Local Forecast

Friday, August 28, 2015 7:05 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


Clearing the Way for Late Summer Warmth

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Rain Blob Misses Central Minnesota

The slow-moving low pressure system that took a vacation through the Rockies this week has moved slowly southeastward over the past day, so it developed showers and thunderstorms in South Dakota Wednesday night (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu).. Late yesterday and last night, the main area of storms has developed in eastern South Dakota, Iowa, and southern Minnesota (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop). Those storms are heading towards southeastern Minnesota and some might brush the Twin Cities. However, in central Minnesota, we've mainly seen just the middle and high clouds from those storms, so we've only had a few sprinkles. There are some patchy low clouds to our north near Lake Mille Lacs, Brainerd, and Aitkin (see NWS Aviation Center Minnesota map) and even a bit of fog, but with the stronger storms developing further to the south late at night in Nebraska and Iowa, we will likely only see some of these patchy middle clouds today. In fact, I'm hopeful to see sunshine much of the afternoon. With the storms relatively close, dew points will stay in the noticeable upper 50's to the uncomfortable lower 60's. High temperatures will be in the upper 70's, close to where they're supposed to be in August's last week.

After the storm finally pushes on, we will get a taste of the hotter air that has been producing highs in the middle to upper 90's and even some 100's from Kansas southward. This heat will first extend into Wyoming, Montana, and even southern Canada, then try to push eastward. That should allow high temperatures to return to the 80's this weekend. Dew points will stay about where they are now, so humidity will at least be noticeable and uncomfortable at times. The relatively high moisture will ensure our low temperatures will mostly stay in the upper 50's Friday and Saturday night. With light winds, we might see some areas of fog by morning, Very mild 60's are likely on Sunday and Monday nights as a south wind persists all night.

There will be a chance of some overnight showers and thunderstorms as the warmer air pushes in Saturday night. Still, it won't be a great chance for storms, as they will remain scattered. It is possible that there would be more overnight storms Sunday, Monday, and even Tuesday nights. Right now, the computers are putting the best chances for storms in southern Canada, but I can't completely rule out storms here. However, with storms not likely in central Minnesota, we will have a better chance of sunshine each day, which will raise our chances to break 90 degrees.

The general warm and humid pattern will continue from the Plains into the western Great Lakes through a good chunk of the work week. At this point, the computers are showing storms from the Pacific moving northeastward through Washington state and into the Canadian Prairie Provinces, so no cold front strong enough to end the humidity is being predicted through late next week. It is possible that more blobs of thunderstorms from the southwest, like the one in northwestern Mexico, could get caught up in the big Rockies whirlpool and end up in the Northern High Plains. That would give some area a chance of similar thunderstorms to what we see to our south. However, the computers don't forecast these systems very well 3-5 days in the future. I am carrying some 20% chances for thunderstorms in the early week forecasts, just in case this happens. Otherwise though, the atmosphere looks primed to give us another taste of summer humidity and perhaps heat as we end August and head into September.

Erika Moving Through the Larger Caribbean Islands

Tropical Storm Erika continues its west to northwest movement. You can see satellite pictures of the storm from the University of Wisconsin's Space Science and Engineering Center's tropical Atlantic satellite (click on the tropical storm symbol east of Cuba to get the viewer). Erika has about maintained the same strength in the past day with top winds of 50 MPH. Those winds are beginning to move over Puerto Rico early this morning and the storm is expected to affect Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti today.Over the weekend, Erika will move into more open water over the Bahamas and could approach the Atlantic coast of Florida by late in the weekend. It is possible that Erika can intensify into a hurricane over the weekend, but the National Hurricane Center forecasters admit that's an even shakier forecast than usual.

If you go back to the University of Wisconsin's Space Science and Engineering Center's tropical Atlantic satellite, you can also get close up views of two Pacific hurricanes (Ignacio and Jimena) and one tropical storm (Kilo the furthest west). Ignacio may cause some weather problems for Hawaii late in the weekend.

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Confidence Level: "I Will Still Have Dandruff Tomorrow"

Friday 8/28: Partly cloudy with more sunshine as the day goes on. Seasonably warm and noticeably humid. A slight chance of a sprinkle. High: between 72 and 76. Winds: S 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Friday Night: Partial clearing with light winds and a shade cooler. Areas of fog developing late at night. Low: between 55 and 60. Winds: light SW. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday 8/28: Sunny, breezy, warmer, and still uncomfortably humid. High: between 80 and 85. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Confidence Level: "The Twins Will Finish Above .500"

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy and warm. A chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Low: between 62 and 66. Winds: S 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Sunday 8/29: Sunny, breezy, very warm, and uncomfortably humid. High: between 84 and 88. Winds: S 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, breezy, warm, and humid. Low: between 65 and 70. Winds: S 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Monday 8/30: Sunny, breezy, hot, and uncomfortably humid. High: between 90 and 95. Winds: S 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Monday Night: Partly cloudy, breezy, warm, and humid. Maybe some scattered storms overnight. Low: between 67 and 72. Winds: S 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Tuesday 8/31: Sunny, breezy, hot, and uncomfortably humid. High: between 90 and 95. Winds: S 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

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

Extended: Continued very warm to hot and humid through much of next week???

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Wednesday and Wednesday night, 7 Thursday, 5 Thursday night through Saturday, 4 Saturday night and Sunday.

Yesterday's High: 77F; Overnight Low (through 7 AM): 55F
St. Cloud Airport 24-Hour Precipitation (through 7 AM Friday): None; SCSU Precipitation (Through 7 AM Friday): None

Normal Temperatures for August 28 - High: 77F; Low: 54F
Next Update: Monday, August 31, 2015 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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