Death Valley holds the record for highest surface air temperature ever recorded at 134° F (56.7°C) Would you have been upset had I not included Celsius? That’s a warm temperature for sure but what’s the hottest temperature a little closer to home, Iowa? 

Iowa's hottest day ever

On July 20, 1934, Keokuk, Iowa, sizzled its way into the history books by scorching to 118°F, allegedly Iowa's hottest day ever—though neighboring thermometers seemed to have their own spicy takes. Just the day before, Knoxville tied the state's previous heat record at a blistering 111°F, while Clarinda and Council Bluffs eagerly joined the "hot club" with their own readings of 111°F and 110°F, respectively. 


The heat wave didn't just toast Eastern Iowa; it grilled the entire state like a giant lasagna. People were so desperate for relief that three unfortunate souls drowned while seeking respite in the water, and one guy, apparently driven mad by the heat, took a leap from a moving bus. Meanwhile, crops drooped like wilted lettuce, and some Iowa towns found themselves high and dry with water shortages. 

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It was not a short stay

The Midwest kept sweating bullets for the following week, with over 40 heat-related fatalities across Iowa alone. It was a record-breaking, sunbaked spectacle that left everyone feeling like they'd been left in the oven a tad too long. 

As temperatures gradually cooled, Iowa emerged from its sauna session of 1934. The scorching summer left everyone talking—about jumping from buses and drowning in desperation for a dip. It was a record-breaking heat wave that turned Iowa into the state's largest outdoor oven, with a side of wilted crops and dry towns. Yet, amidst the sweat and sunburns, it sparked a heat survival revolution. Cheers to Iowa for enduring the hot mess of '34 and coming out even hotter!

The Best Places to Get Ice Cream in the Corridor

We all know that there are plenty of Dairy Queens across the Corridor, as well as Culver'sColdstone, Baskin RobbinsOrange Leaf, and Aspen Leaf locations. But, there are lots of other options, too! Here are some of the other places you can grab a frozen treat in Linn County and Johnson County:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

The Top 10 Wineries in Iowa

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

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