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Spectacular Thursday; weekend heat; near-record New Orleans flood threat growing

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Get out there Minnesota.

Thursday brings one of the finest days of summer. Abundant sunshine, comfortable dew points in the 50s and highs near 80 degrees combine for a spectacular weather day. You could make the case Thursday will be one of the best days of summer in Minnesota.

Enjoy it. Tropical heat and humidity levels return by Friday and continue through the weekend into next week.

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NOAA forecast temperatures for the Twin Cities via tropical tidbits.

So far we've managed just one 90-degree day in the Twin Cities this season. We'll likely add to that number in the next week. It's interesting to note that even with just 1 day of 90-degree heat so far this season, overall June temperatures in the Twin Cities ran 1-degree warmer than average. So far July is running 2.3 degrees warmer than average. That number looks very likely to climb in the next 2 weeks.

New Orleans: Near-record flood threat growing

Streets in New Orleans are already flooding today. Several inches of rain have fallen in some areas.

A double whammy situation is evolving that threatens to produce record or near-record flood levels on the Mississippi River in New Orleans. The river has been running higher than usual due to heavy runoff from winter snows and spring rains in the Midwest. Now a likely Tropical Storm or Hurricane Barry threatens to dump 10 to 20+ inches of rain on parts of Louisana this weekend.

Those rains from likely Tropical Storm or Hurricane Barry are forecast to push the Mississippi River to near 20-feet. That's within about a foot of the highest level ever recorded.

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That river level threatens to top some levees in New Orleans.

The Bowl: New Orleans unique flood geography

Here's why the concern is growing for another potentially catastrophic-level flood event in New Orleans. New Orleans sits in a depression between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. If the levees on the Mississippi are breached, there's little to stop the bowl from filling up with floodwaters from the river.

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Image credit: Alexdi at English Wikipedia

Stay tuned.