The temperature soared to 97 degrees Friday afternoon, breaking the record for the June 4 high in the Twin Cities as the season's first heat wave gripped much of Minnesota.

The unseasonable blast of warmth — 20 degrees above average — combined with other factors to make for a somewhat hazardous Friday. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued an air quality alert for the seven-county metro and Chisago and Isanti counties for most of the day.

The previous record of 96 for June 4 was set in 1968, according to Joe Calderone, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Chanhassen.

The weather got even hotter to the west and north. At 2 p.m., the hottest sites in Minnesota were Moorhead and Hallock, which registered temperatures of 102 degrees.

Saturday will bring an even better shot at setting a record high in the metro. The record for June 5 is 92, set in 1911 and 1925. The forecast high is in the mid-90s and is expected to be the hottest day of the weekend.

There won't be much relief Sunday, with a high of 94 in the metro and even warmer conditions expected to the west.

While it will be hot, dew points, a measure of how much water is in the air, will be in the tolerable 50s, making it less miserable than it could be, Calderone said. But he warned that spending time outside can still be dangerous.

"With no cloud cover and no breaks from the beating sun, you will feel it for any outdoor activities," he said.

Strong winds and low humidity will accompany the warmth across the northern third of Minnesota, where the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources posted a red flag warning until 9 p.m. Friday. The hazard may continue into the weekend, authorities said.

There won't be much relief at night, either. Lows are not expected to fall below 70 degrees for the next five days, possibly setting records, too, Calderone said.

Unseasonable summer warmth will continue into next week with highs in the 90s Monday and Tuesday, dropping into the upper 80s on Wednesday.

For those hoping for a free lawn watering, the news isn't ideal. Rainfall will be scarce over the next several days, with a slight chance of showers on Sunday, the NWS said.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768