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Climatologist: Minn. Is Getting Hotter & More Humid

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Trends in climate data show much of Minnesota is getting hotter and more humid with each year.

Pete Boulay with the State Climatology Office explains what it means when you hear the term “dew points.”

“Basically, it’s the air temperature that would have to cool in order for dew to form on the grass,” said Boulay.

High dew points on a hot day mean high humidity. Weather maps show the last couple years have seen an upward trend in dew points.

It’s a similar picture for temperatures in East Central Minnesota.

“If you look at the average annual temperature for the entire year, absolutely, yes it’s increasing,” he said.

Most of that temperature increase is happening on winter nights. As for temperatures in the summer, the Twin Cities has seen them increase about a degree since the mid-90s.

“The metro area, believe it or not, is getting bigger,” said Boulay.

With its expansion comes more roads and parking lots.

“If your ground is green, it’d be one temperature. Your ground is black, you’re going to have a different temperature,” he said.

In heat like today, even the climatologist says he’s ready for a little cool down.

The Minnesota Department of Health says several of the cities and counties in Minnesota have developed what’s called a “heat response plan” to prepare for extreme heat.

Strategies include having a “heat line” to answer questions, designating buildings with air conditioning as public cooling centers and re-scheduling outdoor public and sporting events when possible.

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