Heat Blog: Hot in Chicago

When we were in Chicago a few weeks ago, it was hot and humid virtually the entire week or so we were here. Temperatures up to the mid-90s and some real sweaty 80 to 90 percent humidity days that persisted after the heat eased a bit. At the tail end of our stay, the weather broke and highs fell into the 70s. I’m told they stayed that way until my return today, when the high downtown hit 97. Right now, it’s getting close to 1 a.m. in Chicago. The temperature: 86 degrees at O’Hare, 87 at Midway. That’s extraordinary for the middle of the night. Tomorrow’s forecast: the upper 90s again.

(Yes: I’m aware that people in Texas and the southern Plains have been going through about three months of this without a break. And yes: I enjoy our effete fog-bank summers in the Bay Area, which sometimes seem cool enough to keep your viognier nicely chilled without benefit of a fridge.)

Chicago meteorologist Tom Skilling breaks down the late-season heat wave in a post on the Chicago Weather Center super-blog:

The heat is on;Chicago is headed into the hottest opening two days of any September in 58 years!

(That exclamation point lends a certain “War of the Worlds” air to the proceedings, I think. And 58 years seems like ancient history, harking back to the days of Demosthenes or Davy Crockett. But then I remembered my mom was about two months and counting into her pregnancy with your humble blogger.)

Tom says:

It’s not at all “typical” to see temperatures here this late in the season as hot as those being predicted over the next few days. Highs are to reach 94-degrees Thursday and 98-degrees Friday. A few of Friday’s hottest temperatures could reach or exceed 100-degrees.

Back-to-back 90-degree or higher temperatures last occurred on September’s two opening days three years ago in 2008. But you have to go back 58 years—to 1953—-to find readings on September 1 and 2 warmer than those in coming days. That’s the year September opened with two 101-degree highs on the 1st and 2nd.

4 Replies to “Heat Blog: Hot in Chicago”

  1. Despite the fact we’ve had 65 days of triple digit temperatures (so far) down here in Texas, I remember how the humidity in Chicago made summers truly miserable and sympathize with my former homies in Chi-town.
    That being said, the toss-away line, “but it’s a *dry* heat,” is bullshit. The surface of the sun is dry, too.
    Stay cool, friend!

  2. Wow — 86 degrees. That reminds me of our first visit to Las Vegas, when we rolled into town at about 1 a.m. The Strip was full of people out walking, the lights were blazing, and somewhere a slot machine was ready to empty the change from my pockets. The temperature was about 95. Crikey, as my Nottingham aunt-by-marriage used to say.

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