Summer slump: Twin Cities temperatures may dip to 40s next week

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2014 - 6:32 PM

Temperatures in the 40s in July?

After a bone-chilling winter, record rains in April and floods in June, Twin Cities meteorologists on Friday predicted record lows in the coming days, just in time to greet out-of-towners visiting the land of the windchill factor for All-Star festivities. In the suburbs, temperatures may dwindle to the 40s, they predict.

A polar vortex? Local and national meteorologists are divided on that being the cause. But they agree that fans attending Tuesday’s All-Star Game should bring jackets and long sleeves. All-Star pitchers, better bring the heat.

Weather experts predict the temperature at the first pitch could be the lowest for any All-Star Game in at least 35 years. Sluggers competing in Monday’s Home Run Derby may be thinking more about a polar vortex than foul poles, as the day’s predicted high of 67 would be the lowest high ever for July 14 in Minneapolis (the current mark, 68, has stood since 1884). And on Wednesday, the suburbs may see record lows in the upper 40s.

Is this the All-Star Game or the fall classic?

Some meteorologists are calling the current weather pattern a polar vortex, noting that this is supposed to be the hottest time of the year. Cool weather is expected to blanket the Great Lakes regions next week.

But it’s technically not a polar vortex, meteorologist Susie Martin said Friday, because “it fails to meet the criteria pressure-wise and temperature-wise. But it’s still a record-breaking cold blast nonetheless.”

Major League Baseball won’t have to borrow the Wild’s Zambonis. The temperature could get as high as 70 at Target Field on Tuesday — which would be 2 degrees higher than the game-time low of 68 that has occurred for four All-Star games since 1980. That’s when All-Star weather records started to be kept almost as meticulously as baseball statistics.

Even with predictions of rain for Monday, Twins executive Kevin Smith can look to Target Field’s open sky and say with confidence, “The weather’s going to be perfect.”

“Anyone who was in New York City last year [for the All-Star Game at Citi Field] and sat through 90-plus degrees, in high humidity with a heat index warning, knows that our weather is a welcome relief,” Smith said.

“That was brutal. This will be heaven.”

And we’re not expected to break the record for coldest high on July 15 — 63 degrees, set in 1962 — said Martin, of Media Logic Group in Excelsior.

Civilian reaction

Away from the ballpark, not everyone is thrilled at the prospect of revisiting the 60s. At Sebastian Joe’s ice cream parlor on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis, manager Zoltan Gyenes said that when temperatures drop, so do sales.

At Maynard’s in Excelsior, where hungry and thirsty customers pack the outdoor patio by Lake Minnetonka, the heaters may be on next week, said manager Ryan Mascher.

“Minnesota’s taught me to expect anything,” said Ian Pattison, 24, who grew up in Maple Grove, now lives in New York City and was strolling in Minneapolis during a visit Friday. “It doesn’t even faze me anymore.”

Kathryn Green, 37, of Minneapolis, wonders what out-of-towners coming for the game will think next week.

“It’s too bad it will be so cold when people are here,” she said. “It would be nice if they could experience our nice weather.”

They may get their chance — during the Vikings’ season, said Mark Seeley, climatologist with the University of Minnesota Extension Services. He’s predicting a mild fall and winter.

“El Niño’s gonna take over,” he said.

For now, though, Seeley said a “serious buckle” in the jet stream will bring in Canadian air.

Frost threat?

“Gardeners are asking about a frost threat,” he said.

It won’t be that bad. For the day of the All-Star Game, Seeley forecasts high temperatures between 64 and 69. But this year, anything is possible, he said.

“On March 31, for the first time in Minnesota history, we had one county — Lac qui Parle County — that was under a tornado warning and a blizzard warning on the same day,” Seeley said. “Now, that’s crazy.”

Eric Smith, 45, of St. Paul, strolled downtown Minneapolis in short sleeves Friday. Next week, he may dress differently.

“It doesn’t bother me and I don’t see why anyone should be surprised by the unseasonal, unpredictable weather around here,” he said.

“For the out-of-town visitors next week, this will just add to the mystique.”

 

Paul Levy • 612-673-4419

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