Chicago’s hottest consecutive summers

Dear Tom,
In comparing this summer’s heat to past years, it seems that many of the high temperature records were set in the years 1953, 1954 and 1955. Do those years represent the hottest consecutive summers in Chicago history?
— Lloyd Fry, Chicago
Dear Lloyd,
They do. Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski ranked the city’s hottest summers and found that four summers of the 1950s ranked in the top 10 warmest. The city’s hottest summer was 1955 (76.4 degrees), 1959 (75.5 degrees) was fifth, 1953 (75.3 degrees) seventh and 1954 (75.2 degrees) ninth. The 1953-55 summers all featured record 11-day runs of 90-degree-plus heat and chronicled 42, 36 and 46 days of 90 degrees or higher, respectively. All three summers also logged triple-digit heat — four days in 1953 and one in both 1954 and 1955.