Local Forecast

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3:10 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


Milder Weather Continues, But End of Thaw In Sight

Behind the weak cold front, temperatures were a bit cooler yesterday. Highs only made it a few degrees past freezing (see Yesterday's High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany). There is still a large load of mild air to our west as temperatures climbed into the 70's from western South Dakota westward into Nebraska and Wyoming. One station in eastern Wyoming got very close to 80 degrees.

That warm hole has remained in western South Dakota overnight (see NWS Aviation Center Dakotas Map), but it's the cold front in the southern Canadian Prairie Provinces we have to watch (see NWS HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map). The steering winds are beginning to turn to a more northwest-to-southeast direction from southwestern Canada into the Great Lakes area (see water vapor loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). You can see the colder air as gray on the northwest part of the infrared loop (see College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) and it is advancing southeastward. There are a lot of brighter white clouds, but they are mostly high and middle clouds since the low pressure system along the front lacks moisture. We will be mainly in the clouds today, but they will ease up a bit this afternoon. The low clouds could produce some spotty fog and perhaps even some drizzle, but any steady snow will stay well to our north. Temperatures should take advantage of another mild start (see NWS Aviation Center Minnesota map) and again climb into the upper 30's to near 40.

Slightly Cooler, but Still Above Average Second Half of the Work Week

Behind this cold front, temperatures will cool off a bit. Highs will mostly remain in the 20's to perhaps near 30 on Thursday through Saturday. We may finally see some clearing overnight, so low temperatures will drop into the teens or perhaps even make it to the single digits if we can stay clear much of the night.

Febrrrrrrrr-uary Begins Sunday

Some of the much colder air that has built up in central Alaska into the Yukon (frequent temperatures in the minus 30s and minus 40s on the NWS HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map; even a low in the -50s Monday on the Penn State 8-day high/low temperature maps). The coldest of the cold is forecast to stay in south central and southeastern Canada, but we will see the coldest air we've had since the first week of January. One difference, however, will be the lack of snow cover, which will limit how cold we can get.

This first surge of cold air will begin to move in behind a cold front Saturday afternoon. There will be some persistent northeast winds on Saturday night, so I only see low temperatures dropping to the 5-10 above range. However, those northeast winds will produce wind chills in the -20 to -5 range. Temperatures may even drop a few degrees after sunrise on Sunday back to the lower single digits, then only recover to the lower teens. Minnesota will feel the coldest part of this cold surge on Monday. Lows could drop into the minus single digits and highs may have trouble getting to 10 degrees. The first wave of cold will ease a bit towards mid-week, but there will be a reinforcing surge of the arctic air the second half of next week.

At this point, I don't see any storm producing anything more than flurries through early next week.

Major Northeast Blizzard Leaves Long Island, Eastern New England Buried and Blown

As the last of the snow is still falling across eastern Maine (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), the hardest hit areas with at least 20 inches of snow range from Long Island (beginning about 10 miles east of New York City, which had 8-11 inches, and along southern Connecticut and southeastern Massachusetts). A second area of heavy snow reached from northwest of Boston into central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, where some stations reported 28-35 inches of snow (Auburn, Mass, about 60 miles west of Boston had 36 inches). Boston did break 20 inches, ranking within its 10 highest snowfall totals. The snow totals above 20 inches extended through eastern New Hampshire and much of Maine. The snow came with frequent wind gusts over 50 MPH at coastal stations in eastern Massachusetts, southeastern New York, Maine and Rhode Island. The island of Nantucket has completely lost power and there was some flooding on east-facing beaches.

Flight cancellations are way down today as most of the Mid-Atlantic airports, including those in New York City, have reopened. esn't show much now, because there are very few early morning flights, but you will see delays and cancellations throughout the system.

January Average Temperature Continues to Warm

Meanwhile, St. Cloud had its third day in the past four that was 20 degrees above average. Yesterday's low temperature of 31 degrees was within a degree of the January 27 record warm low, 32 degrees set in 1944. If skies don't clear too quickly this evening, we could break today's record warm low, 27 degrees, set last year. the St. Cloud average January temperature is now 15.5 degrees, 4.1 degrees above normal. Note that, on January 13, it was more than 9 degrees colder than average.

See Forecast Below

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Current Watches/Warnings

Ground and Air Travel




Wednesday 1/28: Cloudy with some morning fog. Maybe some spotty freezing drizzle. Clouds lifting a bit in the afternoon. Still relatively mild. High: between 35 and 40. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH morning, 5-10 MPH afternoon. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy and breezy with a chance of some spotty freezing drizzle or flurries during the evening. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds: SW 5-10 MPH evening, becoming NW 10-20 MPH by midnight. Chance of measurable precipitation: 20%.

Thursday 1/29: Becoming sunny, breezy, and not quite as mild. High: between 25 and 30. Winds: NW 10-25 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Thursday Night: Clear and colder with diminishing wind. A few high clouds late at night. Low: between 7 and 12. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH evening, diminishing late. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Friday 1/30: Sunshine through high clouds and a little colder. High: between 24 and 28. Winds: S 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Friday Night: Clear early, increasing clouds late, breezy, and not quite as cold. Low: between 14 and 18. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH evening, shifting to NW 8-15 MPH late. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Saturday 1/31: Partly sunny, breezy, and continued seasonably cold. High: between 23 and 28. Winds: NE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Saturday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and much colder. Perhaps some flurries. Low: between 5 and 10. Winds: NE 10-20 MPH. Wind chill: between -20 and -5. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Sunday 2/1: Cloudy in the morning, maybe a little afternoon sun, breezy, and much colder. High: between 10 and 15. Winds: NE 10-20 MPH. Morning wind chill: between -20 and -10. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Extended: Even colder Monday. Highs in the plus single digits to near 10. Lows below zero. Below average temperatures most of next week.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

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

Yesterday's High: 34°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 30F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation: None; SCSU Precipitation (Through 3 AM Wednesday): None

Normal Temperatures for January 28 - High: 22F; Low: 2F
Next Update: Thursday, January 29, 2015 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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