Local Forecast


Friday, February 17, 2017 2:55 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

Synopsis:

St. Cloud, MN Weather Discussion and Forecast

The Heat is On

St. Cloud Forecast Grid of Glee
Time Record Warm Temperature (Year) Forecast Temperature Record for the Month of February
Thursday Night
35 in 1998
31 through 2 AM Nope
 
Friday 2/17
54 in 1981
52-58
 
Friday Night
34 in 1915
30-35
 
Saturday 2/18
56 in 1981
48-52
 
Saturday Night
38 in 1899
30-35
 
Sunday 2/19
56 in 1981
55-60
59 on February 27, 2016
Sunday Night
34 in 1930
44-48
40 on February 25, 1998
Monday 2/20
57 in 1981
52-58
59 on February 27, 2016
Monday Night
34 in 1930
35-40
 
Tuesday 2/21
56 in 1981
55-60
59 on February 27, 2016

Above are all of the daily record warm temperatures through Tuesday Not only do we have a shot at those, but we could approach or break the warmest high temperature for the month of February (59 degrees, set last year on February 27) and the mildest low temperature for the month of February (40 degrees, set on February 1998).

So far though, temperatures have already dipped below this morning's record warm low of 35 degrees. Still, temperatures are in the upper 20's to lower 30's (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart), which is 15-25 degrees above average (see hourly departure from average map from Penn State ewall). Most importantly, we have mostly clear skies (see Colorado State RAMDIS Western US Fog/Reflectivity Product) aside from a few patches of ground fog (cities with horizonal lines on the UCAR Minnesota surface chart). That really plays into our favor in getting as warm as possible. High temperatures yesterday to our west were outrageously warm with 50's in southwestern Minnesota, 60's throughout South Dakota, and 70's in western South Dakota and Nebraska (see Yesterday's High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany). The warmest highs in Minnesota yesterday were 61 in Marshall, Tracy, and Windom.

More of Minnesota will be able to break 50 today with more widespread 60's across southern Minnesota. So, I expect a much better chance of a record warm high today. There are more clouds (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) and a few rain showers in eastern Montana (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop). So, we may have more clouds late today and early this evening with a slight chance of a rain shower as a weak cool front, now in Montana (see NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map), pushes through.

The weekend will begin slightly cooler on Saturday with highs closer to 50, but highs will continue to be well into the 50's on Sunday through Tuesday. With even breezier conditions expected, we might have a shot at seeing 60 degrees highs Sunday or Tuesday. There has never been a February 60-degree high in St. Cloud. The earliest 60-degree high in St. Cloud history was set on March 3, 1905.

We should transition to more reasonable, although likely still above average temperatures by the middle of next week. There are some indications of a late week Central US storm, but it's too early to worry about it.

Unsafe Ice Conditions in Spots

With above freezing temperatures likely, even up north, you'll have to be really careful to check the ice conditions on any lake in the state this weekend. The alternating periods of mild and cold weather has already led to unsafe ice on many area lakes. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds all ice fishing enthusiasts to check with local bait shops and be aware of the possibility for rapidly changing ice conditions in this mild weather.

Meanwhile, the second Pacific storm (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) is beginning to move onshore in southern California (see radar loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). The storm will provide important rain to that drought-stricken area, having the potential to drop the most rain and snow in 6 years.

I've summarized the winter so far in the St. Cloud January weather summary, released yesterday. We are well on our way to continuing the mild winter with the first half of February averaging 6.8 degrees above normal.

Discussion Links Forecast

Forecast:

Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Sniff At My Feet While I'm Forecasting"

Friday 2/17/2017: Sunny and March-like. High: between 52 and 58 (record warm high: 54 in 1981). Winds: SW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Friday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy with a slight chance of a rain shower and continued mild. Low: between 30 and 35 (record warm low: 34 in 1915). Winds: W 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Saturday 2/18/2017: Sunshine through high clouds and continued very warm. High: between 48 and 52 (record warm high: 56 in 1981). Winds: SW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday Night: Partly clear and continued mild. Low: between 30 and 35 (record warm low: 38 in 1899). Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday 2/19/2017: Partly sunny, breezy, and even more ridiculously warm. High: between 55 and 60 (record warm high: 56 in 1981). Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.


Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Want Petting with One Hand, While I'm Typing the Forecast"

Sunday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and milder. Low: between 44 and 48 (record warm low: 34 in 1930). Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Monday 2/20/2017: Maybe some morning rain showers. Then, partly sunny and warm in the afternoon. High: between 52 and 58 (record warm high: 57 in 1981). Winds: SE 10-20 MPH, becoming SW 8-15 MPH in the afternoon. Chance of measurable rainfall: 40%.

Monday Night: Partly clear, and not quite as outrageously warm. Low: between 35 and 40. (record warm low: 38 in 1930). Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Tuesday 2/21/2017: Sunny, breezy, and more insanely warm. High: between 55 and 60 (record warm high: 55 in 1961). Winds: SW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.


Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Forecast That Most Precipitation Will Be in the Form of Lettuce"

Extended: Not quite as warm on Wednesday and Thursday.

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

Yesterday's High: 41F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 31F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 3 AM Friday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Friday): None

Normal Temperatures for February 17 - High: 27F; Low: 8F
Next Update: Saturday, February 18, 2017 8:00 AM (or as needed)

Discussion Links Forecast

Links:

Surface

Satellite

Discussion Links Forecast

Radar

Current Watches/Warnings

Weather Safety

Ground and Air Travel

Climate

Drought

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 Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences Department home page.

Discussion Links Forecast