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Spotty afternoon thundershowers; weekend heat wave ahead

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"There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." -- John Ruskin

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Summer sky. Image: Paul Huttner/MPR News.

Welcome to Minnesota's weather smorgasbord. Over the next few days we'll enjoy a taste of several different kinds of (good) weather.

Spotty showers. Sun. Stifling heat. Oppressive humidity.

Buckle up, folks. July has come a calling.

Fresh breezes today

Dew points hit 70 degrees late Wednesday in southern Minnesota. A fresher breeze blows in cooler drier air. Highs make the 60s north and 70s south today. Dew points stay in the comfy range and drop to near 50 degrees in the Twin Cities Wednesday night.

A swirl of vorticity (spin) in the upper atmosphere spawns a few spotty showers this afternoon in the northwest flow. Here's the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's NAM 3 km model.

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NOAA NAM 3 km resolution model through 4 pm today via tropical tidbits.

Weekend heat wave

Thursday will be nothing short of spectacular in Minnesota. Highs near 80 degrees, blue skies, and low humidity make for one of the best days of summer.

By Friday return flow from the south pumps July-level heat, and humidity into Minnesota. Highs will push the 90-degree mark, and dew points soar well into the 70s to near 80 degrees at times.

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NOAA forecast temperatures for Minneapolis via Weather Bell.

The heat shows signs of sticking around through most of next week and even deeper into July. True summer at last.

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Steamy too

The models hint at some oppressive dew point surges this weekend. Dew points in the mid-70s will feel oppressive. A few spots could feel dew points near 80 degrees. Free corn sweat sauna indeed.

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NOAA GFS dew point forecast for 7 pm CDT Sunday July 14 via tropical tidbits.

Barry gets organized 

Forecast models continue to show a likely Tropical Storm Barry developing today or tomorrow in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Barry may linger over balmy Gulf waters long enough to reach hurricane status.

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Graphic: tropical tidbits

Barry remains a threat to produce heavy rainfall in Louisiana over the next several days.

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7-day rainfall forecast via NOAA.

Programming note: I'm hosting a special one-hour Weather Lab and Climate Cast Friday at 11 a.m. on MPR News stations. My guest in the first half hour is Kenny Blumenfeld. We'll do an "ask the meteorologist" segment and answer your weather questions. Please feel free to call-in Friday at 11 a.m. CDT.