The Heat Wave of 1936July 12th, 2011 at 11:39 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
The picture is people trying to sleep outside (instead of their non-air-conditioned homes on the lawn at the Nebraska State Capitol grounds in Lincoln in July 1936. The hottest day that month in Lincoln had a high of 115° and a low of 91° (pic. courtesy of the Neb. Historical Society). The most intense heat wave in the U.S. came in July 1936. Over 5,000 people died because of heat that summer, and that figure is probably too low. Grand Rapids reached 100 degrees 12 times in the 1930s and we’ve only hit 100 twice since 1964. I’ve blogged before that the change in land use with the vast acres planted in corn and soybeans in the Midwest really limit our chance of seeing a heat wave like this today. In 1936, Grand Rapids had high temperatures on July 8-14 of 101°, 101°, 102°, 99°, 106°, 108° and 102°. Those seven high temperatures still stand as daily records 75 years later. Other Michigan all time records that still stand today: included 112° at Mio (all-time state record), 111° at Newaygo and Saginaw, 109° at Hastings and Kalamazoo, 108° at Alma, Greenville, Gull Lake, Vanderbilt and Flint, 107° at Three Rivers, Hillsdale, Houghton Lake and West Branch, 106° at Allegan, Charlotte, Higgins Lake, Lake City and Onaway, 105° at Traverse City, Jackson and Owosso, 104° at Battle Creek, Hart, Cadillac, Ironwood, Alpena and Pontiac, 103° at Big Rapids, Munising, Newberry and Stambaugh and 99° at Grand Marais. The states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and New Jersey also experienced all-time state record highs temperatures in the heat wave of 1936. The provinces of Ontario and Manitoba also set still-standing record highs. Here’s more from the Detroit NWS, and the Detroit News. This thread has been moved up, the first 15 comments are from 2010.