Local Forecast

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 3:18 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


Back to the Deep Freeze for Thanksgiving Week

Clouds from a reinforcing storm system that moved from the Dakotas through west central Minnesota (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) have kept temperatures up all night. Temperatures have generally climbed into the middle 20's (see NWS Aviation Weather Center Minnesota map). There has also been some light snow moving from west central to southern Minnesota (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop), but it's been little more than flurries at Redwood Falls and Willmar with no flakes to be seen closer to St. Cloud. As this storm dives rapidly southeastward, there will be a chance of a few stray flurries or a little light snow in the St. Cloud area, but any accumulation will be light.

Further to the south and west, however, there is a winter weather advisory out until noon today in west central Minnesota and during the daylight hours from the Twin Cities to Albert Lea and southeastern Minnesota. There could be 3-4 inches of snow from eastern South Dakota into southern Minnesota by mid-morning with strong north winds of 10-20 MPH behind it, creating some blowing snow problems in open areas. The Twin Cities could end up with a solid inch.

Besides the clouds and early snow to our south and west, the main effect of this low will be to usher a piece of the much colder air into Minnesota. Temperatures under the high pressure area in the Canadian Prairie Provinces are in the -20s with a few -30s in northern Saskatchewan (see NWS HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map). We won't get that cold, but look for the current temperatures in the middle 20's to end being today's high. The north wind will also pick up behind the low, blowing at 10-20 MPH. Still, it should be a relatively uneventful get away day for Thanksgiving travel locally.

Tonight, we'll drop deeper into the cold air. Tomorrow morning's temperatures could be between -10 and -5, the coldest we've seen this year. However, I don't think we'll quite get to the November 27 record cold low of -13, set in 1940. High temperatures will only rebound to the plus single digits during the afternoon, despite the return of sunshine.

Another storm will pump more seasonable air over the colder air near the ground on Thanksgiving evening. This could set up Minnesota for a period of more general snowfall overnight with the possibility of between a dusting and 2 inches of fluff. Temperatures will continue to rise from the single digits at nightfall into the teens by morning.

On Friday, the bulk of the snow will linger in northern Minnesota, so those areas could end up with 2-5 inches of snow. To the south, we will be near the warm front. The steady precipitation will end, but we could see a lot of lingering low clouds, some fog, and perhaps even some spotty freezing drizzle. Highs will be back in the 20's. The relatively mild conditions will continue Friday night with still some spotty fog and perhaps some freezing drizzle.

Another blast of much colder air will arrive in southern Canada by Friday, then try to shove southward over the weekend. There is a lot of disagreement in the computer forecast about when that cold air push comes. Since there will be a big temperature difference across the front, the front position could be only 50 miles off, but temperatures could be off by 20 degrees. For now, I'll cautiously go with temperatures near 30 on Saturday morning, but falling back as the day goes on. Sunday looks to be colder with early morning temperatures in the 20's, falling back into the teens for much of the day. The coldest of that series of cold days will likely be Monday with lows in the minus single digits to minus 10 and highs again in the plus single digits.

With the storm on the East Coast, there may be some flight delays in some of the mid-Atlantic State hubs, but this would mainly be due to rainfall. There are winter storm warnings for snowfall out in the mid-Atlantic States and the Northeast, but the precipitation will likely stay as rain in the big East Coast cities. So, there will be tough travel to the north of these cities, but the airports could only have minimal impact.


See Forecast Below

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Current Watches/Warnings

Ground and Air Travel




Wednesday 11/26: Mostly cloudy with occasional flurries or a little light snow, breezy, and continued cold. Any new snowfall will stay under an inch. High: between 22 and 26. Winds: N 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Wednesday Night: Clearing with diminishing wind, and much colder. Low: between -10 and -5. (record cold low: -13 in 1940) Winds: NW 5 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

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: light SE. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Thursday Night: Clouding up with a chance of light snow or flurries by late evening, breezy, and not as cold. Between a dusting and 2 inches are possible by morning. Temperatures near 5 early, then slowly rising through the teens. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 50%.

Friday 11/28: Cloudy with a chance of lingering light snow in the morning. Some spotty freezing drizzle possible in the afternoon. High: between 22 and 26. Winds: SW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 30%.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Friday Night: Cloudy and milder. Perhaps some dense fog and some freezing drizzle. Temperatures holding between 22 and 26. Winds: light SE. Chance of measurable precipitation: 20%.

Saturday 11/29: Cloudy and seasonably mild. Some fog possible early. High: near 30. Winds: light SE. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

Saturday Night: Cloudy with a chance of occasional flurries. Colder. Low: between 18 and 22. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Sunday 11/30: Morning clouds with perhaps a flurry, afternoon sun, breezy and turning colder. Temperatures slowly falling from near 20 early to the teens. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Sunday Night: Clear, breezy, and much colder. Low: in the minus single digits. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Monday 12/1: Sunny and colder. High in the plus single digits. Winds: N 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Extended: Temperature roller coaster continues into next week.

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Tuesday and Tuesday night, 7 Wednesday and Wednesday night, 6 Thursday, 5 Thursday night, 4 Friday, 3 Friday night and Saturday, 2 Sunday.

Yesterday's High: 25F (set at midnight Tuesday Night); Yesterday's Daytime High: 21°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 21F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation: None; SCSU Precipitation (Through 3 AM Wednesday):

Normal Temperatures for November 26 - High: 33F; Low: 16F
Next Update: Thursday, November 27, 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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