Heat builds after Wednesday; air quality alert extended for SW Minnesota

Wednesday will be pleasant but the weekend will be hot

MSP fcst
Forecast for the Twin Cities area
National Weather Service

Wednesday will be the last day of near-normal temperatures before we heat up. Air quality has improved for most but pockets of unhealthy air remain in western Minnesota.

Pleasant Wednesday

Air quality has improved Wednesday morning after diminishing to the "unhealthy for sensitive groups” category nearly statewide at one point Tuesday evening.

Eastern Minnesota is largely seeing good to moderate air quality while pockets of poorer air quality remain in western Minnesota. The air quality alert has been extended for southwestern Minnesota through the day Wednesday into the late evening:

AQ alert 9a
An air quality alert has been extended for southwest Minnesota through 11 p.m. Wednesday
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Check the latest air quality conditions, alerts and forecasts from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency:

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Low temperatures early Wednesday dipped to some downright cool readings in northeastern Minnesota, especially. Kabetogama dipped to 40 degrees. While chilly, these readings are a few degrees warmer than lows reported early Sunday.

lows WED reported
Low temperatures reported early Wednesday morning
National Weather Service

Wednesday will be pleasant with a few clouds and temperatures right near normal in the upper 70s in the Twin Cities and southeastern Minnesota. Highs will be in the low to mid-80s west and low 70s northeast.

wed hi 9a
Forecast highs Wednesday
National Weather Service

Thursday will start to see warmer air move in as winds increase from the south and southeast. Wind gusts will be between 30 and 40 mph Thursday afternoon.

Thu gusts NWS
Forecast wind gusts Thursday
National Weather Service

Potentially record-breaking heat wave nears

The heat is building back in as the upper-level high pressure ridge or “heat dome” returns to the center of North America.

The heat dome returns. The map shows the upper-level pattern forecast late Wednesday into early next week.
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, via Pivotal Weather

Highs will be near 90 already Friday afternoon across central Minnesota and will be into the 90s this weekend into early next week. Consecutive days in the 90s are very rare this late in the season and we could break records.

The record highs Saturday and Sunday are 97 degrees in the Twin Cities and 98 degrees on Monday and Tuesday. Some of those could be broken.

The big difference between this heat wave and last week’s will be the dew points. This time around we’ll see dew points mostly in the 60s rather than in the mid to upper 70s.

dews FCST
The map shows forecast dew points Friday morning through Monday evening. It will not be as humid as the last heat wave.
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, via Pivotal Weather