Sunday, November 29, 2015 2:40 PM
Prepared by Bob Weisman
Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Saint Cloud State University
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department
Saint Cloud and Vicinity Forecast
Quiet and Cold Through the Weekend
Return Trip in Minnesota Cold But Uneventful
It's another clear, calm morning in Minnesota, but temperatures aren't quite as cold as they were yesterday morning. St. Cloud reached 7 degrees for a low yesterday, the coldest morning temperature since March 5 (low of -18 degrees). However, readings came up above freezing during yesterday afternoon (see Yesterday's
High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany). . We remained mostly clear with a few high clouds overnight (see infrared loop from College
of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), so temperatures have fallen back into the teens early this morning (see NWS
Aviation Center Minnesota map).
Today will be a quiet travel day for your trip back home in the Northern Plains. It won't be quite as sunny today in the Northern Plains as high and middle clouds began to stream in from the southwest, but temperatures will again make it above freezing after the cold start.
Minnesota's First Widespread Major Snowstorm Begins Midday Tomorrow
The new forecast information has been consistent with our first significant snow event. There has been a bit of a track change closer to Minnesota and an adjustment in the heaviest snow period. The snow will break out in southwestern and south central Minnesota tomorrow morning with the heaviest period during the afternoon and early evening hours. That will be the area with the best chance of seeing 6-10 inches of snow. In central Minnesota, snow will break out around midday, but continue rather lightly through the afternoon. The heaviest period of snowfall will be from around dark into the early morning hours, with a tendency for the snow to let up a bit in the early morning hours as the main snow band pushes into the northern portion of Minnesota. During Tuesday, there will be only occasional snow showers or even rain showers as relatively warm air will be in the area. I don't expect much accumulation during Tuesday. As the low finally pulls off to the east, there might be another period of snowfall that could produce another inch. This will be a wet snow, with some sleet and freezing rain mixing in at times.
The change in the new forecast is that southeastern and eastern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities. may have a better chance of reallly wet snow or mixed precipitation, especially tomorrow afternoon. That could limit accumulation to more of a 2-4 inch potential. I see 3-6 inches of snow in central Minnesota from tomorrow afternoon through the early morning hours with the chance of another 1-2 inches Tuesday into Tuesday evening. So, a grand total of 4-8 inches looks good here and to our north. Again, 6-10 inches look to be likely in southwestern and south central Minnesota. The Twin Cities and Rochester will see 2-4 inches of wet snow.
Temperatures will be hovering just below freezing on Monday into Monday, then rising just above freezing on Tuesday. Given the wet snow, watch out for ice lurking underneath the snow pack. The wet snow will also be heavier than average, so be careful if you are shoveling.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning along and either side of the Minnesota River Valley from Morris and Alexandria through Redwood Falls, Mankato, Willmar, Olivia, and Fairmont. A winter storm warning may be possible for St. Cloud, but we remain in a winter storm watch for now. There are winter weather advisories in northwest and southeastern Minnesota.
There really won't be a huge pile of colder air behind this storm, but temperatures will be knocked down a few degrees since the new snow cover will act like a large mirror, sending a lot of the sun's heat back to space. Highs will likely be in the 20's to near 30 on Wednesday with a return to the lower 30's no earlier than Thursday.
Melting will be possible by the end of next week.
Ice, Flooding Cause Major Southern Plains Problems
The main national travel problem has been the Kansas-Oklahoma ice storm of the past couple of days. Parts of Oklahoma have picked up half an inch to an inch of ice. To the south of that area, the cold rain has dumped in the area of 7-11 inches of rain in parts of north Texas, Oklahoma, and southwest Arkansas. Four have now died on icy Kansas roads and the heavy rain has produced enough flooding to kill four people in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. The north Texas Metroplex broke its annual rainfall record of over 55 inches yesterday with still 5 weeks to go in 2015. The freezing rain will move into Kansas City today with heavy rains in Arkansas.
There aren't many delays listed on the FlightAware.com delays map but that swath of heavy precipitation could cause problems in Dallas-Ft. Worth and Denver later today. Locally, only Hwy. 1 near Lutsen is reporting some snow on the roads.
Here's some useful travel links for this week:
Ground and Air Travel
With two days to go in November, St. Cloud's average temperature is sitting at 38.9 degrees, 8.0 degrees above average. That would rank as the 5th warmest November in St. Cloud records. This will likely go down today and tomorrow, but we could hold on to a top 10 slot. Any new precipitation will add to the 2.73 inches St. Cloud has for November. This snowstorm has a good chance of producing more than a quarter inch of melted precipitation, so November 2015 could easily vault 2000 and 2001, climbing into the 10 wettest Novembers.
Confidence Level: "I Will Still Have Dandruff Tomorrow"
Rest of Sunday PM 11/29: Mostly cloudy with perhaps a few flurries, breezy and seasonably cold. High: between 34 and 36. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Sunday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and not as cold. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Winter Storm Watch Monday Afternoon Through Tuesday Evening
Monday 11/30: Cloudy, breezy, and cold again. Wet snow developing by midday and becoming heavy by dark. Maybe a little sleet or freezing rain mixed in. Between 1 and 2 inches are likely to accumulate by dark. High: between 30 and 33. Winds: E-NE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20% in the morning, 70% after 11 AM.
Monday Night: Cloudy with moderate to heavy wet snow continuing, then tapering to flurries towards morning. Another 2-5 inches are likely by morning. Temperature holding between 30 and 33. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 90%.
Tuesday 12/1: Cloudy with occasional light rain or snow showers. High: between 32 and 34. Winds: N-NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 60%.
Confidence Level: "A Squirrel Will Squawk At Me" (they really hate me...)
Tuesday Night: Cloudy during the evening with occasional light snow or flurries, then partial clearing late at night. Another dusting to an inch may be possible. Low: between 24 and 28. Winds: N-NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.
Wednesday 12/2: Sunny, breezy, and seasonably cold. High: between 30 and 34. Winds: W 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Wednesday Night: Clear, light wind, and colder. Low: between 10 and 15. Winds: SW 5 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Thursday 12/3: Sunny, breezy, and seasonably cold. High: between 30 and 34. Winds: W 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Confidence Level: "The Cat Will Not Sit on My Grading"
Extended: Mild enough to melt snow by the end of the week???
Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will
cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Sunday and Sunday night, 7 Monday through Tuesday, 6 Tuesday night and Wednesday, 5 Wednesday night and Thursday, 3 Friday.
Yesterday's High: 34°F; Overnight Low Temperature (through 3 AM): 14°F
St. Cloud Airport 24-Hour Precipitation (through 3 AM Sunday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Sunday): None
Normal Temperatures for November 28 - High: 31°F;
Next Update: Sunday, November 29, 2015 8:00 AM (or as needed)
Ground and Air Travel
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.