Local Forecast

Thursday, November 27, 2014 6:57 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


Frozen Turkey Today, Then Thawing into Saturday

The tight snow band from yesterday morning ended up producing a narrow swath of 8-11 inches along and to the west of I-35 from Faribault through Mankato and Fairmont. Roads between Mankato, Fairmont, and Albert Lea are still completely covered with snow, according to the latest MnDOT road conditions.

That snow marked the boundary of much colder air and that cold air is well entrenched in Minnesota this morning. Temperatures are generally below zero throughout Minnesota with minus teens in the Northwest (and approaching that in Paynesville), except in the plus single digits in the Twin Cities (see NWS Aviation Weather Center Minnesota map). Northwest winds are generally light, but there are some areas with wind chills in the minus teens (see NWS Minnesota Hourly Weather Round-Up). We will see more of the sunshine we had yesterday afternoon during today, but it's not going to do a lot of good. High temperatures will only rebound to the plus single digits to perhaps as high as 10 degrees, likely making today the coldest day of the cold season so far. However, we will be a few degrees warmer than both the November 27 record cold low of -13, set in 1940, and the record cold high of 3 degrees, set in 1897 and 1930.

Light Snow and Mix Possible Late Tonight into Tomorrow Morning

The teeth of this shot of cold air will begin to ease tonight. Look for the high clouds to begin to thicken this afternoon. However, that warm up will start by the milder air lifting over the cold air near the ground. That lift will likely set off another period of snowfall. I think more people will see accumulating snowfall than in yesterday morning's system, but I don't think the potential snowfall will be as high. Still, there could be a band of 2-4 inches of snowfall from late tonight into tomorrow morning around Brainerd, Grand Rapids, Wadena, and Fergus Falls. In St. Cloud, an inch or two of snow is likely.

The other problem is that, as the snow eases off by mid- to late-morning, there will be a chance of steady light mixed precipitation, in the form of sleet or freezing rain, through the early afternoon. That could make for slippery pavement and sidewalks where they've been plowed. Because of these conditions, the National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory out for tonight through tomorrow. Temperatures will likely keep climbing from around 5 degrees by dark to between 10 and 15 by morning, then hold in the middle 20's during Friday.

The low clouds will continue on Friday night. I don't think there's a risk of freezing drizzle, but there could be some tough traveling due to areas of fog. I am hopeful to see some sunshine and some thawing on Saturday.

The next shot of cold air is due to begin Saturday night. There could be a little light snow or flurries after the cold front comes through early Sunday through midday, but I'm not sure about accumulation at this point. On the other hand, the cold air shot appears to be well set-up. Temperatures will fall from the upper 20's Saturday evening back to the 12-18 range by first thing on Sunday. The temperatures will likely continue to fall to the upper single digits by mid-morning, then only recover to between 10 and 15 Sunday afternoon. Northwest winds at 10-20 MPH will produce sub-zero wind chill for a good chunk of the day.

Monday looks to be even colder with a low in the minus single digits and a high in the plus single digits.

We could have some moderation towards the middle of next week with highs returning to the 20's on Tuesday and perhaps breaking freezing on Wednesday. However, with very cold air continuing in Canada and mild air set up over the Central Plains, we could continue to see wild swings in temperature.

At the moment, air travel has rebounded from the snow in the Twin Cities and from the low clouds and rain in the East Coast cities from Washington to Boston. Only northern Maine is seeing the last of the snowfall, which mostly hit the mountainous areas to the north and west of the big cities from Virginia and West Virginia to New England. Medium-sized interior cities like Scranton, PA, Concord, NH, and Binghamton, NY got 10 inches.

Ground and Air Travel

Meanwhile, St. Cloud is within a half a degree of climbing into one of the 10 coldest Novembers on record. The average so far is 24.3°F, 7.2°F below average. It takes a 23.8°F temperature to break into the top 10. Even though today will be really cold, the warm-up and especially the mild lows expected through Saturday will make it hard to break into the 10 coldest.

Tomorrow's snow will give this November to climb above the current 10th place in snowfall. The snowfall is now 16.0 inches, and the snowiest since 1991. And, the 35.80 inches of total precipitation in 2014 currently ranks as the 6th wettest entire year in St. Cloud records with nearly 5 full weeks left in 2014.


See Forecast Below

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Discussion Links Forecast


Current Watches/Warnings

Ground and Air Travel




Thursday 11/27: Sunshine with some afternoon high clouds, light winds, and very cold. High: between 8 and 12. (record cold high: 3 in 1897 and 1930) Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Thursday Night: Clouding up with light snow or flurries developing by late evening, breezy, and not as cold. Between 1 and 3 inches are possible Thursday night into Friday morning. Temperatures near 5 early, then slowly rising to the middle teens. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 70%.

Friday 11/28: Cloudy with a chance of lingering light snow in the morning. Some spotty sleet or freezing rain possible in the afternoon. High: between 22 and 26. Winds: SE 5 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 70% in the morning, 30% in the afternoon.

Friday Night: Cloudy and milder. Perhaps some dense fog. Temperatures holding between 22 and 26. Winds: light SE. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

Saturday 11/29: Early clouds, then some midday and afternoon sun. Actually seasonable temperatures. High: between 32 and 36. Winds: SE 5 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Saturday Night: Cloudy, turning breezy, and a bit colder. Occasional light snow or flurries possible in the early morning hours. Low: between 12 and 18. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 40%.

Sunday 11/30: Becoming sunny, breezy, and much colder. Morning temperatures between 5 and 10, then rising back to between 10 and 15 midday and afternoon. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.

Sunday Night: Clear with diminishing wind and much colder. Low: between -10 and 0. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Wind chill: in the minus teens to -20. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Monday 12/1: Sunny, less windy, and colder. High: between 5 and 10. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Monday Night: Cloudy with a chance of light snow or flurries and not as cold. Temperatures slowly rising into the middle teens. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.

Tuesday 12/2: Cloudy in the morning, maybe some afternoon sun, breezy and more seasonable. High: between 25 and 30. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH, becoming W 8-15 MPH in the afternoon. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Extended: More seasonable temperatures for the middle of next week????

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Thursday, 6 Thursday night through Saturday, 5 Saturday night through Monday, 3 Monday night and Tuesday.

Yesterday's High: 25F; Overnight Low (through 6 AM): -4F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation: 0.01 inch/0.1 inch snow; SCSU Precipitation (Through 3 AM Thursday): 0.01 inch/0.1 inch snow

Normal Temperatures for November 27 - High: 32F; Low: 15F
Next Update: Friday, November 28, 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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