Comparing to this year's Memorial Day weekend to those hot ones of years' past shows that this could be the warmest Memorial Day weekend of the modern era, when the holiday transitioned to taking place on the last Monday in May, back in 1971
(KMSP) - Well, I hope you enjoyed our three weeks of spring, because the “unofficial start to summer” may actually be our start to summer. Strong southerly winds and a large ridge building in the center of the country could lead to the warmest Memorial Day weekend since the holiday started in 1971.
It’s the time of year when anything goes really. It can be rainy and in the 40s or sunny with the heat index topping 110 degrees. There really isn’t any other holiday during the year that could have a higher range of possibilities. Sure, Labor Day can be pleasant or really hot, and even Halloween could be snowy or warm, but looking at just overall potential of what you may need to wear, it’s the rare holiday that can have you in pants and heavy coats or in a swimsuit sweating in a boat.
While we have had a couple of really warm holiday weekends in the past, this could be just the second time since 1971 that all three weekend days have seen temperatures at or above 90 degrees. One could argue that 2006 was easily the warmest because Sunday and Monday of that year we saw temps in the mid to upper 90s, with just Saturday in the 80s. The only other year that’s in the competition for warmest days is 1988, when temperatures hit the low 90s each and every day.
While we may not hit any record highs this year, it will be close at least one of the days, it may be the consecutive nature of this year’s heat that sets it apart from the rest. We COULD see five or even six straight days of 90s if the clouds and potential storms don’t keep us cooler. If that were to happen, that would be the first time in nearly five years that we’ve seen a string of 90 degree days that long, with only a half a dozen other times since 2000. That’s impressive considering we aren’t even to June!
But if you think this sets us up for a really hot summer, think again. Both 2006 and 1988, when we had our dreadfully hot Memorial Day weekends, the summer ended up being really close to normal. In fact, the last three summers have been warmer than both 2006 and 1988. Maybe we’ll get lucky and get a pretty average summer, I guess time will tell. Stay cool!