled for Wednesday was postponed due to heat.

Crystal Lake South’s volleyball match against Prairie Ridge Thursday was changed to Prairie Ridge. The boy’s soccer match against Rockford Boylan was rescheduled to Saturday because of the heat.

Athletics practices in District 155, which consists of Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South, Cary-Grove and Prairie Ridge, will have some athletics practices at later start times because of the weather, among other precautions, Shannon Podzimek, the district’s communications director, said. She added that all the athletics schedule changes this week were due to heat.

“We are implementing water breaks every 30 minutes for athletes,” Podzimek said.

She added the school district’s physical education classes will be indoors Wednesday and Thursday as well.

Kevin Lyons, District 200′s communications director, said Woodstock High School’s volleyball match against Marengo, scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Woodstock, has been moved to Marengo since Marengo has air conditioning. He added football players will practice in the evening when it is cooler outside.

Richmond-Burton High School’s boys soccer match against Johnsburg on Wednesday was rescheduled to Aug. 28. Richmond-Burton athletic director Tim Johnson said a cross country meet on Wednesday also was canceled due to the heat.

Flood Brothers will start garbage pickup earlier on Wednesday and Thursday in McHenry and Cary. A Nixle alert from McHenry and an email from Cary noted the start time for trash pickup will be 6:30 a.m. on both days. Courtney Sage, assistant village administrator for Cary, said trash pickup usually starts at 7 a.m.

The heat warning is set to take effect at 11 a.m. Wednesday and expires at 9 p.m. Wednesday. The heat watch will remain in effect through Thursday evening.

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