St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast

Sunday, April 30, 2017 10:00 AM

Prepared by Bob Weisman
Meteorology Professor
Saint Cloud State University
Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences Department

(forecast below this discussion)

Cold Rain to Dominate Sunday-Monday Weather

Another Warm Day for March Yesterday

St. Cloud managed some sunshine through high clouds yesterday (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), so high temperatures managed to make it into the middle 50's (see 3-day loop of high temperatures from NWS/University at Albany).

Large Storm Delayed a Bit With Snow Potential North and West of St. Cloud

Meanwhile, the major storm moved from the Southern Rockies to the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). The expected torrential rainfall has produced flash flooding in southern Missouri, northwestern Arkansas, and southern Illinois with flood watches and warnings from Wisconsin and Lower Michigan to Mississippi. There has also been heavy snow in the mountains of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, spreading eastward to western South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. Some storms from Illinois to Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas also produced severe weather, mainly straight-line wind damage, but even a couple of tornadoes.

Today's the day that the major storm will shift northward and begin affecting us. The newest computer forecasts has slowed the northward progress of the storm, so the current rain showers in eastern Nebraska and a few places in Iowa (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop) may not spread through southern Minnesota until midday and may not reach central Minnesota until late this afternoon or early this evening. It looks like the bulk of the precipitation will fall from late this afternoon until early tomorrow morning. However, the track of this storm is still expected to be in eastern Iowa, southwestern and central Wisconsin and perhaps even brush southeastern Minnesota. That will put the heaviest expected precipitation from southwestern Minnesota rather through central Minnesota to the St. Croix Valley. St. Cloud could be among the places that sees 1-2 inches of precipitation. But, the storm track will be far enough to the north and west to keep temperatures above freezing in Willmar, St. Cloud, Cambridge, Milaca, and Buffalo. So, I expect mostly rain with only a few sleet pellets or a wet snow flake or two.

The threat for any accumulation of frozen precipitation will be in a narrow swath from Morris through Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Bemidji, Brainerd, Moose Lake and the interior of the Arrowhead. Between 2 and 4 inches may be possible in these areas. Places like Alexandria and Little Falls will have a mixed bag developing in the middle of the storm, so it's still hard to tell how much of the precipitation may be snow or ice. Those are the areas where travel could get difficult late tonight into tomorrow. The National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory out from late evening until noon tomorrow for this swath of Minnesota from southwestern and west central Minnesota through central Minnesota to our north and then into the Arrowhead.

The strong storm will move out by late Monday or Monday night. We will see occasional rain or snow showers continue through Monday and Monday night. There could be a chance of a coating of wet snow on Monday night in areas that will remain snow-free tonight, but it won't amount to much.

Cold and Miserable Weather to Continue into Wednesday

The big issue for the next two days will again be the penetrating cold. We could eke out a high near 50 today before the clouds get too thick, but temperatures will fall back into the middle 30's tonight, then only recover to near 40, at best tomorrow. The stronger storm will create wind speeds of 15-30 MPH with higher gusts, starting today and tonight from the northeast and turning to north tomorrow and northwest tomorrow night.

The storm will drift off on Tuesday, but there could be a few weak upper-level low drifting through on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Combine that with the lingering moisture near the ground from the dousing and we could see some occasional showers those two days. Even we can dry out enough, temperatures will reach into the 50's both days.

Spring Will Spring Again Late Week

There is good news, since this storm may be the last one to have a lot of moisture with it for a while. The forecast steering winds are expected to swing further to the north, pushing through the Canadian Rockies and into the Prairie Provinces and Great Lakes. That may allow temperatures to finally moderate. It looks really warm for Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and points south. Here, we may have a reinforcing Canadian front or two, but the sunnier weather should at least get temperatures back to the 60's, where they should be in late April and early May.

Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Investigate the Stack of Papers I Have to Grade"

Sunday 4/30/2017: Cloudy with rain developing by late in the day. Windy and cooler. High: between 45 and 50. Winds: NE 15-25 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 20% through 3 PM, 60% between 3 and 6 PM.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy with rain, possibly heavy at times. Some sleet could mix in during the evening. Windy, wet, and chilly. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: NE 15-25 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 100%.

Monday 5/1/2017: Cloudy, windy, and colder with occasional rain or showers separated by periods of drizzle. Maybe a few wet snowflakes at times. Windy, moist, and miserable. High: between 37 and 42. (record cold high: 39 in 2011). Winds: NE-NW 15-30 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 70%.

Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Sit on Top of the Pile of Papers"

Monday Night: Cloudy with a chance of scattered wet snow or rain showers. Slowly diminishing wind, and cold. Low: between 32 and 36. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 30%.

Tuesday 5/2/2017: A cloudy start, but some sunny breaks possible in the afternoon. Maybe an afternoon rain shower. Breezy, and not quite as miserable. High: between 50 and 55. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Tuesday Night: Maybe an early evening rain shower, then partly cloudy with diminishing wind. Maybe some fog by morning. Low: between 32 and 36. Winds: light. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Wednesday 5/3/2017: Partly sunny with a chance of an isolated afternoon shower. High: between 55 and 60. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Wednesday Night: Partly clear and continued unseasonably cool. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: light. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Thursday 5/4/2017: Sunny in the morning, partly sunny in the afternoon, breezy, and at least April-like. High: between 64 and 68. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Only Eat Parts of the Bad Papers"

Extended: Finally May-ish next weekend???

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 7 Sunday, 6 Sunday night and Monday, 5 Monday night, 4 Tuesday through Thursday.

Yesterday's High: 56°F; Overnight Low (through 5 AM): 40°F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 5 AM Sunday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 5 AM Sunday): None

April 29 Historical Data High Low
Average Temperatures 64°F 39°F
Record Temperatures 91°F (1934) 59°F (1942)
35°F (1909) 21°F (1903)

Next Update: Monday, May 1, 2017 8:00 AM (or as needed)





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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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