Cooling sites open as excessive heat warnings begin
As temperatures climb into the upper 90s and heat indexes soar to roughly 110 degrees, communities are opening up cooling centers for those who need relief from the extreme heat.
Minnesota’s Weather Authority says there will be dangerous heat in the area Tuesday and Wednesday, with Excessive Heat Warnings in place until 10 p.m. Wednesday. Dew points are expected to reach the 60s and lower 70s in addition to the hot temperatures.
If you don’t have air conditioning at home, or have access to a pool, lake or stream to cool down at, there are other locations you can go to in order to be safe such as shopping centers, movie theaters and libraries. Keep in mind there may be fees in order to access some of those resources. Continue scrolling to find a spot near you.
The county has an interactive map on their website which allows you to find relief in your area. CLICK HERE to access the map.
Like Hennepin County, officials in Ramsey County have also created an interactive map to find cooling center locations. CLICK HERE for the map.
In addition, officials with Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities will have a cooling space open from 3-9 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at 435 University Avenue East in St. Paul.
An interactive map showing public cooling areas in Dakota County can be found by CLICKING HERE.
Service centers will be open during normal business hours through Friday, and will have cool beverages, snacks and air conditioning:
- Minneapolis: Salvation Army Temple at 1604 E. Lake Street, Central at 2727 Central Avenue Northeast and Parkview at 2024 Lyndale Avenue North
- St. Paul: Salvation Army Eastside at 1019 Payne Avenue, Citadel at 401 West 7th Street and Lakewood at 2080 Woodlynn Avenue
- Brooklyn Park: Salvation Army Noble at 10011 Noble Parkway
The Salvation Army in Rochester, as well as the Rochester Public Library, are also locations you can go to in order to cool down in Olmsted County.
At least one restaurant in Minneapolis closed for the day due to the heat, citing temperatures in the kitchen.
Click through the guide below to learn more about heat watches and warnings, as well as find tips to prepare yourself and your home.
Heat is the number one weather killer in the United States. Do I have your attention? Heat kills many more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding and lightning. On average, extreme heat will kill 130 Americans per year. Here in Minnesota, we reach 90 degrees an average of 14 times per summer.
- Chief Meteorologist Ken Barlow
An excessive heat warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This type of warning is typically issued when the maximum heat index temperature is to be 105 degrees or higher for at least two days and nighttime temperatures stay above 75 degrees, however, those criteria can vary across the country.
An excessive heat watch is issued when conditions are likely for an excessive heat event in the upcoming 24 to 72 hours.
An excessive heat outlook is issued when there is potential for an excessive heat event in the upcoming three to seven days.
NOAA suggests drinking plenty of water and eating cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads while inside. Take a cool bath or shower. Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations. Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward you if the room's temperature is over 90 degrees; the blowing air is more likely to dehydrate you faster. Make sure rooms are well-vented.
According to NOAA, if you must go out during excessive heat events, you should dress in lightweight, loose clothing that reflects heat and sunlight. Drink plenty of water and minimize exposure to the sun. Do not leave valuable electronic equipment, such as cellphones and GPS units, in hot vehicles. Children, seniors and anyone with underlying health conditions should stay in the coolest places available to them.