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International Falls nearly has mid-summer freeze

The "Icebox of the Nation" almost reached freezing today.

The temperature in International Falls dipped to 34 degrees in the early morning hours, breaking its previous Aug. 2 low temperature record of 41 degrees, set in 1918, according to the National Weather Service.

A temperature of 34 degrees at this point in summer "is pretty unusual" for International Falls, National Weather Service meteorologist Geoffrey Grochochinski said. The few other occasions summertime temperatures dipped into the 30s in the city include 32 degrees on July 11, 1911 and 34 degrees on July 7, 1997 and July 5, 2001, according to the Weather Service.

The cold start to August in the Northland is due to a blast of cool air, along with clear skies and light wind Wednesday night. The combination is ideal for "radiational cooling," meaning heat leaves the ground rapidly, Grochochinski said. He added, "The temperature just plummeted overnight."

The coldsnap comes after a warmer-than-normal July for the Northland. Duluth's average high temperature for July this year was 80 degrees, higher than its normal average high temperature of 76.3 degrees, according to the Weather Service. International Falls had an average high temperature for July of 79.5 degrees, compared to its normal average of 77.8 degrees in July, and Hibbing saw an average high temperature of 78.3 degrees in July this year, compared to its normal average of 77.7 degrees, according to the Weather Service.

For the remainder of summer in the Northland, the Weather Service is forecasting a chance for above-normal temperatures, Grochochinski said. Warm and humid weather is expected to return on Friday and continue through the weekend, with the potential for multiple rounds of thunderstorms beginning Friday night, according to the Weather Service.

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