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Hottest stretch of 2013; State Fair record may fall; Thursday thunder threat; Real relief Sunday

Hottest days of 2013

Welcome to the hottest run of 2013. We've just logged five days in a row of 90+ degree heat, and three consecutive days above 95! Even our brief July heat spell can't match those sweaty numbers.

This will likely go down as the second hottest State Fair overall in Minnesota history. But we've already tied the record for the most 90 degree days during a Fair run at five days. That record will likely fall between now and Saturday.

No wonder State Fair attendance numbers are plummeting this year. I feel for the vendors who count on big crowds for brisk business. Thankfully, crowds should increase dramatically Labor Day weekend as our weather cools.

Thursday features a thunder threat that favors the northern half of Minnesota. The first real cold front in a while arrives Sunday. It will finally feel like September by Labor Day, and (gulp) "back to school" Tuesday at the bus stop for many Minnesota school kids.

Did our late August heat wave just "save" the summer of 2013?

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5 days in a row at or above 90 degrees at Minneapolis St.-Paul Airport

6 records tied or broken since Sunday morning

-71,291 change in State Fair attendance numbers in 2013 so far vs. 2012

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Image: Twin Cities NWS

State Fair heat Wave of 2013: 90 degree day record may fall

Pete Boulay of the Minnesota Climate Working Group has been all over keeping track of the heat in historical context of the Fair. Pete gave us the latest numbers in person at the MPR booth on Judson at Fair during our live broadcast Tuesday with Cathy Wurzer and Mark Seeley.

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Sweating it out at the Fair: Mark Seeley, Paul Huttner & Cathy Wurzer vists with MPR fans Tuesday The high was a toasty 96 degrees, with a State Fair record tying dew point of 77 degrees. Image: Pete Boulay MN Climate Working Group

Overall it still looks like this will go down as the second-hottest Fair on record. Here are the latest numbers from Pete.

(Image: MN Climate Working Group)

Even though this may not be the "hottest" Fair overall, it looks like we will likely set the record for the most number of days at or above 90 degrees. We've already logged five days of 90+ heat -- and at least one more day of 90 is a good bet between now and Saturday. The heat wave's effect is reflected in latest attendance numbers. I've taken the liberty to add the daily highs next to each date.

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Image: MN State Fair

From "Excessive" to "Just Plain Hot"

Our "excessive heat warning" is finally toast. Now we deal with "cooler" days as temps hover around 90 degrees through Saturday. Twin Cities NWS has "downgraded" to a Heat Advisory for Thursday. Your best chance of a cooling thunderstorm? Thursday and again Saturday night.

Here's NOAA's Global Forecast System model take on temps and rain chances into Saturday.

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Image: NOAA GFS data via Weatherspark

Thursday Thunder Threat Favors Northland

I can't rule out a stray thunderstorm Thursday for the metro and southern Minnesota, but the best chances will favor the northern half of the state. Storms around a Fargo-Brainerd-Duluth zone have the best chance of packing hail and high winds.  Here's NOAA's Storm Prediction Center severe risk assessment for Thursday.

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Image: NOAA

R-E-L-I-E-F: A "real" cold front arrives Sunday

A crack of thunder and heavy downpour may announce the unofficial end of summer in Minnesota late Saturday night. Our first real cool front since the heat wave began will have a September Esque feel. Temps will drop into the 70s, with comfy dry dew points in the 50s and even 40s by Sunday and Labor Day.

Here's' the Euro model output on the changes ahead.

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Image: Euro model data via Weatherspark

Welcome to September!

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