August high heat becoming more common

- While July is typically Minnesota’s warmest month of the year, August is giving it a run for its money… especially in the 21st century.  Over the last 15 years, 12 have seen August temperatures above average along with three of the top 10 warmest Augusts. Just remember the Minnesota State Fair the last several years… there has been a large several day heat wave every single year.  Just look at the graph below.  This shows the average temperature for every August all the way back to the 1800s. The blue line indicates each year’s temperatures with the green line representing the rolling average across the decades.

It’s that green line that says a lot.  That line jumps during the dust bowl of the 20s, 30s and 40s but then falls back to a steady level until the 21st century when that line starts a steady climb all the way to today.  While many climate graphs show a similar pattern worldwide, it’s August in Minnesota that has seen the most difference.  So maybe our climate is changing to have hotter end of summer spans as opposed to starting it earlier in the spring.  What it does say is that we have been having some warmer state fairs this century than the last.

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