CHAMPAIGN -- Officials across Illinois are bracing for excessive heat. But while temperatures are expected to drop back soon in the northern half of the state, relief may be a long time coming for southern Illinois.
National Weather Service meteorologist Robin Smith says most of southern Illinois will see record or near-record highs through July 4. The high in Carbondale is expected to be 105 on Thursday and 108 on Friday. Forecast highs are 103 or hotter into the middle of next week.
Local governments in many places are opening cooling centers for people who don't have air conditioning.
Temperatures in Chicago are expected to reach 96 Thursday. Commonwealth Edison says it has 300 extra crew members on duty to deal with outages. The city's schools also have cancelled some summer classes.