St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 4:00 AM
Prepared by Bob Weisman
Saint Cloud State University
Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences Department
(forecast below this discussion)Losing Battle Against Cold Air This Week
At this time yesterday, there was a front located right over central Minnesota (see 24-hour loop of NWS WPC surface maps). That front shifted northward during the day, allowing some sunshine through the high and middle clouds (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), so temperatures climbed to their warmest in the past week (see 5-day St. Cloud temperature graph from MesoWest), reaching the upper 60's and even 70's across southern Minnesota (see Yesterday's High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany). However, the low pressure area has moved from the western Dakotas into Minnesota (see NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map), pulling another wave of rain (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop) and even snow over the Northwest Angle (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart). More importantly, you can see the front with temperatures in the 50's and a southeast wind on the warm side and temperatures in the 30's and a northwest to the west of it.
Next System for Tonight: Most Likely Rain (Freezing Rain to North)
The rain showers will be winding down shortly as this first low moves on. However, the next storm in this series is already moving through Wyoming (see counterclockwise circulation on the infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). Rain is already breaking out in Nebraska and Kansas (see radar loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) with rain and even snow in Colorado and Wyoming. The precipitation from this system is expected to push into Minnesota this afternoon, reaching central Minnesota late this afternoon and lasting overnight. The forecasts of this next storm have been all over the place, and have only settled down a little bit. Still, the main trend for this storm over the past couple of days has been a track close enough to Minnesota to keep the ground warm enough so that all the precipitation would be rain here. There still could easily be more than half an inch of rain here with over an inch in southeastern Minnesota.
The main threat for some mixed precipitation or some freezing rain would be in north central and northeastern Minnesota. It could really be a bad Wednesday morning commute, possibly beginning as close to us as Brainerd, Aitkin, or Grand Rapids. However, the US computer forecast that is thought to handle the storm the best actually has enough cold air building in to raise the possibility of freezing rain in the St. Cloud area late tonight into early tomorrow. I'm discounting that possibility.
Lingering Wet Spots, Drizzle to Produce Icy Spots Wednesday Night??
The overall precipitation will be the heaviest from late today into the early morning hours, then taper to occasional rain showers tomorrow. As the storm slows down and moves into Ontario, we will stay in the clouds. On Wednesday night, this could cause some problems even here, since the cloud layer could be thick enough to produce drizzle or fine rain and temperatures will fall back below freezing. So, we could have some scattered icy spots coming into Thursday's commute.
Return to March Temperatures
While temperatures will be falling back into the 40's from early morning readings in the 50's (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations), it should dry out enough around midday for temperatures to return to the 50's. But, that's as mild as we will see from now likely through the weekend. By the time the rain arrives, temperatures will fall back into the 40's with a biting northeast wind. Look for temperatures to drop into the middle to upper 30's tonight and stay there tomorrow. Lows will drop into the 20's on Wednesday night when that threat for icy spots will develop. On Thursday, highs will only be in the lower 40's.
We should dry out a little bit Thursday and Friday, but with this series of low pressure systems, it will be hard to find cloudless air. So, there will be only a few sunny breaks on Thursday afternoon, but a shot at some sunshine on Friday. Low temperatures will again drop into the 20's Thursday and Friday nights.
Weekend Storm? Yes, But..
Then, there is the promised stronger storm for the weekend. That storm is actually the strong one off the Aleutian Islands of southwestern Alaska (see University of Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Center GOES-West infrared loop). This storm is expected to blast the Rockies late this week and move into the Plains over the weekend. We will be on the cold side of this system. Most of the precipitation from this storm, because it's late April, will be rain on the cold side. However, Wyoming and Colorado could see a major snowstorm. And, there is the chance of a narrow band of snow on the extreme northwestern fringe of the cold rain in the Plains. The latest computer trends have nudged the storm track eastward, possibly far enough to put us in light precipitation.
It is far too early to nail down precipitation amount and type, but we will continue to be on the cold side of the storm, so today may be the warmest day we have for at least the next week.
The combination of weekend rain and snow has pushed the Mississippi River out of its banks in the Aitkin area. Minor flooding is expected along the Mississippi between Aitkin and Brainerd. However, more rain (and other precipitation) could produce runoff problems later in the week.
Tuesday 4/25/2017: Mostly cloudy with perhaps a few sunny breaks, breezy, and cooler. A chance of steadier rain late in the afternoon. High: between 52 and 57. Winds: NE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20% in the morning, 60% in the afternoon.
Tuesday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and colder with rain likely. Breezy, and colder. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: N 10-25 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 90%.
Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Sit on Top of the Pile of Papers"
Wednesday 4/26/2017: Cloudy with occasional light rain or drizzle. A stray snowflake or sleet pellet could mix in at times. Windy and colder. High: between 35 and 40 (record cold high: 35 in 1950 and 2008). Winds: N 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 60%.
Wednesday Night: Cloudy with diminishing wind and colder. Spotty freezing drizzle or fine freezing rain possible. Any wet spots will freeze overnight. Low: between 24 and 28. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 30%.
