The National Weather Service Forecast Office (NWS) in Chanhassen and the DNR State Climatology Office have conferred on last week's extraordinary dew point temperatures in the Twin Cities. It was agreed that the 82 degree F dew point temperature value reported at 3:00 PM and again at 4:00 PM on Tuesday July 19, 2011 at the Twin Cities International Airport will be considered by these offices as the highest dew point temperature ever recorded in the Twin Cities. The old record in the Twin Cities was 81 degrees at 11:00 am on July 30, 1999.
It is known that July 19 dew point temperatures exceeded 82 degrees F at moments between the routine hourly observations. However, in the interest of historical consistency and practicality in establishing future records, only hourly dew point temperature measurements were utilized to determine the new record.
Heat index values on July 19 were extraordinarily high. The 4:00 PM observation may have tied or set an all-time heat index record for the Twin Cities. The air temperature reported at that hour was 95 degrees F and was paired with the 82 degree F dew point temperature. In the next few weeks, the heat index formula used by the NWS hourly "Weather Roundup" product will be used with the historical hourly air temperature/dew point temperature data set to create a heat index climatology. Another announcement will be sent when this is completed.