Heat Wave of Heat Waves

80 years ago this week, the most intense heat wave since records have been kept was roasting most of the upper Midwest with maximums well above 100°.  In fact, the highest temperature ever measured in North Dakota occurred on this date in 1936.  It was July 6, 1936 the maximum temperature reached 121° in Steele, ND to set the record for the warmest temperature in the state.  The cooperative observer who took that reading wrote in her notes that day “Hot winds. Trees and Shrubbery Cooked”    Outside of that intense heat wave that year, that 121° reading has never been even of that two week incredible heat wave that summer.  Could it happen again?  Of course, but it would take a long prolonged drought, something we haven’t experienced in a long time.

July 6,1936


Daryl Ritchison