Local Forecast


Friday, November 21, 2014 6:15 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

Synopsis:

From Record Cold to Melting in 36 Hours

The last gasp of this shot of cold air added yet another record cold temperature this morning. The record cold low for November 21 was -3 degrees, set in 2000, but St. Cloud had already reached -4 by midnight and ended up at -7 (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations). While St. Cloud has tied 3 record cold temperatures so far in November, this is the first one that we've actually beaten.

However, temperatures early this morning were already a bit milder to our west (see NWS Aviation Center Minnesota map) as the southeast winds began to blow. Also, a few wispy high clouds have started to move into Minnesota from the Canadian Prairie Provinces (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). Both the southeast winds and the high clouds are signs that more seasonable air is trying to replace our arctic chill.

Long Promised Warm-Up Still on Track for the Weekend

You can already see the more west-to-east movement of weather systems on that satellite loop as a pair of storms have moved from the Pacific into British Columbia and California, respectively (see water vapor loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). The more west-to-east flow has already made a big difference in Alberta and Montana where the air flow down the east side of the Rockies has pushed temperatures into the 30's and 40's, a good 10 degrees warmer than average. There was even a 51 degree high in Lewiston, MT yesterday. We won't get that warm, but the push of at least more November-like air will begin today.

We'll see the high clouds thicken a bit and the southeast wind at 10-15 MPH will create some morning and midday wind chills in the -10 to +5 range on the NWS Minnesota Hourly Weather Round-Up as temperatures climb from their cold start. But, by this afternoon, look for highs to make it back into the middle 20's.

The southeast winds will continue tonight with a lot of clouds. We might see some fog and some spotty freezing drizzle, but the warming will continue. Today's high temperature during the day is likely to be the coldest temperature tonight as readings will slowly rise through the 20's to near 30.

Tomorrow and Sunday, if we can get rid of some low clouds, have the potential of being nice days with highs in the 30's and some sunshine, producing actual melting. The temperature has not broken freezing in St. Cloud since the 9th of November.

Cold Returns Next Week(!!!) With Small Snow Threat at the Start

We still have a double-barrelled low pressure system to deal with by the end of the weekend into early next week, but the trend shows that the likely impact on central Minnesota will be minimal. You can see the two low pressure centers with the northern one moving into British Columbia and the southern one in California (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). The southern system is still forecast to trigger a lot of showers and thunderstorms across the Southern Plains today and especially tomorrow with severe weather possible in Texas tomorrow and along the Gulf Coast Sunday. That southern storm will begin to head northeastward towards the Great Lakes by Monday, but the storm track has continued its trend of the past day, by staying far enough to our south and east to have minimal impact on us.

The northern system will move along the boundary between the more seasonable air we will enjoy over the weekend and the reservoir of cold air we've seen so often this month. However, if the two storms aren't going to work together until they are well past Minnesota, the northern storm will only have a little bit of moisture to work with, so the main forecast area of precipitation will stay along and to the north of its track. Since the northern low is forecast to move across northern Minnesota by Sunday night, this would keep central Minnesota out of the precipitation, for the most part.

So, we may actually see a few rain showers on Sunday morning as the cold front from the northern system comes through, but with the moisture lacking, we could end up with a good supply of afternoon sun and temperatures still in the 30's. As the northern low gets to our east on Monday night, some of the colder air in Canada will circulate back into central Minnesota, so the "fun" of the thaw will be over by Monday. Look for temperatures to drop into the 20's Sunday night and pretty much stay there on Monday.

The upper-level low from the northern system could squeeze out some more light snow or flurries on Monday into Monday night, but at this point, it looks like any accumulation would stay on the light side, on the order of an inch or two at most.

However, the strong northwest-to-southeast wind flow from Canada is expected to redevelop early next week. There won't be air immediately as cold as what we have now, because we have temporarily drained the coldest of the cold air into eastern Canada and the US. However, it does look like we will be set up for several surges of cold air through much of next week,. Unfortunately, that means starting another long streak of temperatures below freezing. The January-like temperatures will resume on Tuesday with highs in the teens. The next low pressure system will scoot through Minnesota on Tuesday night, so temperatures could actually stay steady in the teens on Tuesday night and we might see 20 degrees early Wednesday.

Yukon Express Rages on Through Thanksgiving

The long-range forecast for Thanksgiving shows the next surge of cold air coming from the northern islands of Canada. Right now, the computer forecasts are having a hard time getting the high temperature on Thursday to 10 degrees. The only good news about all of this cold is that it is likely to keep much of the Northern and Central states east of the Rockies storm-free, except for the lake effect snows.

The lake effect storm had resumed in western and northern New York yesterday. New snowfalls were as high as 2-3 feet and unfortunately, I am seeing places like Lackawanna, which got clobbered by round 1 of the snow, getting it again. Some of the three-day totals are 60-70 inches just south and east of Buffalo (and I think the total has lost some of the snow at the start).

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Forecast:

Friday 11/21: Sunshine through thickening high clouds, breezy, and at least December-like. High: between 24 and 28. Winds: S 10-15 MPH. Morning wind chill: in the minus single digits. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Friday Night: Cloudy evening, maybe some clearing late, breezy, and even milder. A slight chance of some fog or spotty freezing drizzle. Temperatures holding in the 20's evening, then rising to the lower 30's after midnight. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

Saturday 11/22: Finally, a return to November temperatures! Sunshine through high clouds, less breezy, and milder with actual melting. High: between 32 and 36. Winds: SW 5-15 MPH, becoming SE late. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Saturday Night: Thicker clouds, breezy, and continued mild. Maybe some fog or spotty sprinkles. Low: between 30 and 35. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 20%.

Sunday 11/23: Morning clouds with perhaps a rain shower, some afternoon sunshine, breezy, and actually warmer than average! High: between 35 and 40. Winds: becoming W 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 30%.

Sunday Night: Cloudy with a chance of a little light snow or flurries, turning breezy, and colder. Low: between 22 and 26. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 40%.

Monday 11/24: Windy with steady temperatures. Cloudy with occasional light snow or flurries. Temperatures holding between 20 and 25. Winds: WNW 10-20 MPH. Wind chill: between 5 and 15. Chance of measurable snowfall: 40%.

Monday Night: Evening flurries or light snow, then partial clearing late, breezy, and back to December-like. Low: between 8 and 12. Winds: WNW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.

Tuesday 11/25: Partly sunny, lighter winds, but back to cold for even January. Highs: between 15 and 20. Winds: W-SW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.


End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Tuesday Night: Clouding up with a chance of flurries or a little light snow. Not as cold. Temperatures holding between 15 and 20. Winds: light SE, becoming NW late. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.

Wednesday 11/26: Becoming sunny, windy, and colder again. Highs: falling from the lower 20's back into the teens. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.


For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Extended: A surge of even colder air for Thanksgiving??!!! Lows below zero and highs near 10. Continued mostly colder than normal from Thanksgiving weekend into early the following week.

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 7 Friday through Sunday, 6 Sunday night through Tuesday, 5 Tuesday night through Thanksgiving.

Yesterday's High: 18F; Overnight Low (through 6 AM): -7F (new record cold low; old record: -3F, set in 2000)
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation: None; SCSU Precipitation (Through 3 AM Friday): None

Normal Temperatures for November 21 - High: 35F; Low: 19F
Next Update: Saturday, November 22, 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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