Heat advisory extended through Thursday | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Heat advisory extended through Thursday

Posted: July 3, 2012 - 4:18pm

A prolonged period of hot temperatures and humid conditions expected through Thursday prompted the extension of the heat advisory across the northland.

The National Weather Service (NWS) extended the heat advisory to 10 p.m. Thursday urging caution for heat-related stress and illness as high air temperatures combine high humidity for a heat index of 95 to 105 degrees. And some areas may be even higher, the NWS reported.

The air temperature is predicted to surpass 90 degrees through Thursday. Conditions will continue to include a chance for thunderstorms each day. Overnight lows should be about 70 degrees, making it harder for homes to cool down before the next day of heating begins. Residents without air-conditioning are urged to spend at least a few hours in a cooler environment at the library perhaps or the mall or take cool showers or baths to combat the heat. For the Fourth of July, conditions should be sunny and hot with a high of 94 degrees by the time the parade is in full swing in Baxter. The south wind at 5 mph isn’t likely to provide a big relief.

The NWS reminds people to drink water, check on relatives and neighbors and remember to provide plenty of water for pets along with a shelter so pets can get out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.

Hot conditions continue Thursday as the temperature climbs back to 91 degrees.

Friday is expected to provide a break in the high heat as temperatures drop to the 80s and overnight lows move into more comfortable 60s.

After setting a high temperature record at 96 degrees on Monday, thunderstorms with nearly continuous lightning and heavy rain moved through the northern lakes area overnight. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) weather gauge at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport had 1.33 inches of rain from the overnight storm. Mark Mortensen, DNR forester, said the gauge at the DNR offices had .65 inches overnight. Mortensen said the downpour was so heavy at times Highway 371 was difficult to see while driving last night.

The cooler breeze in front of the storm dropped the temperature to an overnight low of 66 degrees. But the air temperature climbed to 80 degrees before 11 a.m. Tuesday with a dew point temperature of 69 degrees, providing a measurement of how much moisture is in the air.

The flood warning continues for the Mississippi River near Aitkin, Brainerd and Fort Ripley. At Brainerd, the river rose overnight to 17.28 feet by 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to remain in moderate flood stage above the record crest of 16.7 feet. Flood stage is 13 feet. The river also rose at Fort Ripley, which remains in minor flood stage at 11.88 feet Tuesday. Flood stage begins at 10 feet. In Aitkin, the river continues to drop from major flood stage into moderate flooding at 17.82 feet at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The river is expected to continue to drop at Aitkin in the coming days. Flood stage begins at 12 feet.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz.