An unusual heat wave bringing mid-90 degree temperatures throughout the Brainerd lakes area won’t end any time soon.
Tuesday and Wednesday have expected highs in the low 90s, breaking Thursday and Friday with mid-to upper-80s, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth.
“(The high August temperatures) aren’t unheard of, but it’s not very common,” said Kevin Kraujalis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Kraujalis noted the Brainerd area is at near-record temperatures.
Sunday, the lakes area nearly broke an 84-year-old record high. The 93 degrees on Sunday fell just one degree short of the record set on Aug. 25, 1929.
The overnight low of 75 degrees arrived just before 7 a.m. Monday before the temperature started to climb again. It was back to 93 degrees by 1 p.m. That has been a repeated pattern. The coolest temperature since Friday afternoon was 70 degrees about 3 a.m. Saturday. The normal high for this time of year is 78 degrees.
A heat advisory was in effect until 9 p.m. Monday for much of the Brainerd area, with a heat index — combining temperature and humidity — of 95 to 105.
The heat advisory means it can be especially dangerous for those in poor health and the elderly and those participating in strenuous outdoor activities, the weather service officials said, noting pets and farm animals also need water and shade in this heat.
It forced some local sporting events to reschedule athletic events. A Milaca cross country meet, with Little Falls and Pierz, was canceled. The Little Falls girls and boys soccer games were postponed.
The extreme August temperatures are far from a typical year, Kraujalis said.
“August started cool then really warmed up and dried out,” he said. “That’s backward.”
At August’s end, the fall transition usually starts with temperatures in the mid-70s, he said.
Not so this year.
“We’re not going to see that for weeks,” he said.
Things will cool off a little around Labor Day weekend, with highs in the low 80s. Perhaps after that, Kraujalis said, temperatures will dip into the normal mid-70s. But it’s a little early to know for sure.
The extended forecast may be a bit of a broken record with a slight chance of thunderstorms or showers and a high in the mid to upper 80s. But lows should provide more overnight relief as temperatures dip down into the mid-60s beginning Tuesday.