Minnesota lakes slow to warm this summer

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It's almost the Fourth of July, and swimming season should be well underway. But spring weather was slow to arrive – as was summer – and many Minnesota lakes are just now warming up enough for safe swimming, the Star Tribune reports.

The water is considered "cold" for swimming if it is below 70 degrees, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Average water temperature statistics aren't easy to come by, the Star Tribune notes, but officials have noticed that fish and human behavior this summer make it clear that state waters have been slow to warm.

The Lake Minnetonka water temperature just rose into the 70s Tuesday for the first time, and the St. Croix River at Stillwater and Pelican Lake north of Brainerd also just climbed above 70 degrees for the first time in recent days, the Star Tribune notes. Lake Superior at Duluth is still 53 degrees.

A blast of warm weather may be on the way: MPR's Updraft blog reports that a heat wave cooking up out West may spill over into Minnesota after the July 4 holiday weekend. MPR's Paul Huttner says July 4 itself could be mostly sunny to partly cloudy, with a high of 82.

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