Good Question: How Rare Is 100 Degrees?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We did it! We broke the 100 degrees barrier for the first time in five years in the Twin Cities. So how unusual is it to reach 100 degrees here?

“It’s psychologically elusive. Meteorologically, I guess, as well,” said WCCO meteorologist Mike Augustyniak.

It was 2006 when last we hit 101 degrees, before that it was 101 degrees in 1995. Over the past 26 years there were just three days with temperatures higher than 100 degrees.

“The peak number of 100-degree days tended to occur in the 30s, during the dust bowl era,” said Augustyniak.

There were 25 days higher than 100 degrees in the 1930s, according to climate data from the Minnesota Climatology Office.

“It speaks to the fact that it is much easier to heat up dry air, which caused the dust bowl in many cases, than it is to heat up moist air,” said Augustyniak.

For example, he said, it takes longer to heat up lake water than it does to heat the relatively dry land. Because summer winds generally come from the south, they blow over Iowa on the way to Minnesota.

“Corn, in particular, planted in Iowa tends to transpires moisture, it essentially breathes moisture into the atmosphere,” Augustyniak said, resulting in warmer dew points in Minnesota over the past few decades.

Since 1956, Minnesota has only had 14 days with official Twin Cities temperatures above 100 degrees, including today.

History Of 100 Degree Days In The Twin Cities: From 1980-Today

June 7, 2011 – 102
July 31, 2006 – 101
July 13, 1995 – 101
July 3, 1990 – 100
August 1, 1988 – 101
July 31, 1988 – 105
July 15, 1988 – 102
June 24, 1988 – 101
June 8, 1985 – 102
July 5, 1982 – 100
July 11, 1980 – 100

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