Sultry weather grips Minnesota

·2 min read

For the second day in a row, Minnesota — and, for that matter, a big swath of the country — was enveloped in a thick blanket of heat Saturday, with temperatures in the Twin Cities expected to reach a record-breaking 100 degrees.

That's 8 degrees hotter than the previous record high, set in 1911 and 1925, said Chris O'Brien at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen.

With temps over 95, "there's a heat advisory for the metro through tomorrow," O'Brien said. Meaning, stay hydrated. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. Make sure not to leave children or pets in a car, even with the windows open.

Combined with Friday's 97 degrees, also record-breaking, the Twin Cities is on track to experience the warmest first week of June on record, O'Brien said, a prediction that takes into account not just expected afternoons blazing into the 90s but overnight lows hovering in the 70s.

For June 5, the average high and low are 77 and 57 degrees, respectively.

Uncomfortably warm for sure, but it could be worse. The dewpoint, which reflects humidity, is just 59 degrees, which keeps the heat more bearable than it is later in the summer, when dewpoints rising into the 70s crank up the misery.

The downside of more comfortably dry air is a greater danger of fires. The Department of Natural Resources reported it as high in the southern and eastern portions of the state, high in much of the northwest and southeastern Minnesota, very high in the northwest and extreme in an area in the middle of the state.

On the bright side, the air quality was good to moderate throughout the state Saturday, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which on Friday issued an air quality alert for the seven-county metro and Chisago and Isanti counties.

Overall, it's a less-than-comfy early June by Minnesota standards. But again, it could be worse. It could be July 14,1936, when temps in the Twin Cities reached 108, the hottest on record. That year, the middle of the Dustbowl era, was the hottest on record for the country.

"A lot of the high temperature records were set around then," O'Brien said.

Even worse than that, few buildings back then were air conditioned.

Katy Read • 612-673-4583

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