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Climate change is making Minnesota's humidity more extreme

Minnesota’s temperature swings are becoming more extreme
Minnesota’s temperature swings are becoming more extreme 02:08

MINNEAPOLIS -- Extreme temperature swings are very normal and very Minnesotan, according to climate scientists. But things are changing, and not necessarily for the better.

Maybe you love it when it's brisk, or maybe you love to bake. For better or worse, living in Minnesota is a free trip to both the equator and the North Pole.

Quentin Halverson is the only member of his Northridge landscapes' team to prefer working in the winter. In summer, they haul dirt. In winter, they push snow. At least on Wednesday, some of the work was in the shade.  

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"You got to have think skin for it. The temperature changes, they're here, you know. When you're going from 100-degree days like this to in a couple more months when it's gonna be 40, maybe 30, 20, you got to be ready for it," Haverson said.

And we know it can get colder than that. A winter high of minus-15 would be a 115-degree swing, and 100% on par with historical precedent – except for this extreme humidity.

"The warming of the globe, been measuring it for decades now, has put more water from the oceans into the air," said state climatologist Kenny Blumenfeld. "So when we have high temperatures and high humidity, there's a lot of heat, and that applies stress to not just people but other living things."

Let's hope this winter won't be as stressful as the last, and we get at least some autumn temps to fall back and relax.

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