This is what climate change looks like. Did a warmer, wetter atmosphere trigger this record-setting, late-season heat wave? No. It would have warmed up either way. But there's growing evidence that a warmer, wetter atmosphere is intensifying the hot weather which occurs naturally.
We're witnessing more "3-sigma" events, 3 standard deviations from the mean. Record heat in China. Russia's killer heat wave of 2010. "Sandy" & Duluth's record 2012 flood may have been 3-sigma events. Scientists predict a doubling of extreme heat waves by 2020, a quadrupling by 2040.
The heat is coming on suddenly now. Local media labeled the deadly 1995 heat that killed 800 people in Chicago a "heat storm" because it came on quickly. Mortality was linked with 80F+ nighttime lows. People simply couldn't get any relief at night.
A swarm of early T-storms (best chance north of MSP) may keep us from 100F today, but it'll be close. Heat Warnings remain posted - take it easy out there.
A puff of slightly cooler air drops the mercury to near 90 midweek. Some cool front. We heat up again on Labor Day Weekend, sparking Sunday T-storms and more 95-100F heat on Labor Day.
A real cool front? 2 weeks away.
Excessive Heat Warning. Once again today the combination of 90s + dew points near 70 will create oppressive heat indices, possibly topping 100-105F later today. The only wildcard is convection: any morning storms would slow the heat spike, meaning low to mid 90s instead of mid to upper 90s. Early storms would also add additional moisture to the air, making up for in humidity what we lose in PM heat. Source: NOAA and Ham Weather.
Photo credit above: "Inmate firefighters walk along state Highway 120 as firefighters continue to battle the Rim fire near Yosemite National Park on Sunday. Fire crews are clearing brush and setting sprinklers to protect two groves of giant sequoias as a massive week-old wildfire rages along the remote northwest edge of the park." PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press.
Image credit above: "Researchers say Facebook use can lead to a decline in happiness and satisfaction." Joerg Koch/AP
97 F. highs reported at Blaine and South St. Paul yesterday.
96 F. record high on Sunday, breaking the old record of 94 set in 1948.
79 F. average high for August 25.
76 F. high on August 25, 2012.
Photo credit above: "Marine phytoplankton releases sulphur compounds into the atmosphere that contribute to cooling the planet. But ocean acidification could hinder this process." Wim van Egmond/Visuals Unlimited/SPL.
Photo credit above: Angel Valentin for The New York Times. "Erosion at Haulover Beach Park in Miami-Dade County."