Mother Nature is leaving the Brainerd lakes area high and dry in this two-week weather forecast by the National Weather Service.
High, as in high temperatures as the lakes area rides a rare heat wave that’s been breaking records and carving a place for itself in the history books. Dry, as in a low chance of precipitation for Monday night, Wednesday, or Friday, with little hope of breaking the oppressive heat. The Brainerd lakes area is already a half-inch behind the monthly average for precipitation, said Linda Engebretson, senior meteorologist at the Duluth office of the National Weather Service, and the lack of rainfall has exacerbated rising temperatures so they climb into record-setting levels.
“It's been hot and it’s abnormally dry,” said Engebretson, matter-of-factly. “It's not that uncommon to get a very large ridge of high pressure that brings a big dome of hot air into the area, but we haven’t had any moisture. Without moisture, we will get warmer. Unfortunately, we've got a couple chances of precipitation, but it’s not much.”
Temperatures north of 100 in the lakes area are rare, said Engebretson, who noted the last time this happened was July 15, 2006. It’s also worth noting that if temperatures projections bear out, she said, the lakes area will close out an eight-day stretch of 90+ temperatures — good for a top 10 all-time stretch, she said, though it won’t rival the grueling 13-day slog the lakes area weathered back in the first half of July 1936.
Central Minnesota has already broken some daily records, however. The high temperatures of 100 degrees on Friday and 96 degrees on Saturday smashed records that have been in place for decades. The previous record for June 4 was 89 set in 1988 and the record for June 5 was 92 degrees set in 1952. June 3 of this year nearly joined the club, clocking 90 degrees which threatened the record of 94 degrees set in 1923.
For some perspective, the average temp for this time of year sits right around 75 degrees.
As such, Engebretson advised residents to stay indoors, preferably in the shade and with air conditioning. Be mindful of the elderly, children and pets — or, in other words, “Always check the back seat of your car,” Engebretson said. In addition, residents should take efforts to stay hydrated and cool as the temperatures continue to ride high and rainfall remains elusive.