Local Forecast

Thursday, October 27, 2016 3:14 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


Pesky Low Clouds Ease Cool Down, But Could Limit Temperature Rebound into Saturday

The bulk of yesterday's rain ended early yesterday morning with one and a half to two and a half inches of rain in west central Minnesota and western Stearns County and 2-4 inches in south central and southeastern Minnesota (see 24-hour precipitation map from the National Weather Service), but we've remained in a thick patch of low clouds ever since (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). Those clouds have remained in Minnesota through the night as well (see Colorado State RAMDIS Western US Fog/Reflectivity Product). The clouds, cooler air, and spotty drizzle kept temperatures in about a 4 degree range in the low to middle 40's from Tuesday evening through this morning (see 2-day graph of temperatures from MesoWest). However, the main change is that yesterday's east winds have turned around to the south (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations). In this rapidly changing weather pattern, this means that we are already starting to get warm air aloft passing over the cooler air near the ground. The next bank of thicker clouds has already moved into the Dakotas and is trying to push into Minnesota above the lower clouds we already have (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu).

This means that we have already bottomed out in temperatures for this cool outbreak. The low clouds won't allow us to warm up that much today, but highs in the lower 50's will actually be close to the late October average high temperature. While we have both high clouds and low clouds, conditions will remain rather dry in the middle layers, so I would only expect a few sprinkles or light showers here and there, like the ones in west central Minnesota on the NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop.

Tonight, the warmer air will attempt to push into Minnesota. The southeast winds will be stronger, so temperatures will remain in the upper 40's to near 50. How warm we get on Friday depends on how well the new warm air can scour out the low clouds. We are beginning to get to the time of year when the sun's rays are so weak that they have trouble getting through a thick bank of low clouds, so warm sectors can stay cloudy. If we remain cloudy, high temperatures will have trouble getting out of the 50's. However, if we can get some sunshine, temperatures will climb back into the upper 60's. I'm going for a middle ground with highs in the middle 60's, but we'll see.

Above the bank of low clouds, the air will be dry, so I don't see much of a chance of Friday rain.

The fast moving pattern of storm systems will continue through the weekend, so the next cold front is due to push in Friday evening. There may be a few rain showers, but the mid-level dry air will keep the potential rainfall low. Cooler air will move in by Saturday. That and some more low clouds will keep high temperatures only around 50 (of course, I have serious raking to do then).

However, the next wave of warmer air pushing in will start by Sunday. I am hopeful of some sunshine, which will push highs back to the near average 50's. It could get even milder next Monday with the potential for highs in the 60's if we get enough sun. The following cold front would be due Monday night. At this point, that storm system appears to have a bit more moisture available, so there may be a better chance of rain showers on Monday night.

In fast-moving weather patterns like this one, the timing of weather systems can be off by a day at times, so I wouldn't write off Halloween evening just yet.

Despite the coolness yesterday, October 2016 has been a mild month in St. Cloud with the average temperature more than two and a half degrees warmer than normal.

Seymour Won't Produce Little Shop of Horrors in Pacific

Eastern Pacific Hurricane Seymour weakened quite a bit yesterday and overnight. Top winds are down to 110 MPH. This is because the storm is getting too close to another storm system that has the line of clouds from British Columbia into the Pacific. The stronger upper winds from the storm to Seymour's west will continue to weaken Seymour so much that it could lose its identity by the weekend. That western system will bring rain to much of the Pacific coast with the best chance of rain concentrating along the northern and central California coast through the weekend. Unfortunately, the most rainfall is needed further to the south (see US Drought Monitor)

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Confidence Level: "The Next 2 Weeks Will Seem Like Three Months"

Thursday 10/27: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of a shower, breezy, but not quite as cool. High: between 50 and 55. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%

Thursday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy, and much milder. Low: between 45 and 50. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Friday 10/28: Mostly sunny in the morning, partly sunny in the afternoon, breezy, and warmer. A slight chance of a late day shower. High: between 64 and 68. Winds: SW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%

Confidence Level: "There Will Be Life After This Election"

Friday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy with perhaps an evening shower, breezy, and still mild. Low: between 44 and 48. Winds: N 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Saturday 10/29: Thickening clouds with a slight chance of a shower, breezy, and cooler. High: between 47 and 52. Winds: NE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%

Saturday Night: Cloudy with perhaps some clearing late and colder. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: NE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday 10/30: Sunny to partly cloudy, light winds, and not quite as chilly. High: between 50 and 55. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%

Confidence Level: "There Will Be Intelligent Life After This Election"

Sunday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and not as cold. Low: between 40 and 45. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Monday 10/31: Mixed sun and clouds and warmer. High: between 62 and 66. Winds: S 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%

Extended: A better chance of rain or showers Monday night?? Not as warm Tuesday???

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 7 Thursday, 6 Thursday night and Friday, 5 Friday night and Saturday, 4 Saturday night and Sunday, 3 Sunday night and Monday, 2 Monday night and Tuesday. .

Yesterday's High: 44F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 41F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 3 AM Thursday): 0.52 inch; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Wednesday): TBA

Normal Temperatures for October 26 - High: 52F; Low: 32F
Next Update: Thursday, October 27 8:00 AM

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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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