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History suggests Minnesota is in line for a boatload of 90-degree days this summer

When it's hot in May, summers that follow are typically scorchers.

Only time will tell, but climatologists with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources believe 90-degree days in May are a good indicator for a hotter than normal summer

On average, there is one 90-degree day in May once every three years. But in 146 years of keeping track, there have only been 23 years in which the month of May produced multiple 90-degree days in the Twin Cities. 

This year is another, with Tuesday's forecast high in the mid-90s set to be a record, sixth consecutive day of 90+ degrees, which will rank second all time to the eight days of 90-degree heat in May 1934. 

The Twin Cities had 36 days of 90+ degrees in 1934, nearly triple the average of 13.  

"We find that years with multiple 90-degree days during May have tended to be followed by summers that also have relatively high numbers of 90-degree days," the DNR's climate journal notes. 

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The typical average is 13, but that number skyrockets 80 percent to 23 when there a multiple 90-degree days in May. 

There are only five previous years on record that produced four-plus 90-degree days in May, and each of those years resulted in more than 20 total 90-degree days. 

  1. 1934: 36 total (8 in May)
  2. 1874: 26 total (5 in May)
  3. 1988: 44 total (4 in May)
  4. 1987: 27 total (4 in May)
  5. 1925: 20 total (4 in May)

More recently, there were 31 days of 90+ degrees in 2012, which followed a May that had a pair of 90-degree highs. 

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