Most 90 degree heat in 5 years; Indiana “dust bowl”; Arizona rain?

90 degrees – today’s forecast high temp at MSP Airport

92 to 95 degrees at MSP Thursday?

17 days at or above 90 so far this year at MSP

17 days of 90+ heat also in 2011 & 2010

13 days annual average number of 90 degree days at MSP(1981-2010 data)

2007 Last time we recorded more 90 degree days at MSP (27 days)

“Dust Bowl” Indianapolis NWS compares current conditions to the 1930s

3.23″ rainfall near Tucson, Arizona on the 4th of July!

“Climate is your playlist, weather is the song that’s playing.” — AASC

Back to the 90s:

Here we go again.

90 degree heat is slowly oozing back into Minnesota today. Many locations in western and southern Minnesota (including the metro) should touch 90 degrees this afternoon.

82 wxs.png

Source: Twin Cities NWS

If we hit 90 today at MSP, it wil be day #18 so far this year. That will be the highest number of 90 degree days at MSP in 5 years, since we sweated through 27 days at or above 90 in 2007.

If we don’t get there today, it appears we’re a lock to make it Thursday when temps could top out between at 92 and 95 degrees at MSP around 4pm.

82 metty msp.PNG

Source: Iowa State University

Any rain in sight?

We’re getting a little dry around the edges again in much of southern Minnesota.

Since June 20th we’ve banked just .59″ of rainfall at MSP Airport.

Rainfall has been a little more generous (some 1″ to 2″+ totals) in central and northern Minnesota over the past week.

82 7 day pcp.PNG

Source: NOAA

High pressure sliding to our east will allow moisture to gradually flow back north through the weekend.

Look for dew points to climb from the comfy 50s today into the 60s by Friday…and possibly the tropical 70s by the weekend.

The additional moisture and a slow moving low easing in from the west will gradually increase our T-Storm chances, especially Friday & Saturday.

After a couple of hot dry weeks, lawns and fileds in southern Minnesota could use a good soaking again.

Evaporation drying out soils:

I’ve been asked recently how much moisture is sucked from soils on hot dry days like we’ve seen the past weeks.

The answer is about a third of an inch per day, or as much a 2″ per week.

Take a look at the latest “pan evaporation tables” from the Minnesota Climate Working Group.

82 pan evap.PNG

Now you can know why your lawn is turning brown in such a hurry. Feel better? I didn’t think so.

Better off than Indiana:

I’ve talked about how deep the drought is getting in the so called “vowel states” in the southern Midwest.

82 in drougth sign.jpg

Source: Indy NWS

Indiana is among the hardest hit by drought. In fact, the Indy office of the NWS has pulled out the “Dust Bowl” comparisons to describe the intense drought of ’12.

Drought Conditions Resemble the Dust Bowl Days of the 1930s

Conditions in portions of central and southern Indiana resemble the Dust Bowl Days of the 1930s. While some areas in Indiana received one half to nearly three inches of rainfall during the week ending July 5, the historic heat wave has negated nearly all of that rainfall. In portions of central Indiana, immediately along and south of Interstate 70, little or no rainfall has occurred since June 1, allowing drought conditions to worsen.

The average high temperature for the 10-day period ending July 7 at Indianapolis was 101 degrees. The only time this has been exceeded in weather records dating back to 1871 at Indianapolis was from July 6-15, 1936 when the average high temperature was 103 degrees.

The effects of the drought will have a large impact on Indiana agriculture. Late season crops, like corn and soybeans, may see their worst yields since the Great Drought of 1988…possibly even lower. Wildfires continue to be a daily threat which is rarely seen in Indiana in early July. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources issued a warning to boaters about low lake levels at the peak of boating season for some area lakes. Water companies have requested voluntary water reductions and, in some cases, issued mandatory outdoor water restrictions.

82 indy pcp.PNG

Source: Indy NWS

In fact much of Indiana has recorded just 25% of average rainfall since April.

82 indy dep.PNG

Want some good news? Low pressure will bring a shot of significant rain to Indiana and the Ohio Valley by the weekend.

82 5 day.gif

Source: NOAA/HPC

Corn Belt drought; Desert rains?

Meanwhile Arizona is off to an early and active summer monsoon.

The monsoon began early this year in late June. The average date for the monsoon to kick in around Tucson is July 5th.

Rainfall has been above average at most locations n southern Arizona.

82 monsoon rafl.png

Source: Tucson NWS

Ron Holle is widely considered one of the world’s foremost lighting researchers and he sends me this note celebrating the 4th of July deluge in my former home of Oro Valley, just outside Tucson.


It’s good to hear from you again. First, I need to say that we had 3.23 inches of rain in a thunderstorm on July 4th. That’s almost twice my previous record 24-hour summer rainfall in 11 years at our house in Oro Valley. It was amazing.


There’s an old saying in Arizona. “You’re as welcome as rain.”

Rain is always welcome and precious in the desert.

With the deepening Midwest drought and rapidly drying lawns in Minnesota maybe it’s appropriate in these parts too.


  • Mike

    I always imagined the dust bowl as windy: dust storms, loss of top soil, blast furnace. So far, this hot summer seems exceptionally wind free. Here in SE MN the wind farms sit idle and the corn is quiet. Am I wrong about either of these?

  • Zutroy

    What is the record for the total number of days above 90 in a year in MSP?