Where's the hottest spot in Chicago?

July 5, 2012

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With forecasts from the National Weather Service predicting temperatures as high as 106 degrees Thursday in Chicago, WBEZ tried to figure out if there's one spot in the city that's hotter than all the others. 

According to meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste from Northern Illinois University, the downtown area takes the cake. He says between all the concrete and the lack of vegetation, the Loop can really heat up.

"Last night in downtown Chicago at midnight, the heat index was still 94 degrees with a temperature of 91," Sebenste said.
 
WBEZ reporter Lauren Chooljian went down to the Loop to feel the heat and see if passersby knew they were standing in the hottest spot. 
 
"Really?" said Roz Sproles. "That's interesting. I don't know how you can compare, especially today. It's just hot everywhere."
 
Frank Kava was on board with the theory, and said he "appreciates all the green spaces that are in Chicago."
 
Michelle Tuma wasn't so sure. 
 
"It doesn't feel like it," she said. "It was worse yesterday." Tuma added that she thought it would be hotter on the West side of the city, rather than downtown.
 
For those willing to test the theory, Sebenste says residents can't just run out with a thermometer and stand in the middle of State Street. 
 
"You have to be at least 100 to 200 feet away or so from any buildings or anything that can generate heat," he said.
 
Still itching to experiment? Sebenste says it's hot enough outside that you could actually cook an egg - that is, if you put it in a frying pan and leave it in the car. 
 
The heat is expected to continue in all parts of the city tomorrow.