Pavement-buckling heat into Monday

No records expected, but hottest Memorial Day since 2006

Paul Douglas
May 25, 2018 - 10:29 am
Heat Wave
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We're in store for some potentially pavement-buckling heat. When temperatures reach the 90s roadway surfaces can expand, creating "speed bumps" that can be dangerous, especially when traveling at high speed. Watch for buckling roads, especially Sunday - when highs should reach the mid-90s.

The lazy, hazy, sweaty days of summer are here. Forget the calendar; it will feel more like mid-July than late May in the coming days, with a chance of 5 consecutive days at or above 90 degrees in the Twin Cities. Not exactly record territory, but yes, the heat is coming early this year. Unusual, but not unprecedented. Today's heat index may reach mid and upper 90s for parts of southern Minnesota, but dew points and humidity levels come down a notch Saturday and Sunday as winds become more westerly. Even so, it's going to be "stinking hot" in the coming days.

A few tips to consider:

* Slow down and stay hydrated. Water still works best.

* Infants, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses are most susceptible to the heat.

* Lightweight, light-colored (cotton) clothing will keep you most comfortable as we sizzle in the 90s.

* Cut down on strenuous activities, especially during the hottest hours of the day (roughly 3 to 6 pm).

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20 Degrees Above Average. A little perspective: the average high now is about 71F in the Twin Cities. Daytime highs will run as much as 20-25F above average into Monday, with very little real relief until the first weekend of June, when Canadian air finally sweeps south, dropping humidity levels with highs in the 70s. Until then we get to enjoy a taste of mid-July.

Hot Cars and Kids Don't Mix. I'm always amazed by how quickly vehicles can heat up when it gets this hot; well over 100F within a few minutes. Don't even think about leaving a child (or a pet) in a vehicle, even for a short period of time.

Saturday Highs
Praedictix and AerisWeather

Sunday Highs
Praedictix and AerisWeather

Memorial Day Highs
Praedictix and AerisWeather

Plenty Hot. My hunch is that Sunday may be the hottest day with highs in the mid-90s in the Twin Cities metro. Consider heading to the North Shore; where a cool breeze off Lake Superior will keep temperatures nearly 20 degrees cooler.

My meteorological spidey-sense is telling me that this early hot spell may be a preview of coming attractions. The way the patterns are setting up across North America may favor hot/dry vs. cool and wet in the coming months. Just a hunch. In spite of Thursday evening's storms much of central and northern Minnesota is still abnormally dry, the first stage of drought, running a 2-3" rainfall deficit. We need rain, and in spite of a slight severe risk over southeastern Minnesota later today I don't see heavy, widespread rains anytime soon.

Meteorological summer starts June 1, marking the beginning of what is (historically) the hottest 90 days of the year. This year it's coming early - maybe it's cosmix payback for a February-like April. Enjoy the Dog Days of May, have fun, and be careful out there. Have a great Memorial Day weekend.