Chicago is going to have a hot summer...more than a 50% chance of a top ten hottest summer. The pattern is more than likely neutral at this point so no El Nino or La Nina but the trending to an El Nino may occur by the end of the summer.
So when was Chicago's hottest summer ?
One of the great meteorologist's of our time Tom Skilling tells us the The city's hottest summer was 1955, which averaged 76.4 degrees edging out the runner-up, 1995, by just 0.1 degree.
In 1955 there were 46 days when the mercury reached at least 90 degrees including July 27, that summer's one day that maxed out at 100. The summer featured five major heat waves with extended periods of consecutive 90-degree days, including a record-tying 11-day stretch from July 26-Aug. 5.
The hot weather extended well into September with the year's 90-degree days coming to an end after a five-day run from Sept. 15-19. The summer was also characterized by 36 warm nights when the minimum temperature failed drop below 70 degrees.
Looking at Midwest Climate Center's data, I found that the summer of 1988 had the most 90 degree days in Chicago (47 at O'Hare and 48 at Midway). The symmer of 1988 also had the highest average maximum temperature (87.8 at Midway and 87.2F at O'Hare).
However because of the extreme drought, nights cooled off more to give that summer a lower Mean value. Same is true for the summer of 1936.
Speaking of the summer of 1936, check out the ridiculous temperatures during that July around the Chicagoland area. Maximum temps topped 111 degrees..... Average monthly high temperatures maxed out at 100+ degrees outside the city of Chicago (the city itself had more lake cooling).
I think we will have a warm summer, but not as hot as last year, and certainly not one of the hottest. Why? Because soil moisture levels are recharging in the region. We will probably still see a drought in the Plains so that might lead to sporadic heat waves, but more likely than not, we will be in a ring of fire pattern which will limit how hot it will get. Unlike last year where we were south of the ring of fire.