Sunday Story: Remembering a historic heat wave

So far, this summer has not been too hard on us. We’ve had plenty of rain and the heat hasn’t been too intolerable. Looking back at the records it’s easy to see that things could be much worse.

One decade that really stands out in the record books is the 1930s. That was a brutal decade of hot, dry summers for a very large portion of the US. Unfortunately, that also coincided with the years of the Great Depression. Times were hard. 

That heat extended eastward to Tennessee. Many of our records for heat were set during the 1930s, in particularly for the year 1930.

All-time record highs were set for Carthage and Lebanon in the summer of 1930. August 8th brought high temperatures for the two cities of 111 degrees. On that day, Allardt hit 102, Cookeville 105, and Crossville 99 degrees. In fact, Crossville would hit record highs for five days in a row that weak, flirting with the 100-degree mark.

Feeling hot yet? Keep in mind that these were the days before air conditioners. Heck, even a fan wasn’t a luxury enjoyed by all. 

Thousands died across the country in this heat wave. There simply wasn’t any place to find relief from the heat. 

All across the Midwest, farms dried up, with agricultural losses crippling farming families. Across the southern plains, the farms dried up and strong winds blew the top soil away. What a hopeless time. 

Let’s be thankful that we’re not dealing with anything like that this summer. Sure, the rain can be annoying, especially when you want to do something outside, but it sure beats the alternative.

As of now, this pattern looks to continue right on into the fall, with above normal rainfall and normal temperatures. 

5-day outlook (9)


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