MINNEAPOLIS — The video above originally aired on July 22, 2021.
On top of an Excessive Heat Watch, the National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for much of central, western and southern Minnesota. Both go into effect at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
The advisory is set to expire at 9 p.m. Tuesday, and the watch will remain in effect through Wednesday at 9 p.m.
The National Weather Service explains that a Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. "The general rule of thumb for this Advisory is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100° or higher for at least 2 days, and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°," reads an excerpt from the NWS website.
An Excessive Heat Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased, but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.
If you or someone you know is at risk of overheating, you can visit one of many cooling center locations across the Twin Cities metro to get some relief.
Cooling centers across Hennepin County are located at libraries, beaches and pools, government buildings and more. Click here for an interactive map of cooling locations.
If you visit a Hennepin County building and are fully vaccinated, you do not have to wear a face covering in the building. All visitors that are not fully vaccinated are required to wear face coverings.
Children under 5 are exempt from the mask requirement.
Cooling spaces are open to the public during extreme heat. Because of COVID-19, not all spaces located on the county's interactive map may be open.
A link to a website with more information about each location is included on the map.
Remember, the inside of a car can overheat extremely quickly. Do not leave pets, children or vulnerable adults inside a parked car during hot weather. Avoid being outside during the hottest points of the day. If you have to be outside, drink plenty of water, wear loose, lightweight clothing and use sunscreen.
If you plan to beat the heat inside with your own air conditioner, Xcel Energy has some tips for keeping your energy bills low:
- Install a programmable thermostat that raises the setting when the house is empty, and lowers it to a comfortable level when everyone comes home
- Use ceiling fans to help circulate cool air through the home
- Open interior doors to improve the circulation of cool air
- Use a whole-house or attic fan to draw in cool nighttime air and push out hot air during the day
- Change air conditioning filters
- Close drapes and blinds during the heat of the day
- Turn off unnecessary lighting and replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs, which use 75-80% less energy than traditional bulbs and last 15% longer
- Run washing machines, dishwashers and clothes dryers with full loads after the heat of the day, which helps keep the house cooler and reduces strain on the local power grid
More than 70% of Minnesota remains under a severe drought, with 18% of the state considered to be in a extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
About two weeks ago, the numbers were 50% severe and just under 4% dealing with extreme drought. The spiral reflects Minnesota's lack of rain and unusually warm temperatures.