By Meteorologist Tammie Souza
CHICAGO (CBS) — What is the deadliest weather phenomenon in the United States? If you guessed tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, or ice storms you’d be wrong.
Heat is our top weather killer and historically Chicago’s worst heat has been during the month of July.
While high temperatures won’t be an issue for the last weekend of July this year, it was a matter of life and death in 1999.
Temperatures the end of that month rose above 100 degrees. The hot spot of the area was Midway Airport at 104 with a dew point of 82 which is still the highest ever recorded in the Chicago area. The Heat Index (Feels-like temperature) peaked at 120 degree and stayed above 100 degrees for a day and a half along the lakefront.
Sadly 80 deaths were attributed to the extreme heat during the final days of July 1999. It was the worst heat since Chicago’s deadliest stretch in mid-July of 1995 when over 600 people perished from the heat.