Some relief possible for holiday weekend
Much of south-central and southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities and St. Croix Valley, baked under heat and humidity Monday and Tuesday that pushed heat indices well into the triple digits.
But slight relief is in sight from the punishing late summer heat wave, according to the National Weather Service. Highs today through Saturday will be in the upper 80s to near 90 and a cool front could bring highs down to the comfortable low 80s and upper 70s by Labor Day.
A record high of 97 was recorded Monday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to NWS meteorologist Jake Beitlich. Clouds helped keep Tuesday’s readings in the low to middle 90s, but higher humidity pushed the heat index to 110 briefly, he added.
Much of southern Minnesota, including the St. Croix Valley, remained under an excessive heat warning until midnight tonight. Heat indices of 95 to 100 were forecast today.
Although Independent School District 834 schools do not open until Tuesday, precautions were being taken regarding fall high school sports practices and games due to the heat. A Stillwater Area High School girls tennis match was postponed Tuesday and the Ponies football team practiced without pads Monday and Tuesday. All SAHS teams were taking frequent water breaks.
SAHS Activities Director Ricky Michel said today that officials at Park High School in Cottage Grove pushed back the start of Thursday’s football game with Stillwater to
NWS Meteorologist Bill Borghoff said high pressure over the center of the U.S. brought the heat to much of Minnesota.
“It’s basically a ridge of high pressure centered over the upper Mississippi River Valley causing the air to sink, compress and warm,” he said. “Most of the humidity is bring produced by local crops. Our moisture source from the Gulf of Mexico is cut off.”
Nighttime offered little or no relief from the hot, humid air. Beitlich said Tuesday’s low was 80.
“That was the latest that we’ve had our warmest low for the season,” he said.
In its excessive heat advisory statement, the NWS said the hot, humid conditions could lead to a heightened risk of heat-related stress and illness for the young and elderly, persons without air-conditioning and persons participating in strenuous outdoor activities.
The NWS urges persons to avoid heat-related issues by scheduling strenuous activities in the early morning or early evening hours; take frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas if working outdoors; wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. The agency also urges people to check on relatives and neighbors, especially those living in residences without air-conditioning.
Any person overcome by heat should be moved to a cool, shaded location and emergency personnel should be notified, the NWS added.
Veterinarians also urged pet owners and farmers raising livestock to take precautions to protect their animals from heat-related problems. Pet owners should limit the animal’s physical activity during the heat of the day; ensure their pet has plenty of water; spray down animals with room-temperature or cool water; keep pets in air-conditioned areas; avoid walking pets on asphalt to prevent paw pad burns; never leave a pet in a car unattended, and do not give sports drinks or electrolyte supplements to pets.
Vets said signs of heat-related stress in pets include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dark red gums. If a pet is panting uncontrollably or collapses, take the animal to a veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately.
Both Borghoff and Beitlich said the Valley will see slight relief from the heat today through the end of the week with highs around 90.
“The thing we have holding temperatures back is that we have a little more cloud cover,” Beitlich said.
However, Beitlich added that higher humidity and light winds would offer little relief from the still hot temperatures.
The best chance for slightly cooler temperatures is Sunday and Monday, according to Beitlich.
“There’s a front coming down from Canada. Sunday and Monday should be nicer if the weather behaves,” he said. “We’re in for a cooldown for the weekend.”
Contact Erik Sandin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Geislinger, right, of Curb Masters, Inc., of South St. Paul, cleans a machine that pours and forms concrete curbs and gutters Tuesday morning at 62nd Street North and Oxboro Avenue near the Washington County Government Center. Spray from the hose Geislinger used probably helped cool him off in the 90-degree heat. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)