Local Forecast

Friday, October 2, 2015 3:23 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


Continued Boring Sunshine

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Another Day, Same High Pressure Area

The sunshine party just keeps trucking on. We did have some high clouds yesterday afternoon as the weak low pressure system came to a halt over North Dakota (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). Otherwise, it was yet another day with high temperatures climbing into the low to middle 60's (see three day loop of high temperatures from SUNY-Albany/NWS). There are warmer temperatures to our west, but in this stalled weather pattern, we will continue with the weather we have seen the past couple of days.

Overnight, we are a bit further away from the center of the Ontario-Quebec high pressure area (see NWS WPC latest North American surface map). The isobars (red lines) are closer together in southern Minnesota, so the east to southeast wind has been more persistent in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota than in the northeast third. So, our winds overnight have stayed up, keeping temperatures in the upper 30's, rather than the near freezing or even upper 20's seen in the northeast part of the state (see NWS Aviation Center Minnesota map).

The weather we've seen will pretty much continue through the weekend. The high pressure area will actually get stronger and continue to circulate cool air in from northeastern Canada. Expect highs to continue to reach 60 or a little bit higher. We may have a chance of frost tonight, but the breeze will likely keep up most nights, so lows will generally be at least in the upper 30's from Sunday morning on.

Eventually, the west-to-east steering winds seen across Alaska into northwestern Canada (see water vapor loop in Hemispheric Products from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) will begin moving weather systems again over the US. However, that won't happen here until the start of next week. At that point, we may have a chance of rain showers Monday night into Tuesday as warmer air tries to push eastward. Temperatures will moderate back into the 60's on Monday. We might even see some 70's on Tuesday.

There will still be closed off weather systems in the southern half of the US. Those systems are notoriously hard to forecast (for example, see below), so there is still is uncertainty in the forecast for next week.

The cooler temperatures finally have most trees in central Minnesota just starting to show color. As expected, the northern third of the state is quickly approaching peak color. Expect near peak or peak color this weekend.

Even Stronger Joaquin Pounding Central Bahamas

Hurricane Joaquin unfortunately has continued to pound the Bahamas over the past day and a half. Since the Bahamas are right on the southeast edge of the infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu, you can get a much better view of the storm by clicking on the hurricane symbol to the east of Florida on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering tropical view. The compact storm has strengthened a bit more with top winds of 130 MPH. Hurricane force winds extend about 45 miles out from the center, so the storm remains compact. Still, the central Bahamas have had these severe conditions non-stop for the past day. In addition to flooding tides and widespread wind damage, rainfall totals could reach 12-18 inches with some areas of 25 inches. To put this in perspective, St. Cloud gets just short of 28 inches over the entire year. In the Bahamas, Joaquin will be remembered for its devastating effects.

Hurricane Joaquin is NOT Sandy II!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However, the storm track continues to evolve dramatically. Yesterday's forecasts showed the track drastically moving east again, now forecast to pass off the New England coast late in the week and approach Nova Scotia early next week. There is actually some agreement between the US and European computer forecasts on this track that would avoid the bulk of the US. You can view a loop of the 5-day forecasts here. All of these wild changes in track have taken place while the actual storm (gold dot) has drifted southwestward (see area of hurricane force winds). On the curernt forecast track, Joaquin would affect tides along the East Coast, but would have little effect otherwise. In fact, the National Hurricane Center is more concerned about Bermuda right now than the East Coast. There are forecasts of heavy rainfall in Georgia and the Carolinas over the weekend to add to the heavy rain already seen in the Carolinas and Southeast. Flood watches are out for Virginia, the Carolinas, eastern Tennessee and north Georgia. However, this rain would be produced by the stalled storm over Tennessee (see infrared satellite loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), not the hurricane itself.

National Hurricane Center forecasters have constantly been saying that a landfall on the East Coast was not guaranteed. Similarly, it is always possible that the storm could make an expected turn. The reliability of the 4-5 day forecast is much smaller than the three day forecasts. Stories like this are simply irresponsible. This one too (since they are using the old storm track forecast). Again, the forecast rain over the Southeast is from the much larger Tennessee system, not the hurricane.

Final Answer: Warmest September in 72 Years

The September 2015 St. Cloud weather summary is now available. The key highlight is that this September tied September 1933 for the 4th warmest September in St. Cloud records.

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Confidence Level: "I Will Still Have Dandruff Tomorrow"

Friday 10/2: Sunny to partly cloudy and continued cool. High: between 60 and 65. Winds: E 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Friday Night: Clear to partly cloudy. A good chance of frost. Low: between 30 and 35. Winds: E 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Saturday 10/3: Sunny to partly cloudy and continued cool. High: between 57 and 62. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Saturday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy, and not as cool. Low: between 36 and 42. Winds: E 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Sunday 10/4: Sunny to partly cloudy and continued cool. High: between 57 and 63. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Confidence Level: "The Twins Will Make the Playoffs"

Sunday Night: Partly clear and milder. Low: between 45 and 50. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Monday 10/5: Sunny to partly cloudy, breezy, and milder. High: between 62 and 66. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

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

Monday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and not as cool. A slight chance of a rain shower. Low: between 50 and 55. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Tuesday 10/6: Early clouds, then becoming sunny, breezy, and warmer. High: between 70 and 75. Winds: W 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Extended: ?????

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 7 Friday, 5 Friday night, 7 Saturday, 5 Saturday night, 6 Sunday, 4 Sunday night and Monday, 2 Monday night and Tuesday.

Yesterday's High: 63F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 41F
St. Cloud Airport 24-Hour Precipitation (through 3 AM Friday): None; SCSU Precipitation (Through 3 AM Friday): None

Normal Temperatures for October 2 - High: 63F; Low: 40F
Next Update: Monday, October 5, 2015 8:00 AM (or as needed)

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Current Watches/Warnings

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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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