Minnesotans know the saying well: "If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes." In Duluth on Wednesday, that was more the truth than ever. In just 20 minutes, the temperature along Lake Superior in Duluth jumped 40 degrees, marking one of the most extreme temperature swings in the city's history.
The Sky Harbor Airport in Duluth temperature went from 46 to 86 at 5 p.m. The city's temperature hit 88 degrees a few minutes later. Within an hour, the temperature was back to 45. Seriously?
As warm air surged into the Duluth area Wednesday, near the lake winds blew from the northeast off the frigid waters of Lake Superior. At 5pm the temperature at Duluth International Airport on top of the hill reached 88 degrees. Near the lake at Sky Harbor, it was 46 degrees, a difference of 42 degrees. Suddenly the warm southwest winds overcame the chilly lake breeze, and gusts of wind over 40 mph came rushing down the hill toward the lake. That's when the temperature spiked 40 degrees at the lakefront.And we thought our unexpected 95-degree day was crazy. Can you imagine walking into a building in chilly spring temps and leaving 20 minutes later to obnoxious summer heat? That shock would probably be worthy of a heart attack.
Keep in mind the average dirunal variation (the difference between the average daily high and low) for Duluth Wednesday is 23 degrees. That's 23 degrees in about 12 hours. Duluth did 40 degrees in 20 minutes.