Heat in Allamakee County: 1936 and the 21st Century
Allamakee County, Iowa
In 1936 Allamakee County experienced 14 days in a row of 90+ temperatures; 9 of these days were over 100+ degrees. What a misery it must have been for residents there and throughout the Midwest where similar temperatures occurred (or worse!). 1934 is the hottest year on record in the United States. “Poor land use practices and many years of intense drought contributed to these [1930s] heat waves by depleting soil moisture and reducing the moderating effects of evaporation.”
In the 1930s, the rest of the globe was not experiencing record high temperatures. The United States, about 2% of the surface of the globe, including oceans, was not big enough to drive the global heat average to record levels in the 1930s.
The hottest years on the globe as a whole are, to date, 2014, 2015, 2016. Allamakee County has experienced seven heat waves since 1993: 1995, 1999, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013. 2012 was an especially difficult year as drought accompanied the heat. Other parts of Iowa have experienced drought in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2006. These kinds of records are a moving target in the 21 st century. Some parts of southern Iowa experienced drought in 2018 while other parts of Iowa experienced significant flooding. But in any case, the misery of the 1930s will remain vivid in US historical memory although it was not a decade for the global record books.
Sources: “hottest year on record gobal temperature,” Skeptical Science, 2018, web; NOAA/National Weather Service, “Natural Hazards Assessment: Allamakee County,” November 2016, web.