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Chicago Weather Center

Ask Tom why: What was Chicago's hottest summer?

February 25, 2012

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Dear Tom,

What was Chicago's hottest summer?

—Austin Olesak

Dear Austin,

The city's hottest summer was 1955, which averaged 76.4 degrees, edging out the runner-up, 1995, by just 0.1 degree. In 1955 there were 46 days when the mercury reached at least 90 degrees including July 27, that summer's one day that maxed out at 100. The summer featured five major heat waves with extended periods of consecutive 90-degree days, including a record-tying 11-day stretch from July 26-Aug. 5. The hot weather extended well into September with the year's 90-degree days coming to an end after a five-day run from Sept. 15-19. The summer was also characterized by 36 warm nights when the minimum temperature failed drop below 70 degrees.