How does our current September heat wave compare to that March heat wave we had several years ago?

Dear Tom,
How does our current September heat wave compare to that March heat wave we had several years ago?
— Tom Mohr, St. Charles
Dear Tom,
Both the current heat wave and the incredible warmth in March 2012 are stunning examples of unseasonable warmth. However, without question, the March 2012 episode was a far more impressive event. In 2012 the city established nine consecutive record highs from March 14-22, ranging from 78 to 87 — levels from 30 to 38 degrees above normal. Additionally, the lake water temperature was in the 30s, a classic setup for chilling lake winds, which never occurred. While unprecedented, the current late-season heat wave established a run of seven record highs ranging from 92 to 95, all about 20 degrees above normal and with the lake water temperatures still near 70, lake breezes are not as strong.