It seems the year 1936 set records in both cold and hot categories. Were there any geological or astronomical phenomena that occurred that might have contributed to those highs and lows?
— Holly Mair, Chicago
The year 1936 was, indeed, a year of extremes, but no geological or astronomical events can be blamed. In the 1930s the nation’s midsection was in the midst of the infamous “Dust Bowl” a nearly decadelong siege of heat and drought. Nationally, the 1936 summer, especially July, was one of the nation’s hottest, a month where many locations established their all-time record highs. In Chicago, the 1936 summer was not as hot as other during the 1930s, but a few record highs set that year have yet to fall. A precursor to the incredibly hot summer, February 1936 remains the nation’s coldest February and Chicago’s third-coldest on record.