Local Forecast

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 3:12 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


Cold Start to October

Another mostly cloudy and chilly day struck central Minnesota yesterday. The low clouds that have hung around since the cold front went through Sunday night stayed in the area yesterday (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). Only some late day sunshine allowed temperatures to try to climb back to near 60 (we didn't quite make it; see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations). Meanwhile, the strong storm over Colorado pushed into the Dakotas as expected overnight. Still, there hasn't been a lot of support for widespread showers and thunderstorms. The line that tried to move into central Minnesota last evening didn't make. There has been a late night surge in showers and thunderstorms in Iowa, eastern Nebraska, and Missouri (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop). So, we will see a better chance of some scattered showers around the morning rush hour. There have also been a few widely scattered showers in Minnesota. So, it looks like we could see a little bit of rain, but no big washout is likely.

Unfortunately, it does look like clouds will dominate today, so high temperatures will remain stuck in the upper 50's to perhaps near 60 once again.

Major Storm Keeps Clouds, Showers Around Through Tomorrow

Stuck looks to be the overall weather pattern from now right through the weekend. The Dakotas storm will pull northward into southern Canada, while the next low pressure system along the same front moves from the Southern Plains (see water vapor loop from the College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) into southern Wisconsin by late tomorrow afternoon (see NWS HPC Short-Range forecast map). That will trigger widespread showers and thunderstorms, but the bulk of those storms will likely stay just to the south and east of central Minnesota. However, as that storm intensifies, it will keep a lot of clouds around and pump the much colder air from the northern Prairie Provinces (see NWS HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map) into the Northern Plains by Friday.

You Thought It Has Been Cold This Week? Just Wait...

We could eke out a seasonably mild day tomorrow while today's low sits in Canada and the next storm is developing over the Southern Plains. With some peeks of sunshine, temperatures could climb back into the middle 60's. However, the strong push of cold air behind that northern front will come crashing into Minnesota Thursday night. Temperatures will fall back to the lower 40's by first thing on Friday and likely stay in the 40's all day long. There will be a strong west-northwest wind and the leading edge of the cold air will bring our best chance for some light rain showers. So, the wind and the cold rain will make it feel quite miserable. However, we may not see the worst of it. There will be a chance of an early season accumulating snow from the northern Red River Valley to the Rainy River and especially parts of the Arrowhead on Friday.

Over the weekend, we will be stuck in the cold air mass with a persistent northwest wind. There will likely be a lot of cold air instability clouds during the daylight hours, so the chilly temperautres won't be helped much by some sun. Early Saturday, we will have the core of the coldest air over us. Temperatures will likely drop below freezing throughout the area with some readings in the middle to upper 20's possible. Since the winds won't calm down, you won't see frost on the ground, but the temperatures could be cold enough to bring an end to the growing season for many of us. Readings will only be able to climb from their morning hole to the middle 40's at best on Saturday.

More clouds could keep Saturday night's low in the middle to upper 30's and highs on Sunday will moderate into the lower 50's. There still will be quite a few clouds around, especially during the afternoon, but it still will be breezy and Halloween-ish.

I don't even see a return to near-average temperatures Monday as we remain stuck in a cold weather pattern as Thursday night's storm is expected to park in Ontario and continue to circulate Canadian air through the Plains, Great Lakes, and mid-Atlantic states well into next week. We might have a day reprieve when temperatures have a shot at 60, but that would just set up the next cold air push.

Despite the coolness of this week so far, September finished with well-above average temperatures. The average St. Cloud temperature was 61.2°F, 2.6°F above average. Despite the huge early month rain, September has produced a total of 4.06 inches, 0.60 inch above average.

See Forecast Below

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Current Watches/Warnings

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Wednesday 10/1: Mostly cloudy with a chance of a few morning showers. Some spotty drizzle possible the rest of the day, breezy, and continued cool. Noticeable humidity. High: between 58 and 62. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Wednesday Night: Partial clearing, breezy, and turning cooler and drier again. Low: between 44 and 48. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Thursday 10/2: Sunshine through high clouds, breezy, and seasonable. A slight chance of a late day shower. High: between 62 and 66. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Thursday Night: Cloudy with a chance of showers, breezy, and cool. Low: between 40 and 45. Winds: WNW 10-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 40%.

Friday 10/3: Mostly cloudy with occasional rain showers, windy, and much cooler. High: between 45 and 50. Winds: NW 10-25 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.

Friday Night: Partly clear, breezy, and cooler. A hard freeze is possible. Low: between 27 and 32. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday 10/4: Mixed sun and clouds, breezy, and still chilly. High: between 42 and 46. (record cold high: 44 in 1952) Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Saturday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Not quite as chilly. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday 10/5: Sunny in the morning, mixed clouds and sun in the afternoon and not quite as ridiculously cold. High: between 50 and 55. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Sunday Night: Partly clear. Low: between 32 and 36. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Monday 10/6: Partly to mostly cloudy and continued chilly. High: between 50 and 55. Winds: W 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Extended: Cooler than average weather pattern continues into next week.

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Monday and Monday night, 7 Tuesday, 6 Tuesday night and Wednesday, 5 Wednesday night through Friday, 3 Friday night and Saturday, 2 Sunday.

Yesterday's High: 59°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 53°F
St. Cloud Airport Rainfall (Since 7 AM Tuesday): 0.01 inch; SCSU Rainfall (Since 7 AM Tuesday): TBA

Normal Temperatures for October 1 - High: 64F; Low: 40F
Next Update: Thursday, October 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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