2020 officially is warmest summer on record

Outlook for early September is cooler than normal.

National Weather Service in Duluth.

Seasons are about to change.

Those who loved the hot record-setting summer may be in denial. But it is happening. It can be felt in the cooler air and witnessed in the changing colors — in the leaves already accumulating beneath instead of on the trees.

And the National Weather Service in Duluth reported there is the potential for frost in some areas early next week.

But before we’re ready to close the door on summer, 2020 used the last warm days of August to vault into first place as the warmest on record in Brainerd with an average temperature of 71.1 degrees.

The summertime temperature is calculated by taking the average of the high and low temperature for every day between June 1 and Aug. 31.


Average summertime ranking:

  1. 2020, 71.1 degrees

  2. 1988, 70.5 degrees

  3. 2006, 70.3 degrees

  4. 1989, 69.9 degrees

This summer was also the second warmest on record in Duluth with an average temperature of 67.1 degrees, just shy of overtaking the record-holding 2012 at 67.4 degrees.
But the transition to fall-like temperatures is here.

“Temperatures in the first couple weeks of September are likely to be below normal,” the weather service reported. “With cooler temps on the way, it will really start to feel more like fall across the Northland!”

The weather service noted the outlook for early September appears to bring a deep trough of cool weather through the nation’s midsection. Normal temperatures in early September are in the upper 60s to low 70s. But the weather outlook shows a 70% to 60% probability of being below normal.

RELATED: How warm has the summer of 2020 been? Record setting Looking at June, July and August — at least through Thursday, Aug. 27 — Brainerd had at least 69 days of 80 degrees or warmer temperatures.
And that means a frost is likely to be near at hand.

The earliest first frost, in all of Crow Wing and Aitkin counties and most of Cass, Todd and Morrison counties, has arrived in the last week of August. In the northern most parts of Wadena County and extreme northwest Cass County, it arrived even earlier between Aug. 11-20, looking back at 30 years of record keeping between 1980 and 2010 for what are considered 30-year normals. That time frame will shift to the latest decade when the time frame moves to 1991-2020 next year. The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities notes the first freeze of fall is typically late September to early October but it can be as soon as early to mid-September.

With the weather forecast, paddlers and boaters were also advised that Thursday will bring strong winds with gusts possible between 30-40 mph, with the potential to create dangerous conditions on Lake Superior and inland lakes, the weather service reported.

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