Rare triple-digit temperatures hit Chicago, with O’Hare International Airport experiencing 100 degrees or higher for the first time in over a decade. Throughout the city’s history, there have been only 65 days with such extreme heat. The first recorded triple-digit temperature was in 1887, prompting fashionable solutions like reading indoors or escaping to cooler places.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Chicago was 105 degrees in 1934, but unofficial readings reached 109 degrees during the Dust Bowl and 106 degrees during a heat wave in 1995 at other locations within the city.
The year 1995 marked a notorious heat wave that claimed over 700 lives in the area. It was a turning point for Chicago’s emergency response and preparedness protocols.
With 15 heat-related deaths and over 30 more attributed to the extreme conditions, the city experienced tragic consequences during that sweltering week. One victim, Karol R. Bielawski, 43, collapsed and died while driving his truck near Warren Boulevard.
As Chicago continues to grapple with rare scorching temperatures, the city remains vigilant in learning from past experiences and implementing measures to protect its residents during extreme weather events.