Local Forecast

Saturday, May 28, 2016 3:18 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


Soggy Saturday and Start to Sunday, Then Drier Second Half of Weekend

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One Storm Leaves, Another Approaches

Persistent rain showers dominated the midday and afternoon (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) as a weak low pressure area moved from eastern Nebraska around midnight Thursday night across Minnesota on Friday. That system moved out last evening (see water vapor loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), but the main storm system that finally pushed into Kansas and Nebraska has set off a couple of surges of showers and thunderstorms. One of them is departing the Arrowhead in the early morning hours (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop), but the second wave associated with the center of that low is spreading from eastern Nebraska and northern Iowa into southern Minnesota early this morning. This second system will dominate our weather today.

Persistent Rain, But Heaviest Stays to Our South(??)

The leftover showers and thunderstorms to our south will push across southern Minnesota in the early morning hours and could reach central Minnesota by mid-morning. There will be a tendency for these showers to shrivel through the middle of the day. However, with the main low expected to drift across northern Iowa and into southeastern Minnesota today, especially plenty of showers and thunderstorms to redevelop throughout the afternoon and evening. The heaviest rain will likely concentrate near the Iowa-Minnesota border and into western Wisconsin, but we should have a mostly cloudy day with frequent showers and perhaps a thunderstorm through the afternoon and evening. Yesterday's high didn't make it out of the 60's (see 3-day loop of NWS/University of Albany high temperature maps), thanks to the persistent clouds and rain, and temperatures won't get much further today. If we do get some breaks in the rain, we may have a chance for temperatures to break 70 degrees, but it won't be as warm as Thursday.

Because there will be so many clouds, there is only a small chance that some storms produce hail or strong winds. A bigger threat is heavy rainfall. The greatest chance of both will be near the Minnesota-Iowa border.

Lingering Shower Chances into Sunday

The forecast has now slowed down the progression of the low pressure system through Minnesota and Wisconsin, so we will likely see lingering clouds and the chance of at least occasional showers all the way into tomorrow morning. A drying trend will begin by late morning and continue into the afternoon. There should be some sunny periods, allowing temperatures to climb into the upper 70's to near 80. However, I can't rule out a few scattered showers and thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon. Any rain won't be as persistent as what we saw yesterday and what is expected today. Still, have the rain gear handy just in case tomorrow.

Memorial Day Best Weather of the Weekend

Memorial Day now appears to be the best weather day of the long weekend. Slightly drier air will move in, allowing temperatures to climb back into the 80's with very little threat for rain.

More Storms Tuesday and Wednesday??

The humid pattern with frequent storms will continue into next week. The next storm system could bring showers and thunderstorms into Minnesota by late Monday night and Tuesday. Those storms will continue into Tuesday night. Severe weather is forecast in the Dakotas and High Plains on Monday and that threat could move into Minnesota on Tuesday. Cooler weather is on tap for Wednesday with the chance for occasional showers. It looks like conditions will finally dry out, but it will take until late next week for that to happen.

First Atlantic Tropical Storm to Hit South Carolina??

June 1 is the traditional beginning of the Atlantic tropical weather season, but a cluster of showers and thunderstorms to the north of the Bahamas (large picture from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu; close-up loop from NWS/Satellite Services Division) has organized into a tropical depression. This system is expected to move to the South Carolina coast today. The storm is headed over very warm water (temperatures in the 80's), but has upper-levels winds which are a bit on the strong side for development. This system could still develop into Tropical Storm Alex if the winds pick up a little bit. The main threat is heavy rain and gusty winds.

Tornadoes East of Moorhead

There were three brief tornado touchdowns in the Red River Valley yesterday afternoon. Some pine trees in a wind break were damaged outside of Moorhead with brief touchdowns seen in Sabin. By the way, the quote that these were "cold-air funnels" is misleading, since there was a fair amount of both unstable air in the eastern Red River Valley.

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Confidence Level: "I Will Still Have Dandruff Tomorrow"

Saturday 5/28: Cloudy with showers and thunderstorms possible from mid-morning into early afternoon. Better chance of showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon. Heavy downpours are possible. High: between 67 and 72. Winds: NE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 90%.

Confidence Level: "A Squirrel Will Squawk At Me" (they really hate me...)

Saturday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Low: between 55 and 60. Winds: shifting to NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 80%.

Sunday 5/29: Any lingering showers ending early, then mixed clouds and sun with a chance of scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Still humid. High: between 77 and 82. Winds: W-NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 40%.

Sunday Night: Partly clear and less humid. Areas of fog possible by morning. Low: between 52 and 56. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Monday 5/30: Sunny to partly cloudy, breezy, and less humid. High: between 80 and 85. Winds: S 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Monday Night: Clear early, clouds late with a chance of a late night scattered shower or thunderstorm. Low: between 54 and 58. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Tuesday 5/31: Cloudy with a chance of both early morning and late day showers and thunderstorms. Maybe some midday sun. High: between 77 and 82. Winds: S 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.

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

Tuesday Night: Good chance of evening showers and thunderstorms, then partial clearing, breezy, and beginning to dry out late at night. Low: between 54 and 58. Winds: SE evening, becoming W 8-15 MPH late at night. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.

Wednesday 6/1: Mostly cloudy with occasional light showers or sprinkles, especially in the afternoon, breezy, and cooler. High: between 64 and 68. Winds: WNW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Extended: Drying out the second half of next week.

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 6 Saturday, 5 Saturday night through Monday, 4 Monday night and Tuesday, 3 Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Yesterday's High: 67F; Overnight Low (through 4 AM): 57F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 4 AM Saturday): 0.34 inch; SCSU Precipitation (through 4 AM Saturday): TBA

Normal Temperatures for May 28 - High: 72F; Low: 48F
Next Update: Sunday, May 29, 2016 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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