Monday, April 21, 2014 3:51 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
Spring-y Through Tomorrow, Then Spring Showers Middle to Late Week
Yesterday again was the warmest day of the spring so far. High temperatures climbed to 75 degrees in St. Cloud (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations), 77 in Brainerd, and as warm as 81 in Luverne. It was St. Cloud's warmest day since October 10.
It will remain warm, but not quite as warm as yesterday, during the next couple of days. A cold front has pushed into western Minnesota (see NWS
HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map). Since the air is still fairly dry ahead of it, there are only a few clouds (see infrared loop from College
of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) and a couple of wandering showers and thunderstorms (see NWS
Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop) ahead of it. This front will be through by mid-morning, allowing skies to clear. While it won't be quite as warm as yesterday, temperatures will still climb close to 70 degrees. There will be a gusty west-northwest wind behind the front. The combination of warm air, low humidity, strong winds, and ground that hasn't greened up yet will make for a very high fire danger. A red flag warning, the highest level of fire danger, is in effect for southwestern Minnesota all the way to Lac qui Parle and the Minnesota River Valley.
Tomorrow won't be as warm or quite as windy as today. Look for highs to climb into the lower half of the 60's after a start in the 30's and lighter northwest winds.
However, our warm weather pattern will change over to a showery one for the middle of the work week. The next storm system arriving on the British Columbia coast (see infrared loop from College
of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) will slowly push into the Central US. It will repeat the cycle of pumping warm air over the cooler air ahead of it, but that warm air will be more moist than what we saw over the weekend. So, there will be a better chance of showers and thunderstorms. Clouds will thicken on Tuesday night with a chance of some scattered Wednesday morning showers. The support for organized showers and thunderstorms will wane the second half of Wednesday, but we may have a lot of lingering clouds. That will keep highs down to the 50's. A low pressure system will move into Minnesota by early Thursday morning, spreading a better chance of showers and thunderstorms from late Wednesday night into Thursday. We'll still be on the mild side of the front, so we may salvage one last high in the 60's on Thursday.
Back on the Cold Side for the Weekend
Much colder air will move in behind this storm and stay for the weekend. There will be some rain showers and perhaps some snow showers Thursday night, but it's too early to get worried about how much snow. Skies will produce some sunny breaks by Friday afternoon, but it will likely be the first of two days with highs in the 40's. The weekend looks sunnier, but still chilly. We could see some 20's for lows with those Saturday highs in the 40's. Low 50's will be possible for Sunday.
The long-range forecasts show a major warm-up for the last couple of days of April, so we won't have the chilly air for long. Still, it's really hard to get non-stop above normal temperatures.
"Career" Snow Season Achievement Awards Keep Climbing
It took until Sunday for the snow cover to officially disappear. So, St. Cloud has reached 130 days with at least an inch on the ground this cold season. That's only the 17th time on record. The actual April snowfall total is now 12.0 inches, which ranks as the 4th snowiest April on record. The total seasonal snowfall in St. Cloud is 75.5 inches, tying 1916-1917 for 5th place and only 3 inches short of last cold season's ridiculous 78.5 inches. And, the February-April snowfall is 32.7 inches, ranking as the 10th most on record.
See Forecast Below
Ground and Air Travel
Monday 4/21: Maybe a lingering early shower, then sunny, breezy, and warm again. High: between 65 and 70. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.
Monday Night: Mostly clear and cooler. Low: between 34 and 38. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Tuesday 4/22: Partly sunny, less windy, and not quite as warm. High: between 60 and 65. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Tuesday Night: Clouding up and not quite as cold. Low: between 44 and 48. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.
Wednesday 4/23: Chance of morning showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy with perhaps some afternoon sunny breaks. Cool. High: between 50 and 55. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.
Wednesday Night: Good chance of showers and thunderstorms, especially late at night. Low: between 44 and 48. Winds: E-SE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 70%.
End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty
Thursday 4/24: Chance of morning showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy in the afternoon. High: between 60 and 65. Winds: E 5-15 MPH, becoming WNW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.
Thursday Night: Cloudy with perhaps some rain or snow showers. Low: between 32 and 36. Winds: N 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 40%.
Friday 4/25: Morning snow flurries, afternoon partial clearing, breezy and cooler. High: between 45 and 50. Winds: N 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 30%.
For Entertainment Purposes Only.
Friday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and cooler. Low: between 28 and 32. Winds: N 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%.
Saturday 4/26: Increasing sunshine, but still chilly. High: between 42 and 46. Winds: N 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Saturday Night: Clear and chilly. Low: in the 20's. Winds: light N. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Sunday 4/27: Sunny and not quite as cool. High: between 50 and 55. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Extended: Warmer weather to return to end April and begin May.
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 through Wednesday night, 5 Thursday, 4 Thursday night and Friday, 3 Friday night through Sunday.
Yesterday's High: 75°F; Overnight Low (through 4 AM): 49°F
St. Cloud Prison Storm Total Precipitation (through 4 AM): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 4 AM): None
Normal Temperatures for April 21 - High: 60°F;
Next Update: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 8:00 AM (or as needed)
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.