Dear Tom,

The weather has turned chilly and I’m hearing that there is a possibility of frost later this week in the outlying areas. I remember a severe September frost back in the 1990s. We came home from a vacation to find our garden decimated. What year was that?

Betsy V.

Dear Betsy,

The year was 1995. A strong cold front passed through the area September 20 and cold air plunged into the Midwest. On Sept. 22, the official thermometer at O’Hare International Airport plunged to a record low of 32 degrees — the city’s earliest freeze on record. Another record low was established the following morning when the mercury bottomed out at a frosty 29 degrees. It was even colder in north and west suburban areas where subfreezing lows included 26 degrees at Streamwood, 27 at Marengo and 28 at McHenry.