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Dome of heat bakes Midwest, closes some schools

Children take refuge from the heat by playing in the fountain at the Kansas State Fair on Monday in Hutchinson, Kan. Lindsey Bauman / The Hutchinson News via AP

A surge of late-summer heat was blazing across the U.S. Midwest on Tuesday, prompting officials to shutter public schools in Illinois and Ohio as near-record high temperatures turned the region into a veritable oven.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for the southern flank of Michigan, including metro Detroit, which will run through Wednesday night as temperatures are slated to reach a sizzling 96 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Celsius).

“We thought the dog days of summer were behind us, but we’re having this last high heat event with temperatures above normal,” Matt Mosteiko, a Weather Service meteorologist in Michigan, told Reuters.

Detroit officials called on residents to stay indoors and said they were opening up air-conditioned cooling centers for sunbaked locals, NBC station WDIV in Detroit reported.

A heat advisory also loomed over Ohio as temperatures were forecast to near the state record high of 96 degrees, set 30 years ago. Temperatures hovered roughly 15 degrees above normal. The heat index could cross 100 degrees in some areas, according to NBC station WLWT in Cincinnati.

In Middletown, outside of Cincinnati, students were let out of school early due to the extreme heat. Meanwhile, in the Chicago area, city officials ordered the closure of some 50 schools.

At O’Hare International Airport, temperatures reached a boiling afternoon high of 92 degrees, just a few notches away from the record 95 set 30 years ago, according to NBCChicago.com.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said more than 100 cooling centers were being opened across the state on Tuesday. He pleaded with residents to stave off dehydration and other effects of horrible heat.

Temperatures are not expected to ease overnight. Even more high heat was expected going into Wednesday, when it will work its way east, forecasters told Reuters.

But by the end of the week, a strong cold front will bring more favorable conditions to the Plains states, Midwest and East, according to The Weather Channel.

Reuters contributed to this report.