Were Chicago summers hotter in the 1960s?
I’ve lived in Chicago all my life and I think the summers of the mid- to late-1960s were hotter than the last 15 years. Am I correct?
—John Powell, Chicago
Not really. We sent Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski to the record books and what he found was that there was not much difference in the summers. Wachowski compared the average meteorological summer temperatures (June-August) for the period 1965-1969 (72.1 degrees) with the 2002-2016 period (72.6 degrees) and found the recent summers about 0.5 degrees warmer. When comparing days of 90 degrees or higher, the mid- and late-’60s averaged 15 days per summer, just slightly higher than the 14.3-day average for 2002-2016. While there were no standout hot summers in the mid- and late-’60s, 2012 was a banner hot summer, the city’s third warmest and tied with 1955 for the second most 90-degree days with 46, just shy of the 47 in 1988.