Burst brings 97-degree heat at 4 a.m.
An uncommon phenomenon known as a heat burst elevated the temperature this morning to within a degree of the projected high for Tuesday of 98 degrees.
Caused by a desert air mass pushing in from the southwest, the hot and dry air produced light thunderstorms while sapping humidity in the process, said Jeff Halblaub, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Hastings. Humidity fell from 79 percent at 1:53 a.m. to just 14 percent at 4 a.m.
"This is very unique," Halblaub said. "It's rare. We can go a couple seasons without seeing any of them."