This year may have the fewest 90-degree days in over 20 years


It's been quite the year for weather in Minnesota.

We've been living in relatively the coldest place on earth, we've had one of the wettest springs on record – and now, we're having one of the coolest summers.

The Twin Cities have had just two days at or above 90 degrees this summer, and if that trend continues, this year will have the fewest number of 90-degree days in 21 years, Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog.

The hottest day so far in 2014 in the Twin Cities was 92 degrees on July 21, statistically the hottest day of the year comes between July 11 and 15, according to MPR News' Updraft blog.

The summer of 1993 was the last time the Twin Cities had zero days at or above 90 degrees. Since then, there have been nine years where the number of 90-degree days didn't reach double digits, according to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group, which has statistics on 90-degree days in the Twin Cities dating back to 1872.

The summer of 2004 was the last time the Twin Cities saw as few as four days at or above 90 degrees, so even if the Twin Cities has another 90-plus degree day, this year will still have the fewest 90-degree days in recent memory.

Huttner says there's a 50-percent chance the Twin Cities will hit 90 degrees again this summer, noting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System, which shows temperatures will fall short of 90 degrees for the next 16 days.

This summer is vastly different from the last two summers – in 2013, there were 19, 90-plus degree days, and in 2012 there were 31, the Minnesota Climatology Working Group says.

So what's average for the Twin Cities? Huttner says when it comes to 90-degree days in the metro average may not be a thing, noting "there's a high degree of variability for year to year." But if you have to put a number on it, the average number of 90-degree days in the Twin Cities is 13.

Below is a graph from the National Weather Service, which shows the climate records for the Twin Cities so far this year. In the top graph, the dark blue line represents the observed daily high and low temperature range, beginning with January on the left. The normal temperature range is displayed in light green, the record high temperature is shaded in light red and the record lows are in light blue/purple.

The second graph shows precipitation in inches. The key for the graph is at the bottom of the image.


Skies are expected to be mostly clear with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees for most of Minnesota Wednesday. Most of the state will be dry, except for extreme southwestern Minnesota, where cooler temperatures and rain are expected, WCCO meteorologist Mike Augustyniak said in his Wednesday morning forecast.

Thursday things will be "almost perfect," Augustyniak said. It's expected to be party sunny, with a high near 79 degrees in the Twin Cities, according to the National Weather Service.

Augustyniak says temperatures for the next several days look very consistent (low 80s) for most of the state, just like they were last week. He noted that the weather pattern we've been caught in hasn't allowed any heat to come in – and that pattern is expected to continue into at least next week.

The metro up to the Brainerd Lakes area is expected to stay dry into Saturday as highs push into the low 80s, Paul Douglas wrote on the Star Tribune weather blog. He says there will be sticky dew points and it'll be "warm enough for the lake or that favorite adult beverage out on the deck."

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