Iowans who think the weather’s been too hot the past few days need to quit complaining and consider the plight of Iowans during the summer of 1936. Today (Monday) marks the anniversary of the hottest day ever recorded in Iowa, according to state climatologist Harry Hillaker. On July 25, 1936, the state’s highest temperature was reached in both Atlantic and Logan with 117 degrees, and that’s not a heat index, it’s the actual temperature. He says even the lows on that day in those cities were 84 so it was “amazingly hot.” Hillaker says it’s hard to fathom just how hot 117 is — especially in that era when there were no air conditioners. While Dubuque was the state’s cool spot that day with 90 degrees, he says other parts of Iowa, particularly in the southwest, had overnight lows in the upper 80s, so they never even got relief during the nighttime hours. Hillaker says there are reports of people going to rather extreme measures to try and beat the heat.Several thousand people camped out on the state capitol grounds just to try and catch a breeze atop the high hill. Not only did that date go down in Iowa history as the hottest day, that July was also Iowa’s hottest-ever month and Hillaker adds, it was also Iowa’s hottest summer on record.
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