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Heat wave to break Saturday night; Xcel near record usage

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A brief rain shower, accompanied by a lightning show, pelted parts of the eastern Twin Cities early Thursday morning before marching into Wisconsin. But it didn't do much to cool things off – heat indices Thursday will come close to 100 in the metro and much of central and southern Minnesota, the National Weather Service says. Scattered thunderstorms are expected Thursday afternoon, the weather service says.

Thunderstorms in in northwest Minnesota will move southeast with the risk of strong winds and hail before weakening at mid morning Thursday, MPR reports.

A heat advisory remains in effect for much of southern and central Minnesota though the day Thursday.

The heat wave will break Saturday night, when a "potent" cold front sweeps across Minnesota, clearing a path for cooler, drier air, weather service says. The high will be 82 Sunday and 78 on Labor Day, KARE 11 reports.

Summer's hot-weather summer finale has fairgoers and students sweating this week, but Xcel Energy doesn't mind it.

All of Xcel’s power plants are generating near capacity, with the exception of Sherco unit three, which is currently under repair, WCCO reports. On Monday, Xcel just missed its all-time record demand for electricity – 9,534 megawatts of energy were consumed that day, just shy of the 9,544 megawatts on July 20, 2011, WCCO reported.

Earlier this month, Xcel reported its second-quarter earnings increased to $197 million, or $0.40 per share, – up from $183 million, or $0.38 per share, in the second quarter last year.

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