An extraordinary end-of-summer heat wave led to one of the hottest Labor Days on record, on September 4, 2023, and made the entire holiday weekend memorably hot across Minnesota.
Labor Day itself had high temperatures of 102 F reported at Marshall, Morris, and Brainerd; 101 F at Canby, Benson, and Gull Lake Dam; and 100 F recorded at Madison, Milan, Artichoke Lake, and Long Prairie. It was the hottest Labor Day on Record in the Twin Cities, with a high of 98 F, and a record-warm low of 74 F.
The heat began in some parts of the state on Friday September 1st, when temperatures rose into the low 90s F in parts of southern and western Minnesota. It then ratcheted up sequentially for the next three days, with mid-90s F on Saturday September 2nd, mid 90s F through low 100s F on Sunday September 3rd, and then a slew of upper 90s to low 100s on Labor Day. The heat lingered into Tuesday September 5th in some areas with more 90s and some 100s reported.
As is often the case with heat waves, the highest temperatures in Minnesota were generally found in western portions of the state, where naturally arid conditions and favorable topography aid higher temperatures. Here, stations at Benson, Canby, Madison, Marshall, Milan, and Morris all had two days with temperatures at or above 100 F.
This was truly a statewide (and regional) heat wave, the temperature reaching or exceeding 90 degrees F all all the way up to the Canadian border, and through the Arrowhead region. Only three of the 111 reporting National Weather Service cooperative observers did not record a 90 F temperature during the five-day event, while 11 recorded a 100 F temperature on at least one day.
Updated Oct 8, 2023