Consecutive days of warm temperatures could break 1995 record

Meteorologists consider probablility of '95 heat wave repeat

March 15, 2012

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Meteorologists are predicting the Chicago region could see temperatures in the 70s for a week or more. That would break records from 1995 - the same year the city experienced a deadly heat wave.

The Chicago region set records when it experienced 70 degree weather for five consecutive days in March of 1995. It was unseasonably warm for that spring, just as it is this year. Just a few months later, a heat wave reportedly killed over 700 people. Meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste from Northern Illinois University says there's a good chance the recent warm weather here will break the 1995 record, and that a hot summer could follow.

"It is interesting to note, that some of the climate forecast models are calling for a summer that will be above average," he said. "How much above average? We can't determine that."

Sebentse says a lack of rainfall led to the extreme temperatures in the '95 heat wave.

"As of this time, we actually have adequate rainfall and soil moisture, but it is starting to get a little dry," Sebentse said. "And believe me, the farmers out here in DeKalb and the surrounding areas are very concerned that a repeat of 1995 could be in the works."

The National Weather Service says it's hard to connect the two events, but they can predict it's going to be an unseasonably warm March.