(CHICAGO) — Residents of the Windy City probably wish they had a breeze to help them cope with the searing heat that has been scorching Chicago lately.
The mercury hit a record 103 degrees on Thursday — the second straight day of triple-digit temps — and forecasters are predicting another 103 degrees on Friday. If that happens, it will be only the third three-day heat wave of 100-degree temperatures in Chicago since record-keeping began in the 19th century.
Chicago has now endured six consecutive days of over 90 degrees, a heat wave that has forced the closing of summer school classes and contributed to two deaths.
The city’s medical examiner’s office says autopsies performed on Thursday show heat stress contributed to the deaths of a 48-year-old man and a 56-year-old man.
There were heat advisories in 23 states on Thursday, and in many of those states, residents were forced to deal with both high temperatures and continued power outages.
Power is coming back slowly for folks in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, following last week’s violent thunderstorms, but utility companies in Michigan, West Virginia and Ohio say there are more than 600,000 homes and businesses still in the dark and without AC.
Severe thunderstorms swept across eastern Tennessee Thursday night. Officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park say at least two people were killed by the violent weather.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Angela Dewan and Euan McKirdy, CNN
Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Jen Christensen, CNN