Local Forecast

Sunday, July 17, 2016 6:25 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


Dodged The Worst From This Round of Storms

Note: next forecast discussion will be Thursday, August 4

Southern Minnesota Hit With Heavy Rainfall, Some Damaging Winds

Showers and thunderstorms developed late yesterday and overnight, but this time, they concentrated across South Dakota and the southern third of Minnesota (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). There were quite a few wind damage reports across South Dakota and into Iowa, but winds did gust to 67 MPH at Granite Falls Airport and 69 MPH at Montevideo Airport. However, the main situation was a swath of heavy rainfall across southern Minnesota. Flash flood warnings are in effect from Montevideo to Albert Lea.

In central and northern Minnesota, there are a few scattered showers and thunderstorms wandering from west central and northwestern Minnesota into central Minnesota (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop). There is nothing severe about these storms, but they could produce locally heavy downpours, gusty winds, and hail during the early morning hours.

Small Chance for Storms Today in Central Minnesota

The low pressure area producing the storms will move from eastern South Dakota (see NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map) across southern Minnesota today (see NWS WPC Short-Range forecast map). That will leave a threat for some lingering showers this morning. There will also be more showers and thunderstorms developing this afternoon. The main severe weather threat will be across Wisconsin, central and eastern Iowa and points east. There could be a few widely scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon in central and southwestern Minnesota, but they will be few and far between.

We should break out into some sunshine for the midday and afternoon with temperatures climbing into the 80's and uncomfortable levels of humidity.

Warmer Week With Hottest Weather Wed-Fri

We will get slightly cooler and drier on Monday as dew points return to the uncomfortable low to middle 60's. However, the theme for the upcoming week is a stronger push of the Southern Plains heat and humidity northward. So, highs on Monday and Tuesday should remain in the 80's, which is warmer than the temperatures we've have seen during most of the past week. Our best chance that Minnesota breaks out into the really hot and oppressive air will be from Wednesday through Friday. We might have a chance of showers and thunderstorms, especially Tuesday and Tuesday night as the teeth of the sultry air pushes northward. The computer forecasts don't show much of a chance, but I am a bit suspicious. At this point, Thursday looks to be the hottest day with the potential for highs well into the 90's and perhaps pushing 100 in southern and southwestern Minnesota.

A weak cool front could bring slightly less sultry air into northern and central Minnesota on Friday, but the heat core could break back over us for Saturday. That far out into the forecast, however, there might be some weak storm that is underforecast, raising the possibility for storms, and leaving enough clouds around to keep us cooler.

Still Flood Problems

There aren't any details yet about what specific areas already have flooding, except for the Tracy area. Later reports will spell this out, so be aware if you are planning to travel to southern Minnesota today.

Without any additional rain, the flood warning continues for the Mississippi River in the Aitkin and Fort Ripley areas and the Snake River in southern Kanabec and Pine Counties. River levels are expected to top off this afternoon with minor flooding. There is also a warning for the St. Croix River east of Hinckley in the Grantsburg and Danbury areas. The St. Croix will continue to rise into the weekend with record levels of flooding expected. The flood warning continues in Milaca and all of Kanabec County for the Rum and Snake Rivers. These rivers have topped out, but will only recede slowly.

MnDOT now shows only that Hwy. 70 is closed between Hwy. 65 and Hwy. 23. There is still standing water on Hwy. 27 west of Onamia, although the road is open. Also, Minnesota Hwy. 48/Wisconsin Hwy. 77 are closed at the St. Croix River. There are more flooding problems in northwestern Wisconsin. Watch for other county roads in the area with detours.

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Confidence Level: "I Will Still Have Dandruff Tomorrow"

Sunday 7/17: Maybe a lingering early shower, then partly sunny, windy, warmer, and sticky. A slight chance of a scattered afternoon shower or thunderstorm. High: between 80 and 85. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH in the morning, becoming WNW 15-30 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 40% in the morning, 20% in the afternoon.

Sunday Night: Partial clearing and turning a bit less humid with diminishing wind. Maybe some fog by morning. Low: between 60 and 65. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Monday 7/18: Sunny in the morning, partly sunny in the afternoon, lighter winds, and warm. Still uncomfortable humidity. High: between 82 and 86. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Confidence Level: "A Squirrel Will Squawk At Me" (they really hate me...)

Monday Night: Partly clear, warm, and sticky. A chance of a late night shower or thunderstorm. Low: between 60 and 65. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Tuesday 7/19: Partly sunny, breezy, continued warm, with increasingly uncomfortable humidity. A chance of a late day shower or thunderstorm. High: between 82 and 86. Winds: SE 15-25 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Tuesday Night: Partly clear, breezy, very warm and oppressively humid. A slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Low: between 66 and 72. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Wednesday 7/20: Partly sunny, breezy, hot, and oppressively humid. Heat advisory or warning likely. High: between 90 and 95. Winds: SW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Wednesday Night: Continued very warm and steamy. A slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Low: between 70 and 75. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Thursday 7/21: Partly sunny, breezy, hot, and oppressively humid. Heat advisory or warning likely. High: in the 90's to near 100. Winds: SW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Confidence Level: "The Cat Will Not Sit on My Grading"

Extended: Not quite as hot on Friday??? Remaining very warm and oppressively humid through at least Saturday???

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

Yesterday's High: 78F; Overnight Low (through 6 AM): 64F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 6 AM Sunday): 0.12 inch; SCSU Precipitation (through 6 AM Sunday): 0.18 inch

Normal Temperatures for July 17 - High: 83F; Low: 59F
Next Update: Thursday, August 4, 2016 8:00 AM (or as needed)

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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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