Heat and humidity continue through Thursday before beginning to abate

That sun has really been doing its job again today.  We have had temperatures into the 90s all the way up to Duluth and Moorhead this afternoon.  In the Twin Cities, this is the eighth 90-degree temperature so far this year.  That is about where we should be as our average number of 90-degree days per summer is about 13.

The National Weather Service has issued a graph of numbers of 90-degree days going back to 1873:

Number of 90-degree days in the Twin Cities. Source:NWS/Chanhassen.

Last year, we had 31 of those days and lawns suffered.  Some of us even remember the nasty drought summer of 1988 with the record 44 90-degree days.

And the humidity, as measured by the dewpoint, has been up there with some low 70s mainly across central Minnesota. We can look forward to a little relief this evening when the sun sets.

Sunset can be one of the prettiest times of day. Source:NWS.

In northern Minnesota, there have been isolated thunderstorms spreading eastward from Bemidji to Hibbing to around Silver Bay this afternoon.

Look for a rerun of the toasty weather on Thursday.  The Heat Advisory that has been in effect for much of central and southern Minnesota will continue.  And it has been expanded. Heat Advisories have been posted from Ortonville in west central Minnesota eastward through St. Cloud, Mankato, the Twin Cities and Rochester to eastern Iowa, central and southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois including Chicago, over to Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Look for heat and humidity tomorrow, and then storms. Source:NWS Chanhassen.

Thunderstorms are likely to rev up across northern Minnesota on Thursday.  Some of those storms will be strong and might become severe.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin in a Slight Risk Area for severe weather on Thursday:

A Slight Risk Area for severe thunderstorms on Thursday.

Around the country, rain has been falling in some unusual areas, especially the normally extremely dry country of far western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. More than an inch of rain has fallen near Carlsbad Caverns National Park, (one of my favorites). Here is the outlook for more rain over the 24 hours beginning at 7 p.m. CDT:

Significant rains are likely to continue around and just east of El Paso, Texas. Source:NWS/Weather Prediction Center.

As Thursday evening and then nighttime approach, strong storms will sag to the southeast toward the Twin Cities.  They will be pushed by a cold front that will usher in slightly comfier air on a northwest breeze on Friday.  The weekend will bring all kinds of welcome relief, even though a few stray showers and storms might dance in the sky mainly during the late afternoons and evenings.  Look for highs Saturday and Sunday from the low 70s to low 80s.

Until then, go sit in the kiddie pool, in the shade, with a glass of iced tea.