ASK TOM: The extreme heat of July 1936.

Dear Tom,

Previous columns have addressed Chicago’s extreme heat in July 1936. I was born on July 14, 1936, in Oil City, Pa., and have been told that is was also extremely hot there. Details?

– Denise Wells Palfy, Oak Park


Dear Denise,

July 1936 was the peak of one of the worst heat waves to ever hit this nation. Intense heat gripped much of the country, from the Plains to the Great Lakes and central Appalachians, including Pennsylvania. Many locations recorded all-time  highs that still stand decades later. Weather historian Frank Wachowski scoured weather records from Franklin, Pa., close to Oil City and noted that the high temperature on your birthday was a torrid 106, the culmination of a seven-day run of triple-digit heat in a month that logged 16 days with highs of at least 90 degrees.