St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast

Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:20 AM

Prepared by Bob Weisman
Meteorology Professor
Saint Cloud State University
Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences Department

(forecast below this discussion)

Spring Returns After One Day Interlude

Brushed by Clouds Through the Morning

The large storm to our south did move northeastward yesterday (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), filling in the high and middle clouds and bringing rain showers as far north as the Twin Cities early this morning (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop). Temperatures didn't get quite as warm yesterday due to the thickening clouds (see 5-day graph of St. Cloud temperatures from MesoWest) and were also warmer in northern Minnesota, where there was more sun, than southern Minnesota (see Yesterday's High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany).

Despite the impressive looking counterclockwise circulation, the big storm is a bit weaker than it was at this time yesterday and will continue to weaken as it moves northeastward today. So, we have the thick clouds this morning, but eventually, the low level dry air from the high in central Canada (see NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map) will begin to erode the clouds this afternoon. So, highs will climb back into the middle 50's this afternoon.

Drying Out for Friday and Saturday

Then, we will resume the pleasant spring weather tomorrow and Saturday. Highs will return to near or above 60 with lows in the 20's to near 30.

Another Fringe Festival on Sunday and Sunday Night?

The next strong storm system that pushed into Nevada and Idaho overnight (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) will continue into the Plains states through the end of the week. By Sunday, this system will be moving northeastward, so we will again be on the northern fringe of the possible precipitation. Yes, I've noticed the severe back-and-forth in my Sunday forecast: yesterday, I had sunny with a shot at 70 and today, I have clouds and sprinkles with highs in the 50's, so the storm track has been jumping around a lot. However, I think there were hints the storm would come further north in yesterday's forecast and I ignored them. So, I'm putting us in the clouds for Sunday with some sprinkles and the chance for some light steady rain on Sunday night into Monday.

While we've been basking in the nice part of the weather pattern, a strong storm moved from the southern Rockies into the southern Plains overnight triggering a large outbreak of thunderstorms, some of them in Texas producing severe weather, from Nebraska to Texas yesterday. In the early morning hours, storms have produced wind gusts over 80 MPH in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. The rain is no closer to us than eastern Nebraska and Iowa but we have seen the high clouds try to move into Minnesota overnight. We will remain on the fringe of the storm track into the middle of next week. There may be a better chance for some mid-week precipitation, but it's too early to be sure.

There has been some spotty severe weather in the warm sector of this storm, with more on Tuesday than yesterday. There is a chance of more severe weather in the Ohio Valley today.

March Making One Last Push for Above Average

The March average St. Cloud temperature continues to climb, reaching 29.8 degrees through yesterday. That's 0.6 degrees above average, so we still could end up less than 1.5 degrees warmer than average. If we did, it would be the first month since last summer to come this close to average temperatures. The most rain I expect today and tomorrow is an early morning sprinkle, so we will remain near 0.67 inches in March, now -0.75 inch from normal. While there has been above average precipitation beginning just to our south and east, central and northern Minnesota has dodged most of the March precipitation with the least falling over the Lake Traverse area..

Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Sniff At My Feet While I'm Forecasting"

Thursday 3/30/2017: Morning clouds and spotty drizzle, maybe some afternoon sunny breaks, and a shade cooler. High: between 52 and 56. Winds: ENE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Thursday Night: Cloudy evening, some clearing late and a touch cooler. Low: between 24 and 28. Winds: NE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Friday 3/31/2017: Sunshine through high clouds, and mild again. High: between 55 and 60. Winds: NE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Want Petting with One Hand, While I'm Typing the Forecast"

Friday Night: Partly clear, light winds, and cool. Low: between 28 and 33. Winds: E 5 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday 4/1/2017: Mixed clouds and sun and warmer. High: between 60 and 65. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday Night: Clear evening, clouding up late. Low: between 32 and 36. Winds: E 5 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday 4/2/2017: Mostly cloudy with a chance of sprinkles or light rain. High: between 50 and 55. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Forecast That Most Precipitation Will Be in the Form of Lettuce"

Sunday Night: Cloudy with periods of rain. Low: between 38 and 43. Winds: SE 5 MPH, becoming W 5-10 MPH late. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.

Monday 4/3/2017: Morning clouds, afternoon sun, and not as chilly. High: between 55 and 60. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Extended: A chance for more precipitation 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.

Yesterday's High: 52°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 37°F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 3 AM Thursday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Thursday): None

March 30 Historical Data High Low
Average Temperatures 47°F 26°F
Record Temperatures 79°F (1968) 50°F (1967)
13°F (1923,1969) -7°F (1969)

Next Update: Friday, March 31, 2017 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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