Local Forecast

Monday, April 27, 2015 3:20 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


"I'll Take An East Coast Storm to Block"

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Welcome Rain, Followed by Sunny Weekend

On Friday morning, central Minnesota got some rain showers from a slow-moving warm front. The rainfall total at the St. Cloud Airport was 0.48 inches, the second time this month that 0.4 inch or more has fallen. Still, with the lack of rain since the start of the year, that storm has accounted for nearly 20% of the rain so far this year. The 2015 rainfall in St. Cloud now stands at 2.64 inches, 2.31 inches less than the average total of 4.95 inches.

After low clouds and spotty drizzle lingered into Saturday morning, the sun finally broke out. That allowed temperatures to reach 60 degrees for the first time in a week on both Saturday and Sunday.

Even with the seasonably warm temperatures (average highs now in the lower 60's), don't get fooled that we've gone straight to summer. Low temperatures were below freezing yesterday morning (see loop of Low Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany) and are at or below freezing again this morning in central Minnesota (see NWS Aviation Center Minnesota map).

Strong Southern Stream Leaves Minnesota Warm and Mainly Sunny

The promised continuation of the split jet stream weather pattern continued through the weekend (see water vapor loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). While the Southern Plains has another major low pressure system developing (already a fully-developed comma cloud on the infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) over New Mexico, the progress of northern stream systems is being blocked by a strong low off the coast of southeastern Canada. Weather systems are actually moving backwards (northeast-to-southwest) from Ontario and Quebec into Wisconsin and Michigan. That is blocking the eastward progress of a pair of northern stream lows, so they spent yesterday moving northeastward in Montana and Saskatchewan (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu).

This split jet stream pattern will continue most of the week. The New Mexico storm will drift through the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Southeast through Thursday, then camp out off the Northeast coast. That will continue to block weather systems moving near the US-Canadian border from the Pacific Coast to Great Lakes, so we will only see weakened storm systems.

Today, we will take advantage of the warm air out in front of the Montana and Saskatchewan systems, so temperatures will rocket into the 70's. The dew points will continue in the 20's, so relative humidity will be quite dry. However, the recent rain has helped the surface plants to green, so any area of high fire danger will be limited in central and southern Minnesota. There may be an increased risk further to the north where greening has been delayed.

That long line of clouds from Montana into Saskatchewan will edge its way into Minnesota by tomorrow, so expect a bit more seasonable temperatures in the 60's with a bit of a northeast wind. There is a small chance of a late night or early morning rain shower.

In general, temperatures in the 60's will dominate the rest of the week. We could make another run at 70 degrees on Wednesday, but another weak front will drift into Minnesota Wednesday night, knocking Thursday's high back into the 60's.

Mainly Dry Until Friday

Toasty Weekend??

The next decent chance of rain won't be until Friday. However, with the main low expected to track through central and northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the chance of rain showers could still be quite small. The blocking storm in the Northeast will finally begin to give way over the weekend, allowing warmer air to push in. That would allow highs in the 70's for the first weekend in May.

Big Rains and Severe Weather to South

With the dominant southern storm track, expect thunderstorms with heavy rainfall from the Oklahoma Panhandle into east Texas and Louisiana the next two days. These storms already have a history of dumping large hail in Oklahoma and Texas and dropping tornadoes in central Texas late yesterday afternoon and overnight. The severe weather threat will push eastward today into the Texas, Louisiana, and Mississppi coasts. Those thunderstorms will push into the Southeast by mid-week with both the chance for heavy rainfall and perhaps some severe weather. The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will get a dousing late in the week with perhaps even some snowfall in the mountains of New England.

About the only lakes left to lose their ice are Lake of the Woods and some lakes in the Boundary Waters.

See Forecast Below

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Monday 4/27: Mostly sunny and even warmer. High: between 70 and 75. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Monday Night: Partly clear and not quite as cool. A slight chance of a rain shower late. Low: between 40 and 45. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH evening, becoming NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Tuesday 4/28: A cloudy start with a slight chance of a rain shower, then partly sunny in the afternoon and not quite as warm. High: between 62 and 66. Winds: N 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Tuesday Night: Partly clear and cooler. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: NE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Wednesday 4/29: Sunny and warmer. High: between 65 and 70. Winds: NE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Wednesday Night: Partly clear and continued cool. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: E-SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Thursday 4/30: Sunny, a bit breezy, and cooler. High: between 60 and 65. Winds: NE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Thursday Night: Partly clear and not quite as cool. Low: between 38 and 42. Winds: SE 5 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Friday 5/1: Partly sunny with a chance of afternoon rain showers. High: between 65 and 70. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH, becoming NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Extended: A warmer weekend with highs in the 70's????

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Monday, 7 Monday night and Tuesday, 6 Tuesday night and Wednesday, 5 Wednesday night and Thursday, 3 Friday and Weekend.

Yesterday's High: 62F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 32F
St. Cloud Airport 24-Hour Precipitation: None; SCSU Precipitation (Through 3 AM Monday): None

Normal Temperatures for April 27 - High: 63F; Low: 38F
Next Update: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 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!

Are you interested in studying meteorology? If so, go to the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department home page.

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