The thermometer at Park Point's Sky Harbor Airport hit a remarkable 97 degrees Saturday afternoon — and then immediately plummeted to just 64.
The 33-degree dip over the course of just 20 minutes was a reverse of what had occurred less than 24 hours earlier, when the harbor went from 68 to 93 degrees over the same timeframe.
Records fell in Duluth and across the Northland for a second consecutive day as an early summer heat wave maintained its grip on the Upper Midwest. The Duluth International Airport, where the city's weather data is officially recorded, had hit 93 degrees by 4 p.m. — smashing the daily record of 88 set in 1925 and tied in 1988.
Once again, inland locations were well into the 90s. But points closer to Lake Superior were subject to the whims of the wind.
Hibbing hit a record 94, Ashland set a daily mark at 93 and the Twin Cities soared to a new high of 99. International Falls topped out at a mere 91 degrees — a cool-down from Friday, when it was the Northland's hot spot at 98.
The Duluth harbor's rare reading in the upper 90s came at 3:15 p.m. as conditions were calm after a scorching afternoon with a mild western wind. But by 3:35 p.m., Mother Nature's natural air conditioning had kicked in, sending a 20 mph east wind off the lake. By 5:15 p.m., the temperature had dropped a full 40 degrees, to just 57.
Superior's Richard I. Bong Airport saw a similar plummet shortly after 3 p.m., with its thermometer dipping from 95 to 69.
The week ahead may provide slight relief, but temperatures are expected to remain abnormally high for early June. The National Weather Service says Duluthians should expect mostly sunny skies with a high of 87 on Sunday, 85 on Monday and 84 on Tuesday.