Local Forecast

Friday, October 31, 2014 3:08 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


Make Sure Your Costume Has Layers

The reinforcing cool air mass arrived yesterday behind a cold front headed to the East Coast (see NWS HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map). Temperatures are already 8-14 degrees cooler than average along the Eastern Seaboard. This cold air is producing the first freeze of the season from Kansas and northern Oklahoma to Indiana this morning (oh, look...it's happening right near the average date of November 1). Yes, there was a little bit of snowfall with the Upper Michigan lakeshore expected to see 2-4 inches of lake effect snow by morning. As the cold air pushes to the East Coast, a storm will develop along the coast. In parts of the Appalachian Mountains, this storm will have enough cold air to produce 3-6 inches of snow in West Virginia and along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Then, as the storm heads northeastward, northern Maine could see a major snowfall with 4-8 inches on Sunday.

The next in the series of Pacific weather systems is already spreading rainfall from Washington to northern California (see radar loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). The northern half of the central valley of California could end up with its first significant rainfall in months over the next two days. As the storm interacts with the cooler air east of the Rockies, the heaviest snowfall of the season so far could hit Montana, Idaho, and the Yellowstone Park area. There are winter storm watches up in western Montana and adjacent parts of Idaho.

All of this forecast snow and the cooler than average temperatures along the East Coast have been making headlines....meaning it's been a pretty slow news week.

Minnesota will continue to have cooler than average temperatures with this morning's low likely to be the coolest of the season so far. Temperatures are already down into the 20's across much of the state (see NWS Aviation Center Minnesota map), so we will like see a low in the middle 20's by morning. St. Cloud's coolest low so far this fall was 27 degrees, set on October 11. There is still a biting north wind to go along with the cold temperatures. As advertised, sunshine will finally return today and the winds will be down a bit, but temperatures will again top out in the middle 40's. The 43 degree high on Wednesday was St. Cloud's coolest high since April 27. We could get close to that again today.

Tonight still shapes up to be a chilly night with at least calm winds and some late night high clouds. Expect temperatures early this evening to range from near freezing to the upper 20's for most Halloween activities. High and middle clouds will move in later, so lows probably will stay in the 20's. Still, tonight could end up having our coldest temperature since the 19 degree low on April 18.

We will see another chilly day on Saturday with filtered sunshine through high clouds. Temperatures will recover from the early 20-degree lows to climb well up into the 40's and perhaps make it to 50 degrees. A bit of moderation will continue on Sunday through Tuesday with highs probably making it into the 50's and lows "only" in the 30's. There may be a chance of some light rain showers or even a stray flurry late night Monday night or Tuesday night, but the threat of precipitation still looks low.

However, the overall weather pattern well into next week will continue to feature upper-air winds from northwest to southeast across western Canada (as you can see right now on the water vapor loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). That will allow a continued series of cooler than average air masses. Still, they won't be as cold as the one we have this morning, so look for more 50's than 40's. A colder air mass could move in later next week, but that's not certain at this point. The most unfortunate part of these temperatures is that they are pretty close to average for early November.

Also, note that Saturday night marks the end of Daylight Savings Time. We turn our clocks back an hour to Standard Time at 2 AM Sunday morning. This chart from timeanddate.com shows how much of the world uses Daylight Savings Time and when it comes to an end. Here's a current worldwide time zone clock to check your time as well.

The 0.01 inch of rain yesterday still leaves the St. Cloud rainfall since September 10 short of an inch (0.98 inch). The average over this period is 4.56 inches. At the end of September, St. Cloud's total rainfall ranked as the 4th highest through September. However, the slow down in rain means that the January through October rainfall total of 34.08 inches only ranks in 6th place among the first 10 months of the year. St. Cloud is still a bit more than an inch short of climbing into the top 10 wettest years on record. Despite the recent coolness, the St. Cloud Airport average temperature for October is still 49.1 degrees, 3.1 degrees warmer than normal. That will go down, but will end up being around two and a half degrees milder than average.

The heavy rain pattern along the Pacific Northwest has now produced a wide area of over 5 inches of rain from the coast of Washington into northern California. The next batch of rain is moving into Oregon right now (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) with at least some rain pushing into the northern Central Valley and San Francisco Bay area over the next couple of days.

See Forecast Below

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Current Watches/Warnings

Ground and Air Travel




Friday 10/31: The coolest day of the season so far. Sunshine returns. High: between 42 and 46. Winds: NE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Friday Night: Partly clear, diminishing wind, and quite chilly. Low: between 22 and 27. Winds: NE 5 MPH, becoming SE 5-10 MPH late. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday 11/1: Sunshine through high clouds, breezy, and slightly milder. High: between 45 and 50. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy, and not quite as cool. Low: between 30 and 35. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday 11/2: Partly sunny, breezy, and more reasonable. High: between 52 and 56. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday Night: Partly clear and continued cool. Low: between 34 and 38. Winds: SW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Monday 11/3: Sunny in the morning, some clouds in the afternoon, and continued mild. High: between 52 and 56. Winds: W-NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Monday Night: Cloudy and breezy with a slight chance of a sprinkle or flurry. Low: between 34 and 38. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Tuesday 11/4: Some early clouds, then sunshine returns. Breezy and continued seasonably mild. High: between 50 and 55. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Tuesday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and mild. A slight chance of a late night sprinkle or flurry. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: S 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Wednesday 11/5: Becoming partly sunny, windy, and milder. High: between 55 and 60. Winds: WNW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Extended: Continued reinforcing shots of cool air through next week.

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Friday through Sunday, 7 Sunday night, 6 Monday, 4 Monday night and Tuesday, 2 Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Yesterday's High: 47°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 28°F
St. Cloud Airport Rainfall (Since 7 AM Thursday): Trace; SCSU Rainfall (Since 7 AM Thursday): Trace

Normal Temperatures for October 31 - High: 49F; Low: 30F
Next Update: Monday, October 3, 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.

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