84 F. average high on July 17.
94 F. high on July 17, 2013.
2000: Fall apparel made an early debut on this cold day with a 60 degree high temperature at the Twin Cities, 54 at Brainerd and 52 at Cambridge.
1986: A KARE TV news helicopter captured live footage of a tornado as it hit the northern suburbs of Minneapolis. It touched down in Brooklyn Park and continued to Fridley. The tornado, an F-2 in magnitude, caused $650,000 in damages
1970: Tornado slices right through the center of Miltona.
1867: Possibly the greatest "unofficial" rainstorm in Minnesota history. 36 inches was recorded in 36 hours near Sauk Center. Disasterous flooding in central Minnesota. The Pomme De Terre river was impassible. A courier attempted to cross on horseback and drowned. Flooding was also on the Mississippi with millions of logs lost on the river.
As you slather on your SPF 50 sunscreen and stare up at a hazy-milky blue sky, realize that smoke from Canadian wildfires is drifting over Minnesota - swept along by jet stream winds aloft. Extreme heat is baking much of western Canada and the USA, sparking a rash of wildfires 1,500 miles upwind. The smoke plume is too high to smell anything unusual, but a few cherry-red sunsets are possible in the days ahead.
What was probably the most comfortable week of summer gives way to a warming trend in the coming days; highs top 90F by early next week. Weather models hint at a few spotty T-showers Saturday & Sunday - maybe a severe weather outbreak next Tuesday as superheated, tropical air sparks an MCS system; a statewide swarm of strong to severe storms.
That's pure speculation, but there's little doubt drippy dew points will top 70F by Monday and Tuesday. Men will sweat, women will glow, pets will pant. July the way we always knew it could be.
Note to self: the ability to tan or burn has nothing to do with temperature, and everything to do with sun angle; how high the sun is in the southern sky. You can get thoroughly fried in July, even when temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.
Photo credit above: "Plumes of smoke from the Leavenworth wildfire arc in the sky as seen from Highway 2 at Highway 207, west of Leavenworth, Wash. on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Worsening wildfire activity has prompted the governor's offices in both Washington and Oregon to declare states of emergency." (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Mike Siegel).
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, warm breeze. Dew point: 57. Winds: S 15. High: 81
FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 65
SATURDAY: Warm sun, isolated T-shower late? High: 82
SUNDAY: Sticky sun, stray PM storm. Dew point: 67. Wake-up: 67. High: 87
MONDAY: Sunny and stinking hot. Dew point: 72. Feels like 98. Wake-up: 72. High: 91
TUESDAY: Steamy, T-storms - some severe? Wake-up: 75. High: 83
WEDNESDAY: Clearing, less humid. Dew point: 63. Wake-up: 69. High: 85
THURSDAY: Intervals of sun, still feels like July. Wake-up: 70. High: 87
Image credit: Climate Reanalyzer (http://cci-reanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, USA.