4th hottest meteorological summer on record in the Twin Cities

Labor Day weekend heat wave will likely boost this year's 90-degree days to 32

Summer 2023
Summer 2023 climate summary
Twin Cities National Weather Service office

Happy meteorological fall, Minnesota.

The months of June through August comprise a meteorological summer for record-keeping purposes, and the numbers from the Twin Cities National Weather Service office Friday show that the average temperature at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this summer was 74.8 degrees. (See the graphic above.)

That’s hot enough to tie for the fourth hottest summer on record in the Twin Cities in 2012.

You can see from the graph below that the hottest summer on record occurred just two years ago in 2021.

Summer average temperatures for the Twin Cities
2021 summer average temperatures for the Twin Cities
Twin Cities National Weather Service office

So the first and fourth hottest summers on record have now occurred in the past three summers. Toasty times for Minnesota so far this decade.

90-degree days adding up

We hit 90 degrees in the Twin Cities again Friday afternoon. By my count that marks the 28th day of temperatures at or above 90 degrees this year. If weekend temperatures pan out as forecast, we’ll likely add four more days of 90-degree heat by Tuesday.

That would put the Twin Cities at 32 days of 90-degree heat this year. That would tie for the sixth most 90-degree days on record with 1933. It would also be the most 90-degree days in 35 years since we sweated through 44 days of 90-plus temperatures in 1988.

Record heat likely Labor Day weekend

It looks likely we’ll tie or break some records in the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota this weekend. Here are the current record highs for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this weekend:

  • Saturday 97 degrees (1937)

  • Sunday 97 degrees (1925)

  • Labor Day 98 degrees (1925)

Temperatures Saturday will soar well into the 90s across much of southern and western Minnesota.

Forecast high temperatures Saturday
Forecast high temperatures Saturday
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Highs this weekend will likely peak Sunday afternoon as the thermal ridge slides over Minnesota. We have a good shot at reaching 100 degrees from the Twin Cities area westward.

Forecast high temperatures Sunday
Forecast high temperatures Sunday

Labor Day will be nearly as hot.

Temperatures will moderate some Tuesday, but highs in the 90s will persist across southern Minnesota. Note the cooler 70s on Tuesday behind an advancing cool front across northwestern Minnesota:

Forecast high temperatures Tuesday
Forecast high temperatures on Tuesday

It looks like the heat wave will break by Wednesday with temperatures in the 70s to low 80s.