Heat Advisory: 95 to 100 likely today; Colorado Springs “Firestorm”

Lazy hazy & hot – Dog days of summer starting early this year?

95 to 100 degrees likely in metro and southern MN today

102 degrees – RAP model forecast for MSP by late PM

75 to 80 degrees – Brutal dew point spike late today & tonight?

7 days at or above 90 so far in 2012

14 days at or above 90 in an “average” summer

Numerous wildfires now threatening cities on Colorado’s Front Range

5 straight days at or above 100 in Denver, a new record

101 degrees – hottest day ever recorded Tuesday in Colorado Springs at 6,035 foot elevation

32 – thousand residents evacuated from Colorado Springs Waldo Canyon Fire

15,324 acres – latest acreage update today on Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs

“Unprecedented” El Paso County CO Sherriff describes fire scene in Colorado Springs

“Perfect Storm” of fire weather for Colorado this week

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

“Heat Storm” conditions today:

Heat advisories kick in for the metro and southern Minnesota this afternoon, and run through 8pm tonight.

A surge of hot air is moving over Minnesota today. Th dreaded “thermal ridge” (the axis of highest temps) slides over southern Minnesota and Iowa late this afternoon and this evening.

Depending on which model you believe, temps may soar from the low 90s to 102 at MSP by 4-6 pm tonight. My own analysis comes up with a high temp somewhere between 95 and 100 today.

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Source: Iowa State University

Dew points on the rise:

The heat comes with a spike in humidity today. Dew points will climb into the 70s by this evening.

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Source: ISU

We usually only see this combination of heat and humidity a few days a year in southern Minnesota. This is one of them.

Relief Thursday & Friday?

A weak cool front, really a “less hot front” will slide through Thursday and drop dew points into the 60s and even 50s by Friday. Temps will be a few degrees cooler, but should still brush 90. We could add 3 more days of 90 degree heat at MSP this week.

Colorado Firestorm:

Things are going from bad to worse in what is turning into an active fire season on Colorado’s Front Range. At least 3 fires are now sending smoke and flames dangerously close to cities on the Front Range. Fort Collins (High Park Fire) Boulder (Flagstaff Fire) and Colorado Springs (Waldo Canyon Fire) are all battling blazes nearby.

The Waldo Canyon Fire exploded Tuesday as “dry thunderstorms” drove wind gusts to 65 mph and fanned the flames into northwest Colorado Springs. The fire raced into the “Garden of the Gods” area in the city’s pricey northwest side.

Downburst winds caused by the outflow from collapsing dry T-Storms (storms with little rain) hit the eastern flank of the fire Tuesday afternoon and drove the flames rapidly east. It’s been a scramble just to keep up with evacuations for 32,000 residents of “The Springs.

News has gone into wall to wall coverage as the fire eats homes and chokes the city with smoke. You can see the great coverage streaming live from KKTV here.

Hottest Ever:

This is the hottest weather ever recorded for much of Colorado’s Front Range. Details from The Pueblo, Colorado NWS.

Extreme Heat Continues for Southeast Colorado

Dry and hot southwest winds have combined with a strong high pressure system to bring a lengthy period of extreme heat to the southern Front Range, probably the hottest stretch of weather ever recorded for the Colorado Springs to Pueblo Colorado Interstate 25 corridor.

Colorado Springs broke its all-time record for maximum temperature on Tuesday, hitting 101 degrees. The high temperature in Springs has hit 100 degrees or more for three of the last four days. There has never previously been more than one consecutive 100 degree day at the airport.

Pueblo broke its record for the day on Tuesday as well, hitting 106 degrees. The temperature at Pueblo’s airport has hit 105 degrees or higher for the past five consecutive days. The previous record for consecutive days of 105 degrees or higher was three days, set in 2003.

The extreme heat is likley to continue for at least the next three days. Nearby thunderstorms may limit the high temperature in Springs during the next couple of days.

Smoke to Minnesota?

The smoke from the Colorado fires is reaching Minnesota. Check out the satellite smoke analysis from NOAA as the plumes drift east.

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Source: NOAA/NESDIS

The smoke and out heat has prompted an air quality advisory from the MPCA.

On Wednesday, June 27, forecasted temperatures in the low 90s, clear sunny skies, and moderate southwesterly winds carrying wildfire smoke are expected to promote the creation of ozone in the Twin Cities and Rochester. As a result, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecasted to reach 97 AQI in the Twin Cities and 93 AQI in Rochester on Wednesday, which is just below air quality conditions considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Stay cool!

PH

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