1995: A record breaking heat wave peaked across the region with very high temperatures and dewpoints combining to produce dangerous heat index values. The heat wave was most severe from July 12-15 and caused approximately 700 deaths in Chicago as well as many others in Milwaukee, Saint Louis, and other large cities throughout the upper midwest. At least four deaths were attributed to the heat in Iowa. Most observing stations across the state recorded heat index values exceeding 120 F on July 12th or 13th and many locations maintained dewpoints in the lower 80s through the night, especially in eastern and southeastern Iowa. On the 12th the temperature reached 108 F at Sioux City and at 6 pm on the 13th the temperature at Cedar Rapids was 100 F with a dewpoint of 85 F, resulting in a heat index of 131 F. Near Storm Lake a single large turkey farm lost nearly 120,000 birds to the heat in just 24 hours and statewide more than 300,000 turkeys and 4,000 cattle were killed.
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This post was written by Schnack on July 13, 2012