Friday, March 7, 2014 3:15 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
Best of Warm Surge to Come Late Weekend
Clouds Keep Temperatures Below Freezing
The mild air dominated the Northern Plains yesterday with temperatures breaking 60 as close to us as western South Dakota and hitting 70 in Nebraska (see Yesterday's
High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany). However, the much deeper snow cover over us (see NWS NOHRSC Snow Analyses) combined with some middle clouds (see College
of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) kept temperatures from climbing out of the 20's yesterday. Unfortunately, this has cost us most of our chance to climb above freezing. The combination of warm air trappring the cold air near the ground has also led to increased pollution. At the time of the last reports in Minnesota, the air was rated as being unhealthy for sensitive groups (people with a history of asthma, heart, and long problems).
Things are about to change. Temperatures have remained in the 20's overnight (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations), but a cold front is bearing down on Minnesota (see NWS
HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map), which will temporarily push the warmer air aloft out of the way. That will bring in cleaner and slightly cooler air by around sunrise. There have been a few light showers accompanying the cold front (see NWS
Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop ) which have fallen in the form of freezing rain. So, watch out for some icy spots along area roads until the salt goes to work on them. However, the cold front should sweep most of the middle clouds (see infrared loop from College
of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) out of here and allow better mixing near the ground. So, I expect a lot more sunshine to develop today. Northwest winds will be strong for a while this morning (see UCAR
Minnesota surface chart loop), with speeds of 15-25 MPH common. However, without any recent snow, there won't be much in the way of blowing and drifting. Look for temperatures to kick up a few degrees to the lower 30's after the cold front passes, then settle back into the 20's.
We will have this relatively cooler interlude, although compared to the past couple of days, the only difference will be some colder low temperatures tonight and tomorrow night. We could make a run at 0 again by tomorrow morning and see lows in the single digits Saturday evening. Look for highs tomorrow to return to the 20's, only with less wind than today.
Next Warm Surge Begins Sunday
The next system due to start the heat pump will begin doing its work on Saturday night. In this case, the warm air appears to be even drier than what we had, so I don't expect any precipitation with the warm front pushing through Saturday night and Sunday morning. The big question is whether we can get the warmth all the way to the ground or will the cold air remain trapped, keeping temperatures down. The warm air push looks a bit stronger in this weekend's case, so I'm going for middle to upper 30's Sunday and 40's on Monday. That crucially depends on few clouds and enough wind to help push the cold air along.
Not As Cold Midweek As I Had Earlier Thought
We should see another minor cool down for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Highs may only be around freezing on Tuesday and in the 20's again Wednesday. The overall steering winds will turn more to the west-northwest. However, the long-range forecasts don't have any really cold air in west central Canada, so we could be back on the temperature uphill as early on Thursday. The best news is that there doesn't appear to be any major storm system in the forecast for the next week, so we won't be adding to the snow cover.
See Forecast Below
Ground and Air Travel
Friday 3/7: Turning windy and not quite as warm. Morning clouds, some afternoon sun. Morning temperatures between 27 and 33, falling into the 20's by afternoon. Winds: NW 15-25 MPH in the morning, 10-20 MPH in the afternoon. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Friday Night: Clear, diminishing wind, and colder. Low: near 0. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH evening, diminishing late. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%.
Saturday 3/8: Sunny to partly cloudy, and continued seasonably cool. High: between 24 and 28. Winds: SW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%.
Saturday Night: Clear early, some high clouds late, becoming breezy, and not quite as cold. Low: between 5 and 10. Winds: SW 5 MPH evening, 8-15 MPH late. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Sunday 3/9: Sunny, breezy, and actually warm for this time of year. High: between 35 and 40. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Sunday Night: Partly clear and not as cool. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds:
5 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Monday 3/10: Sunshine through high clouds, breezy, and warm again. High: between 40 and 45. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty
Monday Night: Partly clear, breezy, and mild with a slight chance of a snow shower. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds: W 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.
Tuesday 3/11: Partly sunny and not quite as warm. High: between 30 and 35. Winds: N 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
For Entertainment Purposes Only.
Tuesday Night: Clear and colder. Low: between 0 and 5. Winds: light. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Wednesday 3/12: Partly sunny and a bit colder. High: between 24 and 28. Winds: SW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Extended: Milder again on Thursday. Highs above freezing
Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will
cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Friday through Saturday, 7 Saturday night, 6 Sunday through Monday, 5 Monday night, 4 Tuesday, 3 Tuesday night and Wednesday, 2 Thursday.
Yesterday's High: 28°F; Overnight Low (through 4 AM): 25°F
St. Cloud Storm Total Precipitation: None; SCSU Precipitation: None
Normal Temperatures for March 7 - High: 34°F;
Next Update: Monday, March 10, 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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