Extreme heat wave likely next week across Upper Midwest

Several days of 100-degree temperatures likely next week in the Dakotas and parts of Minnesota.

NOAA GFS temperature output for 7 pm Thursday July 22
The NOAA GFS temperature output for 7 p.m. July 22.
NOAA via tropical tidbits

The Steamy Summer of ‘21 is not over yet. Not even close.

The weather maps are flashing bright red next week for what could be the most intense heat wave of summer. If current forecast models pan out, some parts of the Dakotas and western Minnesota could see as much as a week of 100-degree temperatures. And temperatures may reach the 100-degree mark in the Twin Cities late next week.

Heat dome builds

I hope you savored our cool rainy Wednesday. The sun returns Thursday through the weekend.

Twin Cities area forecast at a glance
Twin Cities area forecast at a glance.
Twin Cities National Weather Service

Then an amplified ridge of high pressure builds next week across the northern U.S. and southern Canada. The heat dome peaks late next week across the Upper Midwest.

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NOAA GFS upper air forecast
NOAA GFS upper air forecast for July 24.
NOAA via tropical tidbits

A week of 100-degree temperatures?

The core of intense and persistent heat appears likely to set up across the Dakotas into western Minnesota next week. Highs should reach 100 degrees or higher most of next week in these areas.

NOAA GFS temperature output for 7 pm Thursday July 22
NOAA GFS temperature output for 7 p.m. July 22.
NOAA via tropical tidbits

The heat dome appears likely to nudge further east by late next week. That would push 100-degree temperatures closer to the Twin Cities area.

NOAA GFS temperature forecast for 1 pm Friday July 23
NOAA GFS temperature forecast for 1 p.m. July 23.
NOAA via tropical tidbits

Red bull’s eye

NOAA’s latest eight-to-14-day temperatures outlook places the heat dome right across Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

NOAA 8 to 14-day temperature outlook
NOAA eight-to-14-day temperature outlook.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is already alerting to the excessive heat wave.

Extreme heat outlook
Extreme heat outlook

US Hazards Outlook
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EDT July 14 2021

Synopsis: There continues to be high confidence regarding excessive heat expanding across the north-central contiguous U.S. during week-1 and persisting into week-2, with parts of the Northern Great Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley possibly experiencing maximum temperatures near or greater than 100 deg F on multiple days and potentially reaching or exceeding daily records. Some of this heat may shift eastward later in the period, with excessive heat signals increasing along the Eastern Seaboard during the second half of week-2. An active North American Monsoon circulation is forecast to promote above-normal precipitation and possible flooding over the Desert Southwest.


  • High risk of excessive heat for portions of the Northern Great Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley, Thu-Fri, Jul 22-23.

  • Moderate risk of excessive heat for portions of the Northern and Central Rockies, Northern Great Plains, and Upper Mississippi Valley, Thu-Sat, Jul 22-24.

Extreme fire danger up north next week?

Northern Minnesota missed out on Wednesday’s soaking rains that fell around the Twin Cities and parts of southern Minnesota.

Fire danger is already high to very high across northern Minnesota.

Fire danger in Minnesota
Fire danger in Minnesota.
Minnesota DNR

Little or no rain is in the forecast in the next week. Higher temperatures and evaporation rates will likely elevate fire danger in parts of northern Minnesota to extreme levels next week.

I’m getting extremely concerned about the growing potential for large, fast-moving wildfires with extreme fire behavior in northern Minnesota in the next couple of weeks. If you own property in northern Minnesota now is a good time to increase your fire protection plan and buffers around structures.

Stay tuned.