Local Forecast

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 3:17 AM
Prepared by Bob Weisman
Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Saint Cloud State University
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department
Saint Cloud and Vicinity Forecast


We Now Resume Our Regularly Scheduled Luke Warm Summer

Heat Reigns Yesterday, Storms Miss to North Overnight

Yesterday did end up being the hottest, most oppressive day of the year, although we only had Sunday to beat. The high temperature reached 94 degrees around 5 PM (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations). This was the hottest temperature seen in Minnesota yesterday. That's also one degree short of the hottest temperature from last year (95 degrees on both May 14 and August 26). Throw in dew points as high as 75 degrees and the highest heat index on the hour in St. Cloud was the 104 degrees at 5 PM. mperatures are generally in the higher 80's to 93 as of 3 PM with the highest readings in St. Cloud and the Minnesota River Valley (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart loop).

There were showers and thunderstorms that developed as a large blob in western North Dakota during the early afternoon and pushed eastward through the early morning hours (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). These storms had gusts as strong as 70 MPH recorded in Aitkin and downed several trees and some power lines. They also produced as much as 3 inches of rain in Baudette. However, the storms moved quickly enough so that the expected turn to the southeast didn't happen while they were moving across Minnesota. So, central Minnesota was only brushed by the tail of one echo around midnight to 1 AM (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations).

Gradual Relief From Humidity Coming as Day Wears On

So, we had the heat, but missed the storms (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop). When is the relief coming? The cold front, signaled by the wind shift from southeast to northwest, is working its way across western and central Minnesota in the early morning hours (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart loop). Dew points are still relatively uncomfortable behind the front with 60's through most of the Dakotas and upper 50's in eastern Montana and southern Saskatchewan. However, that's better than the oppressive levels seen yesterday. Look for that slightly drier air to work its way into Minnesota during the morning and midday. Highs will climb to above normal readings (middle 80's), but it will be a good 5-10 degrees cooler than yesterday.

Highs will remain in the 80's tomorrow and Thursday.

By Thursday night and Friday, the next surge of very warm and sticky air will try to push from the Dakotas into Minnesota. This will set the stage for showers and thunderstorms to possibly develop Thursday night into Friday morning. There will be a better chance of storms late Friday and Friday evening as the front from this system comes through. However, it does again appear that storms will be suppressed by warm air aloft, so I'm not sure how good the chance of storms will be. We may have a lot of clouds in general on Friday, so it could end up being a day with highs limited to the upper 70's to near 80, but with uncomfortable humidity.

After the front comes through Friday night, it does look like Saturday sets up as a hot, breezy day, but with relatively low humidity. That will be our next best shot at a 90 degree high. There could be another round of late night showers and thunderstorms on Saturday night as another front comes through, but it appears that we won't quite get into the hottest and most humid air through Sunday.

By late in the week, the heat will reestablish itself over the western third of the US and again try to push into the Dakotas. At this point, I don't see us breaking out into the hot air. Instead, we will tend to stay along the boundary of the hot and humid air, giving us chances of thunderstorms. We could see a few storms develop Thursday night into early Friday. The chances of storms continue Friday night and perhaps a better chance of storms late Saturday into Saturday night. It's too early to figure out what part of the Northern Plains will have the best chance of heavy rain and the highest chance of severe storms.

See Forecast Below

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Discussion Links Forecast


Current Watches/Warnings

Ground and Air Travel




Tuesday 7/22: Becoming partly sunny, breezy, and not quite as hot or as humid. Still uncomfortably humid. High: between 83 and 88. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Tuesday Night: Partly clear, breezy, and turning cooler and less humid. Low: between 54 and 58. Winds: NE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Wednesday 7/23: Sunny in the morning, mixed clouds and sun in the afternoon, breezy, and less humid. A slight chance of a late day shower. High: between 80 and 85. Winds: NE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Wednesday Night: Clear and more comfortable. Low: between 54 and 58. Winds: light SW. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Thursday 7/24: Sunny and continued seasonable. High: between 80 and 85. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Thursday Night: Partly clear and warmer with noticeable humidity. A slight chance of a late night shower or thunderstorm. Low: between 60 and 65. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Friday 7/25: Chance of an early shower or thunderstorm, then partly to mostly cloudy and becoming more humid. Chance of a late day shower or thunderstorm as well. High: between 76 and 82. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 40%.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Friday Night: Cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.. Low: between 60 and 65. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 40%.

Saturday 7/26: Sunny, breezy, very warm, and drier. High: between 88 and 92. Winds: NW 10-25 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Extended: Better chance of storms Saturday night into early Sunday??? Still warm and fairly humid on Sunday (highs in the 80's).

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Tuesday, 7 Tuesday night through Thursday, 5 Thursday night and Friday, 3 Friday night and Saturday, 2 Saturday night and Sunday.

Yesterday's High: 94°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 72F
St. Cloud Airport Rainfall (Since 7 AM Monday): None; SCSU Rainfall (Since 7 AM Monday): None

Normal Temperatures for July 22 - High: 83F; Low: 59F
Next Update: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 8:00 AM (or as needed)
Let me know what you think about this forecast and discussion by emailing SCSU meteorology professor Bob Weisman. Please note that I make the forecast, not the weather!

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