If I were to equate Nebraska weather over the last ten years to those years when I was growing up (60s thru the 70s) I have to say on both ends of the spectrum it "seems" that we receive fewer major snow storms and fewer really hot days; and by hot I'm thinking 100 or above. Of course that's a purely subjective statement but the climatology seems to concur, which is worth a look as I receive more and more complaints about the heat this summer.
Grand Island has hit the 100 degree mark for the second day in a row with Hastings hitting the 100 degrees for the first time this afternoon. The century mark has been a tough temperature to hit of late with the the last 100 degree occurance in the Tri-Cities two years ago. Now consider 1974 which featured 17 days of highs above 100 for Grand Island. 1980 had 16 days and more recently 2006 saw the 100 mark 10 times. In the past three summers we've seen only 3 days at or above 100: one day in 2007 and 2 days in 2008. So really, for the Tri-Cities the brutal heat has been absent in the last 30 years with 2006 being the lone exception. Of course I undersand that 100 degrees is not necessarily the benchmark for "hot" weather. We have seen plenty of days in the 90s with high humidity making it feel really oppressive. In fact it may be a increase in humidity that plays a factor in fewer 100 degree days. Air with a high moisture content heats up much more slowly so that by the time the day goes thru it diurinal cycle we lose the sun before it can hit 100.
In any event, the old timers out there will always refer back to the days when the heat was really serious and relentless; and these were days without air conditioning. The dust bowl era saw and unbelievable 47 days of 100+ degree heat in 1934 followed by 45 days in 1935. In the shadow of those numbers, we really don't have much to complain about.