100F today at several southern Minnesota (including metro) locations
Day 3 of 100 degree heat at MSP this summer?
(Most since 1988 when we endured 4)
"Halftime" for summer today: 46 days since June 1st; 46 days until September 1st
+7.8 degrees vs. average so far in July at MSP Airport
20 days at or above 90 this summer so far (through Sunday)
5 years since we've seen more 90 degree days (27 days in 2007)
83 to 86 degrees - Metro lake water temps running a good +5 degrees vs. average!
72.6 degrees - water temps on Lake Superior east of Duluth
Relief this week: 80s return by mid week
"Heat Surge" returns next weekend...upper 90s again, with thunder?
Heat wave breaks the week of July 23rd?
Welcome to the halfway point of the sweaty summer of 2012.
We'll mark halftime with another run at 100 degrees today in southern Minnesota.
If we make it to 100 today in the metro, it will be the 3rd day so far this summer...the most since the brutal summer of 1988. We endured 4 days of 100 degree heat that summer, and 44 days when the mercury topped out at or above 90 degrees. (A record for MSP)
If you look at where we are so far this summer you can see we're starting to creep into "top 5" territory by several measures of consecutive days of heat. Detalis from the Twin Cities NWS below.
Overall Minnesota is running a good 7 to 9 degrees above average so far in July.
No clouds to save us today?
Sunday featured a significant shield of cirrus clouds overhead...just enough to dim the afternoon sun and keep highs around 90 degrees instead of the predicted temp of 95.
It doesn't look like we'll be so lucky today. The "thermal ridge" that produced 100 degree heat from Denver to Bismarck Sunday (and 109 at Pierre, SD) will drift right over southern Minnesota today.
It will take a minor meteorological miracle to keep your car thermometer from flashing 100 degrees in much of southern Minnesota today.
Forecast conditions for the metro and southern MN by around 4pm today include:
Temps near 100F
Dew point 65F
Heat Index 103F to 105F
Wind SW 10-22 mph
I remember the summer of 1988. It was like somebody turned on a giant hair dryer and let it blow over Minnesota. That's the kind of "blast furnace heat" we'll feel today.
Take it easy out there.
Any relief in sight?
In a word, yes.
A "cool" front (when did cold fronts become "cool" fronts anyway?) will slide through Minnesota from north to south tomorrow.
The front may trigger a few scattered T-Storms, and a cooler northeast breeze will ease in temps closer to 90 by tomorrow afternoon, and dew points should gradually fall to near 60 degrees by late tomorrow night.
The NAM model is doing a pretty good job with gauging the heat waves this month. The GFS (Good For Speculation?) has been almost useless this summer. What's up with that NCEP? The Euro model continues to perform best days 4-10.
Look for more comfy 80 by mid-week!
Heat surge again (with thunder) next weekend?
After a few cooler days this week, it looks like the heat will return again next weekend. Another warm front could push temps into the upper 90s again Saturday & Sunday. This time, the heat may come with a dose of thunder.
Stay tuned on that.
Bathwater: Lake temps running +5 degrees vs. average this summer
Usually the lakes are a good option for cooling off in a Minnesota summer.
This year? Not so much.
Lake Harriet Sailing Webcam
My weather spies tell me metro lake temps are running between 83 and 86 degrees right now on lakes like Minnetonka & Calhoun.
The average for this time of year ia bout 78 degrees, with a peak around 80 degrees in late July.
With more heat on the way and peak water temps still ahead, it looks like we may see some lakes in the metro and southern Minnesota top out close to 90 degrees this summer! Wow.
Swimming in Superior?
A warm bubble of water is now building up near Duluth in Lake Superior. Lake water temps are running in the low 70s now near Duluth and several miles to the east. Temps are running in the 60s in The Apostle Islands.
70 degrees is usually considered "safe swimming" when it comes to water temps.
It's not out of the question we'll see some 80 degree water temps in Lake Superior in late July or early August this summer!
Weekend auroras dazzle:
Finally, this was as advertised a great weekend to see some auroras in parts of Minnesota. Northern Lights were visible from Colorado to Illinois and north to Minnesota and Wisconsin this weekend.
This amazing image of "green curtains and rays" was captured by Sallie Carlson in Lutsen.
Check out the full aurora gallery at spaceweather.com.
Close enough 99 in Eden Prairie and 98 at MSP Airport Monday
100F at Madison & Canby Monday afternoon
21 days at or above 90 degrees so far this summer
5 years since we've sweated through more 90 degree days
(27 days in 2007)
-Complete Listing of 90 degree days for Twin Cities since 1873
8 heat related deaths in Wisconsin since July 1st
Cool front easing into Minnesota Tuesday
Back to the 80s for high temps Tuesday through Thursday
91% of Minnesota's corn & soybean crop rated "fair" "good" or "excellent" this week
74" average corn height in Minnesota on July 15th
50" average corn height last year on about July 15th
61% of the USA in "drought" - a record high
$7.72 per bushel price of corn at close Monday - Daily change of +32.25 ( +4.36% )
5 weeks from Thursday- 2012 Minnesota State Fair begins!
Close Enough: Temps tease 100 degrees in metro
Did we really need to hit 100 again "officially" at MSP?
Temps topped out at 100 degrees in western Minnesota at Madison & Canby late Monday. The mercury in the metro nudged 100 (99 officially) at Eden Prairie and came very close at MSP Airport with a high of 98. In fact 90+ degree heat dominated much of tha nation again Monday.
