What was summer 1983 like?

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Dear Tom,

I remember hearing that in May 1983 the temperature did not reach 70 but the summer of 1983 was pretty hot. Is that accurate?

— Betsy Kass, Park Ridge

Dear Betsy,

May 1983 was indeed chilly and ranks as the city’s 10th coldest May with an average temperature of 53.2 degrees. No Chicago May has failed to produce a 70-degree-plus day, but May 1983 produced just seven, half of the city’s long-term average of 14. The month’s highest reading was just 77 degrees, recorded May 6.

The summer that followed was a hot one, registering 42 days of 90 degrees or higher that included two 100-degree days in July. Summer’s warmth began in earnest June 8 with a high of 81 and was followed by the first of the month’s nine 90s on June 11. The heat continued in July with 14 days of 90 or higher, followed by 13 in August and six in September.