Local Forecast

Friday, August 29, 2014 1:30 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


Yes-No Week of Forecasts Continue

Early Morning Rains Douse St. Cloud (Updated at 7:30 AM)

The blobs of thunderstorms to our south looked impressive yesterday morning at this time (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), but they didn't arrive in central Minnesota until they were their weakest, in the early afternoon. There was some redevelopment of storms in the middle afternoon to the west, but the rainfall totals were unimpressive through the evening with only a few hundredths of an inch of rain in the St. Cloud area (and some areas to the east getting shut out). The heaviest of the storms were across Iowa and southeastern Minnesota.

Beginning around 3 AM, however, showers and thunderstorms developed right along I-94 in central Minnesota, dumping some locally heavy rain(see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). As of 7 AM, the St. Cloud Airport has seen 1.09 inches of rain (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations) with the north end of Little Rock Lake accumulating 1.68 inches. Since this rain sprung up in patches, SCSU missed some of the heaviest rainfall with only 0.49 inch as of 6:40 AM. There is still a narrow line of storms in west central Minnesota that could clip parts of the St. Cloud area over the next 2-3 hours (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop). With the more humid air closer to us (see NWS HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map), temperatures have remained in the middle to upper 60's overnight (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart loop).

The low pressure system exciting these storms to the north of the warm front is taking its sweet time moving along (see counterclockwise circulation on the water vapor loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), so we will spend a good chunk of today in the clouds again. Those leftover showers will continue to wander across central Minnesota until late morning and there will be lingering low clouds and drizzle in between the showers. Since southeastern Minnesota and Iowa got the most rain yesterday, they will have the greatest risk for flooding. This afternoon, when new development begins, there's a small chance that some storms could fire in central Minnesota, so I do have a chance of scattered showers this afternoon, but that's about it. Despite our warm start, highs will be limited to the middle or, at best, upper 70's with little sunshine, but uncomfortable humidity.

This slow moving storm system should finally edge eastward enough to allow at least some breaks in the clouds tomorrow. It will remain uncomfortably humid, so lows again will stay in the 60's. With the addition of some sunshine tomorrow, we'll have a shot at an 80 degree high.

Sunday: Keep An Eye on the Sky

The one part of the forecast that has remained consistent is the next storm system, which should finally pull the warm front far enough northward on Sunday to put us in the teeth of the hot and humid air for a while. As the warm front passes by late Saturday and Saturday night, I have a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm over the area. On Sunday, we should see enough sunshine to have highs climb well into the 80's. However, with the cold front from this storm due to pass early Sunday evening, we could be in position for a good shot of showers and thunderstorms late Sunday into Sunday evening. The National Weather Service's Storm Predicition Center continues to highlight the chance for severe weather on Sunday from Minnesota all the way into Kansas. The greatest potential seems to be for straight-line wind damage and large hail, but it's still a bit early to pin that down. There also could be significant rainfall with as much as half an inch of rain widespread and a few pockets with a bit more in spotty areas.

Quieter Labor Day

Monday still looks to be a quieter, less humid day with highs back in the 70's and a pleasant breeze. So, overall, the weather for the Labor Day weekend looks mostly good, with just a chance of overnight storms Saturday night and the careful eye on the sky for the second half of Sunday.

At this point, it looks dry on Tuesday and Wednesday with the next potential chance of rain on Wednesday night, but that's another forecast I don't trust (even though it's mine).

Nearly Complete August Weather Statistics

Despite the more comfortable low temperatures the past couple of days, August is still running as the warmest month of the summer so far with an average temperature of 71.4 degrees through yesterday. We will now see the effect of the more humid air in the warmer low temperatures this morning all the way until that cold front comes through Sunday evening. This morning's storms brought the total St. Cloud rainfall this morning to 3.84 inches, just about the average for the month, 3.79 inches. We do have the potential for decent rain Sunday into Sunday night, so the typical late summer rain shortfall we've seen for 4 of the past 5 years won't be a factor this year.

I'll be working on more details like this for the St. Cloud August and meteorological summer (June, July, and August) summary and it will be out over the weekend.

See Forecast Below

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Current Watches/Warnings

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Friday PM 8/29: Occasional showers and thunderstorms, not quite as warm, but uncomfortably humid. High: between 72 and 76. Winds: light N. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50% this afternoon.

Friday Night: A chance of early evening showers and thunderstorms, then remaining mild, and uncomfortably humid. Low: between 60 and 65. Winds: NE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday 8/30: Becoming partly sunny, breezy, warmer, and humid. A slight chance of a late day shower or thunderstorm. High: between 77 and 82. Winds: NE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%

Saturday Night: Partly clear, breezy, warm, and sticky. A slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Low: between 58 and 64. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Sunday 8/31: Becoming sunny, breezy, very warm, and oppressively humid. A good chance of late day showers and thunderstorms, some of which could produce severe weather. High: between 84 and 88. Winds: S 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10% in the morning, 50% in the afternoon.

Sunday Night: A good chance of evening showers and thunderstorms with severe weather possible. Then partial clearing, breezy, and turning less humid after midnight. Low: between 57 and 62. Winds: S 10-20 MPH, becoming W 10-25 MPH with higher gusts in storms evening, W 5-15 MPH late. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50% evening, 10% after midnight.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Monday 9/1: Sunny, breezy, cooler, and less humid. A slight chance of a late day shower. High: between 72 and 77. Winds: WNW 10-25 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%

Monday Night: Partly to mostly clear, breezy, and much more comfortable. Low: between 53 and 57. Winds: W 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Tuesday 9/2: Sunny in the morning, mixed clouds and sun with a chance of a scattered shower in the afternoon, breezy, and seasonably warm. High: between 74 and 78. Winds: W 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%

Tuesday Night: Partly to mostly clear, not as breezy, and continued seasonably cool. Low: between 52 and 57. Winds: W 5 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Wednesday 9/3: Sunshine through thickening high clouds and a shade warmer. High: between 77 and 82. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%

Extended: First chance of widespread showers and thunderstorms next week not until Wednesday night????

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

Yesterday's High: 76F; Overnight Low (through 7 AM): 67F
St. Cloud Airport Rainfall (Since 7 AM Thursday): 1.09 inch; SCSU Rainfall (Since 7 AM Thursday): 0.49 inch

Normal Temperatures for August 29 - High: 77F; Low: 54F
Next Update: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 8:00 AM
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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