Local Forecast

Friday, October 24, 2014 3:06 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


More 70's...Without the Disco Ball

Despite some early clouds and the late afternoon partial solar eclipse, temperatures roared into the lower 70's in central Minnesota (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations). St. Cloud got to 71 degrees yesterday afternoon with highs of 72 degrees at Fairmont, Jackson, Marshall, Morris, Redwood Falls (see Yesterday's High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany), Tracy, and Windom. Appleton, Madison, Montevideo, Moorhead, and St. James topped out at 73 degrees. The one area that didn't share in the warmth was southeastern Minnesota and much of Wisconsin as the low clouds we saw yesterday morning have hung around through the day and even overnight (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). There are dense fog advisories out basically to the east of I-35 in southeastern Minnesota, including Red Wing, Rochester, and Winona, and in northeastern Minnesota, including Hinckley, Moose Lake, Duluth, the Iron Range, and the Arrowhead as well as most of western Wisconsin. Visibility is reported well under a mile as close to us as Mora and South St. Paul (see NWS Minnesota Hourly Weather Round-Up).

Besides the morning fog, the only other obstacle in the way of making it back into the 70's today is a lot more high clouds streaming eastward from the northern Rockies (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). There's a large area of white on satellite, but note the hourly NWS Aviation Weather Depiction chart. Each station on this chart gives the height of any mostly cloudy layer above sea level. Note that the only reports east of Montana (Omaha, Grand Forks, Sioux Falls) show 25,000 feet. Most of the rest of the stations across Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Montana use a laser to detect clouds and are reporting none up to their limit of 12,000 feet. So, these high clouds will dim our sun a bit, but still let plenty through.

That means that temperatures will recover very well from early morning readings in the lower half of the 40's and even a few upper 30's (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart loop) to climb back into the 70's. We could even get within a few degrees of the October 24 record warm high, 77 degrees set in 1989.

Not Quite as Ridiculously Warm Weekend

A cold front, now over western Montana (see NWS HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map), will push through Minnesota tonight. Since this entire cloud system isn't producing any rain, except along the Washington, Oregon, and northern California coasts (see radar loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu and Environment Canada Prairie Provinces radar loop), the main effect of the cold front will be a shift to a west-northwest wind. We'll still see a lot of sun tomorrow and the wind will blow at 10-25 MPH, but temperatures will only be a little cooler than today. Highs will top out in the middle 60's, about 10 degrees cooler than today, but still around 10 degrees warmer than the average. Highs in the 60's will continue into Sunday.

October Returns....Tuesday

On Sunday night, another Pacific storm will be tracking through southern Canada. Earlier in the week, it looked like we had a chance at a good amount of rain, since some stronger storm was forecast to develop along this front after it pushed through central Minnesota. The newer forecasts don't have any such low, so we will see only a few showers late Monday into Monday evening. However, this stronger low pressure system will be able to tap the cooler air in the central Prairie Provinces (see NWS HPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map), so temperatures will actually be a little bit cooler than average by the time we hit Tuesday. Highs will only be around 50 or a little bit above, which isn't that unusual for late October, but it will be a good 10-15 degrees cooler than highs on Sunday and Monday and 20-25 degrees cooler than today's high. That coolness will come with a lot of instability clouds, a strong west northwest wind, and perhaps a few rain showers.

The coldest of the cold air will go by us on Tuesday and Tuesday night (lows in the 20's), so look for a bit of moderation Wednesday and Thursday. Highs will return to the 50's and there will be more sunshine.

See Forecast Below

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Friday 10/24: Sunshine through high clouds, and even warmer. High: between 70 and 75. (record warm high: 77 in 1989) Winds: SW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Friday Night: Partly clear, breezy, and seasonably mild. Low: between 45 and 50. Winds: NW 10-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday 10/25: Sunny, windy, and not quite as warm. High: between 62 and 66. Winds: NW 10-25 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday Night: Partly clear, diminishing wind, and cooler. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: NW 5 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday 10/26: Partly sunny, breezy, and a shade cooler. High: between 60 and 65. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and milder. Maybe some fog by morning. Low: between 44 and 48. Winds: E 5 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Monday 10/27: Early low clouds and perhaps some fog, then perhaps a few sunny breaks in the higher clouds during the afternoon, breezy, and continued seasonably mild. A slight chance of a late day shower. High: between 60 and 65. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Monday Night: Chance of evening rain showers, then clearing and cooler late. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 40%.

Tuesday 10/28: Windy and much cooler. Some early sun, then lots of midday and afternoon clouds with a chance of an afternoon shower. High: between 48 and 53. Winds: WNW 15-30 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Tuesday Night: Partial clearing, diminishing wind, and quite chilly. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds: light wind. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Wednesday 10/29: Sunny, breezy, and not quite as cool. High: between 54 and 58. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Extended: Seasonably cool through midweek with highs continuing in the 50's. Late week warm-up????

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

Yesterday's High: 71F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 43F
St. Cloud Airport Rainfall (Since 7 AM Thursday): None; SCSU Rainfall (Since 7 AM Thursday): None

Normal Temperatures for October 24 - High: 53F; Low: 32F
Next Update: Monday, October 27, 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!

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