Dear Tom,
Which year posted the hottest summer on record for the Chicago area? What did the temperatures look like that summer?
—Stephen Verhaeren, Palos Park
Dear Stephen,
Last summer, the summer of 2020, was the city’s warmest on record, dating back to 1871. The three-month meteorological summer period of June, July and August averaged 76.7 degrees, beating out runner-up 1955’s 76.4-degree average and 1995’s 76.3 degrees. While the 2020 summer lacked extreme heat, logging no triple-digit days, there were 30 days when the mercury reached at least 90 degrees. The warmth was consistent, and the summer had no prolonged cool snaps, logging just two days with highs in the 60s. The average summer high was 86.2 degrees, the city’s fifth warmest, and the average low was 67.1 degrees, the third warmest on record.