Local Forecast

Saturday, February 13, 2016 3:42 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


Cold Bottoms Out Today, More Fluffy Snow Tonight into Sunday Morning

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The Elusive -20

In my memory, -20 used to be the low temperature for a significant shot of cold air. Once again, central Minnesota is struggling to get there (see NWS Aviation Center Minnesota map). There has been enough wind from St. Cloud southward to keep temperatures around -10 for most of the night. Where the wind has been at least 5 MPH, that has kept wind chills in the lower -20s (see NWS Minnesota Hourly Weather Round-Up). In the last few hours before sunrise, we will likely see readings dive to around -15, but that likely won't top the coldest temperatures of the season so far (-18 on January 11 and 17). Pine River, Aitkin, and Wadena will have a shot at -20.

Temperatures will stay on the cold side today with a good supply of sunshine (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) and light winds. Highs will again climb to the plus single digits, but with less wind than yesterday.

More Snow Saturday Night into Sunday

A moderating trend will begin tonight, but that will include another does of fluffy snowfall. The next storm is pushing into the British Columbia and Washington coasts right now (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). When it gets to the east of the Rockies, it will begin pumping milder air (still in the 40's in central Montana and Calgary in the middle of the night on the NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map) over the edge of the cold air mass in Minnesota and South Dakota. There won't be a lot of moisture with this system, but this system could produce a narrow band of moderate snow from eastern South Dakota into southwestern Minnesota. There might be some areas that see 3-6 inches from this system. St. Cloud will be on the fringe of this heavier snow, so I'm going for between 1 and 4 inches of new snow between midnight Saturday night and noon on Sunday. There will be strong winds during the period of snowfall, so visibility could become poor during the snowfall in southwestern and south central Minnesota. Also, temperatures will be no higher than the middle teens, so salt won't help with icy spots.

The National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory for tonight through midday tomorrow including Glenwood, Morris, Willmar, Granite Falls, Redwood Falls, Mankato, Fairmont, and Albert Lea. Marshall and Pipestone are in a winter storm watch.

Moderation Back to Average By Monday

The snow will ease up rather quickly by midday Sunday. Temperatures will start climbing tonight, staying in the plus single digits and topping out in the upper teens tomorrow.

We will have a lot of low clouds tomorrow night and might see some areas of fog. Temperatures should keep on rising, reaching the low to middle 20's by Monday morning. We could make a run at 30 degrees on Monday afternoon.

Another Canadian cold front will push through late Monday night. However, the coldest air in North America is in the shot of cold air that is over Ontario and Quebec and headed into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states today. So, the next round of cold air won't be as cold as what we have now (more than 20 degrees colder than average from Minnesota into Ohio and New York).

Temperatures will fall back from near 20 early Tuesday into the teens during the day. If the winds calm Tuesday night, we will see lows in the minus single digits. Wednesday will be sunny, but still cold with highs in the teens.

The second half of next week looks to be milder. We may actually see some melting snow by then.

The Sunday storm will skirt the edge of the cold air southward and has the potential for dropping snow, changing to rain, in parts of Virginia and the Carolinas by Monday. This might cause some flooding problems in the Mid-Atlantic states.

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Confidence Level: "I Will Still Have Dandruff Tomorrow"

Saturday 2/13: Sunny, light winds, and continued cold. High: between 4 and 8. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%.

Saturday Night: Clouding up with a chance of light snow or flurries after midnight. Not quite as cold. Between 1 and 3 inches are possible by morning. Low: holding in the plus single digits. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 60%.

Sunday 2/14: Morning light snow or flurries or flurries, breezy, and not as cold. Another dusting to an inch could accumulate on Sunday. High: between 15 and 20. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 60%.

Confidence Level: "A Squirrel Will Squawk At Me" (they really hate me...)

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy and milder. Maybe some fog. Temperatures rising into the low to middle 20's. Winds: SW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

Monday 2/15: Cloudy in the morning, perhaps some afternoon sunny breaks, and milder. High: between 25 and 30. Winds: WNW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

Monday Night: Partly clear evening, cloudy with some light snow or flurries late. Low: between 12 and 16. Winds: becoming NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Confidence Level: "The Cat Will Not Sit on My Grading"

Tuesday 2/16: Mixed sun and clouds, maybe a morning flurry, breezy, and colder. High: between 17 and 22. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Tuesday Night: Clear, light winds, and colder. Low: between -10 and -5. Winds: light. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Wednesday 2/17: Sunny, but cold. High: between 12 and 18. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

Extended: A mild period the second half of next week?

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Friday and Friday night, 7 Saturday, 6 Saturday night and Sunday, 5 Sunday night and Monday, 4 Monday night, 3 Tuesday.

Yesterday's High (set at midnight Thursday night): 13°F; Yesterday's Daytime High: 5F; Overnight Low Temperature (through 3 AM): -9F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (Through 3 AM Saturday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Saturday): None

Normal Temperatures for February 13 - High: 26F; Low: 6F
Next Update: Sunday, February 14, 2016 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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