Yes, it's the heat - and the humidity too

  • Article by: PAMELA MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 2, 2012 - 7:51 AM

Add an air pollution and heat advisory to the mix for Monday in the metro area. The rest of the week? Still hot, still humid.

The good news: It's a fine week to set that lawn chair in the shade and kick back with a tall beverage. Or to hit the beach. Or to nap on the couch in an air-conditioned room.

The bad news: The sticky heat that seemed to set everything in slow motion on Sunday is here to stay awhile. Expect a noon-to-10 p.m. heat advisory and a noon-to-midnight air pollution advisory to amp up the misery index on Monday, when the high will be in the upper 90s. And as the week passes, it may get even hotter.

Tuesday through Friday also will bring highs in the upper 90s and high humidity, said Shawn DeVinny, a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

That heat and humidity, combined with smoke from Western wildfires wafting our way, will foul the air on Monday, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Ozone (smog) concentrations are expected to rise through early evening, then decrease overnight.

The biggest weather news of the week will be the humidity -- what DeVinny called some dangerous dewpoints. Every day through Friday, the dewpoint is expected to be around 70.

Can't remind people enough, DeVinny said -- "You'll be sweating nonstop if you're outside, so drink way more water than you're used to." Don't hesitate to recoup in air-conditioned spaces, and do check on vulnerable neighbors, he said.

Christine Hill, a spokeswoman for Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, said there were a couple of heat-related emergencies Sunday, but "generally, it appears that people are being cautious." Still, Sunday's heat didn't appear to keep people home -- they flocked to lakes, to the Twins game at Target Field and to Brit's Pub in downtown Minneapolis for deck viewing of Spain's big soccer win.

DeVinny said he was shaking his head over the fact that despite the sweltering conditions, "some people still leave their dogs in their cars on days like this. You can't do that, not even for a minute." On Saturday, he said, the Weather Service got at least two calls from metro law enforcement asking for the temperature to include in police reports about dogs left in cars. They rescued both animals before something dreadful happened, he said.

There's a chance of showers and thunderstorms this week, DeVinny said, but "the atmosphere is just not conducive to very severe storms when it's this hot," he said. "Around here, any rain will be pretty scattered." Heavier amounts of rain are possible south of the metro, he said.

Despite the heat, temperature records are not likely, DeVinny said, except possibly for Monday, when the record for Minneapolis is 96. Records for subsequent days were in the 100s, so they're less likely to be beaten. Records or no, we're still in a pattern where temperatures are routinely 15 to 20 degrees higher than normal, he said.

Pamela Miller • 612-673-4290

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