Minnesota was one of the hottest spots in the country on Friday, with more than a dozen cities in the state smashing records with temperatures that soared into the 80s and 90s.
The Twin Cities hit 92 degrees, breaking the 89-degree record high for this date set in 1934. Even Duluth and Two Harbors, where winds often whip across Lake Superior to keep things cool, pushed into the 90s.
At one point on Friday, Two Harbors hit 93, tying with McAllen, Texas, as the hottest spot in the nation, according to the National Weather Service. But just 80 miles northeast of Two Harbors, Grand Marais was chilling with temperatures in the mid-40s.
Duluth’s high of 92 broke the previous record of 82 set in 2000. Duluth also broke its record for the earliest 90-degree reading set on May 14, 1932. The normal high there for the date is 59 degrees. Even up on the Canadian border, International Falls hit 86, tying the record set in 1918.
As cities around the state broke records, Minnesotans quickly shed their spring jackets to revel in a day of summerlike weather before a coming cold front cools things down.
Temperatures are expected to drop into the 70s on Saturday and Sunday. But even that is warmer than the normal high of 67.
The one-day heat wave was the result of a very warm atmosphere that got a boost from the spring landscape, according to Bill Borghoff, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. Without the moisture from vegetation, dry air heats up more quickly, he said.
Added to that, Friday’s sunshine and wind combined to make it even warmer, he said.
Up North, Duluth and Two Harbors hit record highs in part because of their topography, Borghoff said. Air heats up as it comes down from the hills and into the valleys, he explained.
By next week, Minnesota will be back to normal, if not a bit cooler than usual with temperatures in the mid-60s in the Twin Cities and mid-50s in Duluth.
Summer will have to wait.