Minneapolis - St. Paul Records Earliest 100-Degree Temperature as Heat Wave Sets Dozens of Record Highs in Midwest and Plains

Jonathan Erdman
Published: May 29, 2018


An expansive Plains and Midwest heat wave will begin to break Tuesday after setting dozens of daily record highs and also bringing all-time record heat for the month of May to a few cities.

Minneapolis - St. Paul hit the century mark on Monday afternoon. This is the earliest in the year the Twin Cities have hit 100 degrees, and only the second time the cities have hit 100 in May.

Monday was also the fifth straight day Minneapolis - St. Paul reached the 90s, breaking the May record of four straight such days ending the month in 1988, though a fifth consecutive day was also recorded on June 1, 1988, according to NOAA's ACIS database.

An all-time record high for the month of May was set on Monday in Muskegon, Michigan, which topped out at 95 degrees.

Numerous other cities also set daily record highs for May 28 on Monday including, Des Moines, Iowa, (98 degrees), Chicago (95 degrees - tie), Kansas City (94 degrees) and Cleveland (93 degrees).

Midwest daily record highs tied or set on May 27, 2018.
(Data: NOAA/NWS)

Milwaukee topped out at 95 degrees, Sunday, surpassing their all-time May record high set exactly 107 earlier, during the presidency of William Howard Taft. 

Omaha, Nebraska, chalked up their second straight day of triple-digit heat Sunday, topping out at 101 degrees. According to the National Weather Service, the only other time they had consecutive triple-digit May days was during the Dust Bowl.

Twenty-five separate locations in six Midwest states - Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota - reached 100 degrees Sunday. 

Sioux City, Iowa - 102 degrees - was as hot as Death Valley, California. Rhinelander, Wisconsin, in the heart of the state's northwoods, was as hot as Phoenix, Sunday, both reaching 93 degrees.

In all, there were at least 54 daily record highs tied or set Sunday from Michigan to Texas.

Midwest daily record highs tied or set on May 27, 2018.
(Data: NOAA/NWS)

Chicago had its hottest day in five years

Fans at the Indianapolis 500 were baked in 90-degree temperatures. More than 150 fans sought medical treatment due to the heat, according to the Associated Press. The temperature hit 91 degrees, matching the 2012 race for the second-hottest race ever.

(MORE: Memorial Day Weekend Forecast)

The jet stream is bulging north into Canada, allowing heat and humidity to expand northward into the northern Plains, northern Rockies, Midwest and Northwest.

The jet stream will bulge north into Canada, allowing heat to build northward in the omega-shaped ridge of high pressure aloft.

Daytime highs will soar into the upper 80s and 90s in parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes on Tuesday.

(MAPS: 10-Day U.S. Forecast Highs and Lows)

Temperatures will remain above average in much of the Midwest through the week ahead before returning closer to average this weekend.

Record warmth in the southern Plains will likely last well into the upcoming week.


Forecast Highs Next Five Days

Jonathan Erdman is a senior meteorologist at weather.com and has been an incurable weather geek since a tornado narrowly missed his childhood home in Wisconsin at age 7. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to The Weather Channel podcast on Apple, Google, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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