Dear Tom,
This cool weather reminds me of what I call “the summer that wasn’t”. It was so cool people couldn’t use their pools. Was it in the 80’s?
—Jeanne Hokens Chicago

Dear Jeanne,
Your memories are correct, but it wasn’t the 80s. It was the “summer” of 1992, the city’s fourth coldest with an average temperature of 67.1, about 4 degrees below the city’s long-term summer average. That cool summer can be directly attributed to the massive volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines on June 15, 1991. That year the city recorded just six 90s with the year’s warmest reading just 93 on August 9. Eight record lows were set, five in June and three in August, along with two record low maximums, 57 on June 20 and 64 on July 23. That cool summer was preceded by the city’s latest frost on May 25, part of six straight lows in the 30s from May 24-29.