The mercury surged to 96 degrees in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Monday afternoon as the bright summer sun reflected off the parched soil. In the Twin Cities metro area, Eden Prairie topped out at 90 while the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport recorded a maximum temperature of 89 degrees.
It was a comfortable afternoon in northeast Minnesota with the highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s.
High temperatures are expected to be a couple of degrees lower in southern Minnesota today, but could still climb to readings warmer than normal. Expect readings in the middle 80s by late afternoon in the Twin Cities. Once we reach 80 degrees we can official proclaim that this will be the first July in recorded weather history that the maximum temperature reached 80 degrees or high each day of the month.
The average maximum temperature, as recorded at the Twin Cities International Airport for July stands at 90 degrees. Including today's projected maximum temperature we will likely finish just shy of 90.0 degrees.
Historically, there have been two Julys where the average maximum temperature averaged 90 degrees or higher: 92.5 degrees in 1936 and 90.2 degrees in 1988 according to Pete Boulay at the State Climate Office. It looks like the Twin Cities should finish with a maximum average temperature of about 90 for the month.
My first summer in the Twin Cities was equally memorable when it comes to temperatures. It was the summer following the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. July of 1992 delivered only three days where the maximum temperature reached 80 degrees or greater. The average high temperature for the month was just 74.7 degrees. Compare that to this years average minimum of 70 degrees. The ash debris from the volcano was thought to be a large contributor to the rather cool summer.
It injected large amounts of aerosol into the stratosphere - more than any eruption since that of Krakatoa in 1883. Over the following months, the aerosols formed a global layer of sulfuric acid haze. Global temperatures dropped by about 0.5 °C (0.900 °F), and ozone depletion temporarily increased substantially. (Source Wikipedia)
Temperature heat up again on Wednesday with scattered thunderstorms in the forecast. The NAM computer model pushes a strong surge of warmth into southern Minnesota on Friday. This could help fuel stronger thunderstorms Friday night when a cool front swings through the state.
This mornings IR satellite image from NOAA depicts a nice cluster of thunderstorms over Alabama as shown by the enhanced cloud tops. A smaller area of showers and thunderstorms extended from just south of Chicago into northern Indiana.
Look for cooler temperatures for the weekend. Perhaps high temperatures will fall shy of 80 degrees in the Twin Cities on Sunday. I don't think we are done with the 90s yet.