Thursday 4/27/2017: Cloudy with perhaps a sunny break, breezy, and continued cold. High: between 40 and 45 (record cold high: 37 in 1950). Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Thursday Night: Clearing with diminishing wind and colder. Areas of fog possible. Low: between 24 and 28. Winds: N 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Friday 4/28/2017: Sunny in the morning, partly sunny in the afternoon, breezy, and still cool. High: between 45 and 50. Winds: NE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Only Eat Parts of the Bad Papers"
Friday Night: Mostly clear, breezy, and still chilly. Low: between 24 and 28. Winds: NE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Saturday 4/29/2017: Sunshine through increasing high clouds, breezy, and cool again. High: between 45 and 50. Winds: NE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.
Extended: A stronger storm spreads some more cold rain (maybe some snow in spots) Saturday night and Sunday???
Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 7 Tuesday, 6 Tuesday night, 5 Wednesday, 4 Wednesday night through Friday, 3 Friday night and Saturday, 2 Sunday.
Yesterday's High: 69°F; Overnight Low (through 4 AM): 55°F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 4 AM Tuesday): Trace; SCSU Precipitation (through 4 AM Tuesday): TBA
|April 25 Historical Data||High||Low|
|Record Temperatures||88°F (1962)||61°F (1990)|
|33°F (1950)||21°F (1907)|
Next Update: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:00 AM (or as needed)
- Full UCAR surface chart menu
- NWS Minnesota Hourly Weather Round-Up
- NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations
- MesoWest: Last 48 hours of St. Cloud Observations
- Full NWS Aviation Center Zoom-In Map
- Full College of DuPage surface map menu (click on surface map and area)
- NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map
- NWS WPC surface map menu
- Weisman's scale of Minnesota Muggy
- NWS WPC Short-Range forecast map
- NWS WPC 0-7 day forecast map loop
- NWS WPC three-day steering wind forecast
- US Air and Sports Net MN Wind Chill map
- NWS NOHRSC Snow Analyses
- College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu
- Colorado State RAMDIS Menu
- NESDIS GOES East Nighttime low cloud loop
- NASA GHCC Satellite Menu
- NWS GOES Geostationary Satellite Menu (Tropical Atlantic)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC US Real-Time Satellite Imagery
- NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop
- NWS Chanhassen radar loop (fancy graphics)
- NWS Chanhassen radar loop (no terrain; faster running)
- NWS Chanhassen radar loop and derived products (from College of DuPage)
- NWS National Radar Loop
- College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu (links to velocity and dual polarization data)
- Environment Canada Prairie Provinces radar loop
- Environment Canada Ontario radar loop
- US Watch/Warning Map from National Weather Service
- NWS Twin Cities Regional watch warning map
- Today's NWS Storm Prediction Center severe weather outlook
- Active Tropical Cyclones in eastern Pacific and Atlantic from NWS National Hurricane Center
- Potential Flooding Areas from the NWS Weather Prediction Center
- Air Quality Index from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- NWS Weather Safety Page
- CDC Natural Disaster and Severe Weather Safety
- Hot Weather Safety from the National Weather Service
- Severe Weather Safety from the National Weather Service
- NWS Sun/Ultraviolet Safety
- NWS Winter Storm Safety
- NWS Cold Weather Safety
- Yesterday's Storm Prediction Center severe weather reports are here
- NWS Hurricane Safety Page
- NWS National Hurricane Center overview of storm surge (coastal flooding)
- Minnesota MPCA hourly Air Quality Index
- Minnesota DNR Wildfire danger
- US Average Weather Related Deaths from NWS
Ground and Air Travel
- Yesterday's Saint Cloud Climate Summary
- St. Cloud Weather Summaries by month
- Minnesota State Climatology Office weekly growing season rainfall maps
- Minnesota State Climatology Office create your own precipitation table
- NWS Create Your Own Rainfall Map
- Yesterday's High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany
- This Morning's Low Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany
- Daily High/Low/Precip/Snowfall by Month (1997-current)
- National Weather Service Saint Cloud Daily Weather Site
- Saint Cloud Daily Normals, Records, and Extremes
- Bob Weisman's Ultimate Saint Cloud Climate Page
- NWS National High/Low Temperature Table and 2 Day Forecast
- Sunrise/Sunset Tables from US Naval Observatory
- St. Cloud Growing Season Rainfall and Departure from normal (at the bottom of this forecast each day)
- National Drought Mitigation Center's US Drought Monitor (updated on Thursdays)
- Minnesota Weekly Crop Progress and Condition Report from USDA NASS (updated on Mondays)
- DNR Waters Streamflow Report (updated on Mondays)
- NWS Create Your Own Rainfall Map
- More Drought Links (from the State Climatology Office, Minnesota DNR)
- Minnesota Major City Daily High/Low/Precip by Month (from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group)
- DNR Forestry/Fire Conditions page
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agencu lawn watering tips
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 Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences Department home page.