The hottest week of the summer in St. James was the last week of August where we experienced five consecutive days at 90 degrees F. or higher. The heat index tipped up to around 100 on several of those days.
The good news about this late summer heatwave was that the forecasted highs during that period were five to eight degrees higher than what we actually recorded, and the heatwave happened at the end of summer. If it had struck in mid-July, each day might have been five to ten degrees hotter.
In a weird way, this late summer heat reminds me of the snows of April and May. Back in April and May it seemed like winter was never going to end. As people begin to start thinking about fall it seems with this late August temperature spike that summer might not want to end.
The forecast highs into next week are predicted to be well above normal with July like temperatures common. Temps in the 90s are forecast for Friday.
August was a bipolar month temperature wise. After three record lows in a row in late July the first half of August started out with cooler and below normal temperatures. There were some people fretting about an early frost.
There were below average high temperatures on 14 of the first 17 days. The average daily high temperature in that stretch was 76.9 degrees compared to the monthly average high for a day of 80 degrees F.
The bipolar temps showed up the last two weeks of the month when St. James had above average temps 14 days in a row. The average high during that stretch was 86.
Put the two periods together and August in St. James was 81. That's just one degree above the historic average.
Once again, moderate drought is expanding across Minnesota. The good news in this area is that Watonwan County received adequate rainfall in August. The average precipitation for the month is 3.86 inches and we received 3.84 inches. Timely rains are going to help boost farmers' crop yields.
While we had a bipolar month temperature wise, areas to the south and east of us in Minnesota and Iowa are having bipolar years when it comes to how the weather is impacting crop yields.
Last year these regions were in the grip of drought and many farmers had substantially reduced yields because of drought.
This year the cold, wet spring prevented many of these same farmers from getting any crop in the ground. Now thousands of acres in this region are not producing a crop because of that.