Local Forecast

Friday, December 2, 2016 2:52 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


I've Looked At Clouds From......SUN, PLEASE!

Stubborn Low Clouds Hanging In

On the average, December and November are Minnesota's cloudiest months. This is usually due to cold air masses moving in, but this pattern in which the air is blowing from places that had recent rain or snow isn't that unusual. Even the stubborn low pressure system moved off to the east yesterday (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), there continues to be a wide area of low clouds from Minnesota into the eastern Dakotas (see the Colorado State RAMDIS Western US Fog/Reflectivity Product) and more importantly, in Manitoba and Ontario where our air is coming from (see the wide area of filled-in circles, showing completely cloudy skies on this hour's sky cover map from UCAR).

Slightly Cooler Air Through Tomorrow

We may have a chance of seeing a few glimpses of sun today or tomorrow, but that will about do it. The air over us is slightly cooler than what we've seen during the past couple of days, so early morning temperautres are hovering around 30 degrees (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations).

Today, expect highs to be limited to the low to middle 30's. Tonight, lows will drop back into the 20's with temperatures only rebounding back to the middle 30's tomorrow.

Milder Air Sunday and Monday Won't Likely Clear Skies

By Sunday morning, milder air will try to move in over the top of the old cold air near the ground. That will give us a chance at some very light snow or flurries early Sunday. The warm air over the top of the cold air will trap the moisture near the ground, so I'm not expecting much in the way of sunshine Sunday or Monday. However, temperatures will moderate to the middle to upper 30's.

The best chance for cleaning out the clouds is when a stronger cold front comes through Monday night. There may be some flurries or sprinkles Monday evening, but the winds will switch to northwest and increase to 10-25 MPH behind it. Temperatures will fall to the middle to upper 20's early Tuesday.

Colder Next Week, But How Cold?

On Tuesday, a chunk of the really chilly air in central and northern Alaska (readings in the -20s and even -30s on the UCAR Alaska chart) could be moving into Minnesota and camp out here for the rest of the week. The computer forecasts have not been consistent about how cold we get from one run to the next. My best guess is that temperatures won't budge much from overnight lows on Tuesday. Readings will stay in the 20's with some strong winds. We might see highs only in the teens on Wednesday, but that's a shakier forecast. Still, it appears we will actually see colder than average temperatures during the middle of next week.

The final snowfall totals from the western Dakotas show a large area with more than 8 inches. Bismarck and Minot had more than a foot and those heavy snowfalls extended into the Black Hills. The Dakotas and Maine are the main non-mountainous areas in the Continental US with deep snow cover.

Otherwise, a storm moving through the Southern Rockies (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) will set up the Gulf Coast for another round of important rainfall through the weekend.

Finishing a Toasty Fall

The average St. Cloud November temperature was 40.0 degrees, 9.6 degrees above average. So, we just finished the second warmest November in St. Cloud records. The combined average of September, October, and November also put St. Cloud in a tie for 4th place among the warmest falls, very close to last fall's temperature. If we were to have average temperatures in December, 2016 would tie for the 6th warmest year in St. Cloud records. You can find this and more information in the St. Cloud November and Fall 2016 weather summary.

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Confidence Level: "It Will Be Cloudy Today"

Friday 12/2: Mostly cloudy with perhaps a few sunny breaks, and continued seasonably cold. High: between 30 and 35. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%

Friday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy and continued cool. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

Confidence Level: "It Will Be Cloudy Most of the Week"

Saturday 12/3: Mixed clouds and sun, breezy, and seasonably cold. High: between 32 and 37. Winds: S 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, breezy, and milder. Maybe a flurry late. Low: between 27 and 32. Winds: S 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Confidence Level: "A Cloud Will Remain Over My Head for the Next Year"

Sunday 12/4: Mostly cloudy with light snow or flurries possible morning and midday. Maybe some afternoon sunny breaks. High: between 32 and 36. Winds: S 8-15 MPH, becoming W 8-15 MPH in the afternoon. Chance of measurable snowfall: 40%

Sunday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds: light W evening, becoming SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.

Monday 12/5: Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy, and milder. High: between 35 and 40. Winds: SW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%

Monday Night: Maybe an evening snow flurry, then turning breezy, and cold. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds: light W evening, becoming SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.

Tuesday 12/6: Cloudy, windy, and colder. Temperatures holding in the 20's. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%

Extended: Even colder on Wednesday with highs in the teens to near 20. Lows near zero.

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

Yesterday's High: 38F; Overnight Low (through 2 AM): 30F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 2 AM Friday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 2 AM Friday): None

Normal Temperatures for December 2 - High: 29F; Low: 13F
Next Update: Monday, December 5 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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