We don't typically hit 100 every year in the metro. Looking back at records since 1873, the mercury has touched 100 degrees 65 times in the metro. That's about every 3 to 5 years on average...though the spacing and frequency of 100 degree days is very sporadic, so it's hard to come up with a meaningful "average" number of years between 100 degree days.
Take a look at the frequency of 100 degree temps in the Twin Cities since 1980. Here's a more complete listing dating back to 1873 from the MN Climate Working Group.
(Data is from July 6th)
A History of 100 Degrees in the Twin Cities
For the second time in a week, the mercury hit 100 degrees or higher at the Twin Cities International Airport. The last time there were two 100 degree maximum temperatures in the Twin Cities was 1988, when there were four.
July 1-6, 2012 will also finish the warmest first six days of July on record in the Twin Cities with a preliminary average of 87 degrees F, higher than the next closest average (July 1-6 1949) with 84.2 degrees F.
It's been relatively uncommon to see the mercury reach 100 at the Twin Cities International Airport in recent years. Before 2011, the last time the maximum temperature was 100 degrees or more was on July 31, 2006 when the air temperature reached was 101 degrees. Looking back to 1873, the maximum temperature at the Twin Cities official measuring site has reached 100 or more on 64 occasions. The most was in 1936 with nine days. The last year with more than one 100 degree temperature was in 1988 with four.
Below is a table of all the dates since 1873 of days where the temperature was 100 or more at the official Twin Cities observing site.
Year Month Day Precip High Low Average
1980 7 11 0.3 100 72 86
1982 7 5 0 100 78 89
1985 6 8 0 102 64 83
1988 6 24 0 101 70 86
1988 7 15 0.06 102 79 91
1988 7 31 0 105 72 89
1988 8 1 0 101 74 88
1990 7 3 0 100 72 86
1995 7 13 0 101 75 88
2006 7 31 0.09 101 80 91
2011 6 7 0 103 78 91
2012 7 4 0 101 81 91
2012 7 6 0 102 78 90*
*as of 5pm July 6
Here the history of 90 degree days in the Twin Cities. With 21 in the books so far as of Monday, we've now sweated through the most 90 degree days in the metro in 5 years, since we logged 27 days in 2007.
Twin Cities Days with Maximum Temperature Greater than or Equal to 90 degrees F (Going back to 1988 which holds the record of 44 days)
Year # days at or above 90F
1993 0 (Mt. Pinatubo?)
2012 21 (through July 16th)
A little perspective: Is all this extreme heat caused by climate change?
I'm asked everywhere I go these days if out non-winter and extreme summer is caused by "climate change." The simple is answer is probably "yes."
I've used the analogy before of a baseball player on steroids. You can't say any one home run was caused by taking steroids, but the player's overall "enhanced base state" makes him more likely to hit home runs, and to hit more of them in a season.
Here's a great animation of this analogy from NOAA/UCAR.
ABC's Bill Blakemore also has a great piece on easy ways to explain why climate change is having an impact on the increased "frequency and intensity" of heat waves and extreme weather.
You hear phrases like "loading the dice" in favor of warmer weather extremes. That analogy came from NOAA's James Hansen in 1988 when he used to "loaded dice" to testify before congress. His words from 1988 are simply prophetic given today's observed trends.
Here's a good explanation from an interview with the NYT's Andrew Revkin.
Tuesday's cold front will bring some relief to Minnesota for most of this week.
It's not a strong front by any means, but the cooler northeast breezes should be enough to hold high temps in the upper 80s this week, and keep dew points down around 60 in the south, with comfy 50s dew points up north.
There will be a slight chance for a few cooling T-Storms as the front lingers Tuesday into mid-week.
Temps may nudge 90 again by Friday...and push well into the 90s next weekend.
I don't know about you...but I'm now looking forward to that first strong cool front in late August that usually blows in during the State Fair with fresh northwest breezes, whitecaps on once again blue lakes and temps in the 70s. Ahhhh.
Minnesota Farmers 2012: The "Perfect Storm" for many?
Let me first say that I know there is still some drought (and significant crop stress) in parts of Minnesota, especially northwest and in the south. Check out the latest Drought Monitor.
That said, this is looking like a great year for many Minnesota farmers as we head into late July.
Monday's Minnesota Crop Report shows that 91% of Minnesota corn & soybeans are rated in fair (24%), good (56%) or excellent (11%) condition.
Heat and abundant rainfall in most of "the middle" of Minnesota has promoted crop growth that is way ahead of 2011.
Looking at the latest maps two weeks out, it looks like most of Minnesota's crop regions will see enough rainfall (1"+ in many areas) and some temperature relief that most of the crops may mature nicely.
That should mean a strong crop for many (but not all) Minnesota farmers, especially in the fertile regions between Rochester, Mankato, Willmar, St. Cloud and the Twin Cities. These areas have fared the best for timely summer rainfall this year.
When you combine a good Minnesota crop with the deepening drought and resulting lower yields in the southern Midwest "vowel states" of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio...and then throw in record crop prices... it's going to mean bank for those Minnesota farmers that can bring a good crop to market this fall.
How are crops doing in your areas in Minnesota? Is this a good year for you and your neighbors? Or are crops still stressed in your area? What will the next two weeks mean?