Posted at 5:30 PM on July 14, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Heat
Get ready for some persistent intense heat. The hottest air of the summer is on the way over the next week.
A large hot high pressure dome will expand over Minnesota and the Midwest this weekend. All indications are the pattern will persist right through next week.
The Twin Cities and much of Minnesota could see at least 7 consecutive days with daily high temperatures at or above 90 degrees starting Saturday. High temperatures will likely soar above 90 degrees in much of Minnesota from Saturday through next Friday. Heat index values could soar into the 100 range!
There are signs a cool front may bring some temporary relief by next weekend.
The chart below tracks forecast temperatures at MSP Airport over the next 7 days from various models.
Sunday may be the hottest day, when highs could push 100 in much of southern Minnesota.
While 7 days is a long stretch of 90 degree temps, it would not be a record breaker.
Hot nights too!
One feature of the coming heat wave will be hot overnight temperatures. For several consecutive nights temperatures may not drop below 75 degrees in the metro...and there could be a few nights with overnight "low" temperatures near 80 degrees!
One aspect of the record Chicago heat wave in 1995 that killed over 700 people was that nighttime temps did not dip below 80 in much of the city for days. It was so hot at night that people's bodies just did not have the chance to cool off, and many died in apartments without air conditioning.
Another factor was the urban heat island effect. Days of sun and temps near 100 baked buildings (many red brick apartments) to well over 125 degrees. If you didn't have A/C, you just had now way of cooling off. The red brick "reraditiated" heat at night, and temperatures in the city could not fall.
I covered the heat wave in 1995 in Chicago as a meteorologist for WGN TV.
It was a lesson in establishing "cooling centers" where people who did not have A/C could gather to cool off, and for checking on the elderly and others who could not care for themselves.
In the heat waves of the 1930's my parents recall sleeping with hundreds of others by Lake Calhoun and other Minneapolis lakes to cool off at night in the pre A/C days.
Stay cool when the heat builds this weekend!