Has Chicago ever had a year without a 90-degree day?
—Thanks, Stan C., Chicago
The answer is yes, but it has only happened once in 1875, during the era when the city’s official thermometer was located near the cooling breezes of Lake Michigan. The highest temperature that year was just 89 degrees on June 11. Three other years (all lakefront readings) logged just one 90- 1882, 1884, and 1915. In 1915 the solo 90 occurred very late in the season on September 14. In contrast, the year with the most 90s was during the 1988 drought summer, when 47 were recorded, a total that included a record seven days with triple-digit highs. The city’s longest stretch of days of 90 degree- plus days is 11, logged on four occasions, all during the torrid summers of the 1950s: Aug. 24-Sept. 3, 1953; June 11-21, 1954; July 26-Aug. 5, 1955; and Aug. 19-29, 1959.