On track for fewest 90 degree days in 21 years?

Our abbreviated summer of 2014 has given us plenty to remember -- flooded basements, overflowing lakes and rivers, and plenty of free AC to go around.

Here's one number that stands out as we move through early August: 2.

That's just two days at or above 90 degrees so far this summer in the Twin Cities. If that number holds, it will be the fewest number of 90 degree days in 21 years. The summer of 1993 went by without a single 90 degree day.

Some numbers.

  • 2 days at or above 90 degrees so far this summer

  • 2004 last time we had as few as 4 days at or above 90 degrees

  • 1993 last year we had 0 days at or above 90 in the Twin Cities

Here are some numbers from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group on 90 degree days in the metro.

1805 90 days
Minnesota Climate Working Group

High variability

Looking at the data, you can see there may be no such thing as an average summer when it comes to the number of 90 degree days in the Twin Cities. There's a high degree of variability for year to year. here's a look at what passes for average, and what happened the past two years.

  • 13 days average number of 90 degree days each year in the Twin Cities

  • 19 days at or above 90 degrees last summer

  • 31 days at or above 90 degrees in 2012

No more 90s?

I'm always hesitant to say we're done with 90 degree heat in the metro before State Fair time. Looking at the maps though, it appears our slightly cool summer bias may hold into September. That could mean few, if any 90 degree days.

Here's a look at the model for the metro from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Global Forecast System. Temperatures fall well short of 90 degrees in the next 16 days.

1805 16
NOAA

I'd say there is still a 50/50 chance we'll crack 90 again this year. But if we manage only one more 90 degree day, it will be the fewest in 21 years.

Stay tuned.

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