Minneapolis Sets All-Time Dew Point Record

July 20, 2011; 9:15 PM ET
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Dew point temperatures off this chart were seen across the Midwest over the past few days, along with hot temperatures.

"Dew points above 70 are considered very uncomfortable, and those above 80 are almost intolerable."


Amidst one of the worst heat waves of the year, the unbearably high humidity levels that accompanied the extreme heat set a record in the Twin Cities on Tuesday.

The dew point temperature, an indicator of how moist and uncomfortable the air feels, reached 82° on Tuesday afternoon at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, breaking an all-time record for the city.

Combined with an air temperature of 95° at 4:00 p.m. local time, AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures, which takes the dew point into account, soared to around 115°.

Dew points above 70 are considered very uncomfortable, and those above 80 are almost intolerable.

Those intolerable dew points in the low 80s have been spread all across the Midwest the past few days.

In Newton, Iowa, temperatures in the high 90s and a dew point above 80° in Newton, Iowa, led to a RealFeel® temperature of close to 120° on Tuesday. Some areas even peaked out around 130°, though the accuracy of the measurements was in question.

As Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno points out, "It's like getting slapped in the face with a wet sponge when you walk outside."

Meteorologist Heather Buchman described the heat wave as 'morphing the U.S. into an enormous sauna,' and addes the "worst is on its way" to the East Coast by the end of the week.

The previous dew point record at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was 81° from July 30, 1999. Daily record keeping at the airport began in 1945.

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