Local Forecast

Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:25 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


Soaking Rain To Resume Later This Morning

Late April Showers To Resume Late in the Weekend

The slow-moving storm system has reached the Central Plains (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). We've had mostly a break of from the steady rainfall overnight (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations), but that won't last. Showers and thunderstorms blossomed from Nebraska to Oklahoma yesterday afternoon and evening and have been pushing northeastward through the night. Those showers, which have reached the Minnesota-Iowa border in the early morning hours (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop), will continue to drift northeastward this morning, so the rain will resume shortly after daybreak and continue through midday. There could be some thunder in this rain. This could add more substantial rainfall to the 0.38 inch we've already picked up since yesterday afternoon.

As this slow-moving storm continues to ease eastward, we will see some improvement. The morning rain will taper off to just occasional showers this afternoon into early evening with partial clearing likely by tomorrow morning. The sunshine will finally return tomorrow midday and afternoon and stay with us through Saturday. Temperatures will remain in the miserable, wet 40's today and drop back to the upper 30's tonight. But, with the return of sunshine, readings will climb back into the 50's tomorrow and Saturday.

However, there's quite a traffic jam of storm systems from the West Coast out into the middle of the Pacific (see Pacific infrared loop from Colorado State RAMDIS). The second in the series of storms (not the one landfalling in Washington, but the one producing the clouds to the south of the Alaskan Aleutian Islands) will push southeastward into California by tomorrow, then strength as it moves through the Central Rockies and into the Southern Plains. That will drag loads of moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico and pull it northward. In the meantime, the cool Canadian high that will allow our weather to clear out tomorrow will stay in southern Canada, locking in cool air near the ground. The southern storm will pump warm air over top of the cool air, producing the ingredients for more substantial rainfall.

Clouds will redevelop on Saturday night as that warm air begins to rise over the cool air near the ground. We could see some on-and-off rain showers late Saturday night and Sunday, but it won't be a complete washout. The heaviest precipitation will come from leftovers from the likely severe weather outbreak in the Southern Plains, beginning Sunday and continuing into early next week. This raises the possibility of some heavy rainfall here beginning Sunday night and continuing through the first part of next week.

It will remain quite cool during this rainy period with temperatures again stuck in the 40's. On top of that, the strong high will produce strong east winds at 15-30 MPH with higher gusts.

This rain is needed to help green up the surface plants and to relieve the moderate drought conditions in central and southwestern Minnesota.

It is warm season severe weather awareness week this week. Today's the day of the statewide tornado drill. You can find information about safety steps in severe weather through links provided by the National Weather Service and the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

See Forecast Below

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Current Watches/Warnings

Ground and Air Travel




Thursday 4/24: Showers and thunderstorms redeveloping in the morning. Heavy rain possible. Steady rain tapering to occasional showers this afternoon. Still very cool. High: between 47 and 52. Winds: E-SE 5-15 MPH in the morning, becoming NW 10-20 MPH in the afternoon. Chance of measurable rainfall: 100% this morning, 50% in the afternoon.

Thursday Night: Chance of evening rain showers, then cloudy and a shade cooler. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: W 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Friday 4/25: Becoming partly sunny and not as miserable. High: between 55 and 60. Winds: WNW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Friday Night: Partly clear, still breezy, and cooler. Low: between 30 and 35. Winds: E-NE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday 4/26: Mostly sunny and continued a bit on the cool side. High: between 54 and 58. Winds: E 10-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday Night: Thickening clouds, windy, and cold with a chance of rain or showers developing. Low: between 34 and 38. Winds: E 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 40%.

Sunday 4/27: Cloudy with a chance of occasional rain showers, windy, and chilly. High: between 45 and 50. Winds: E 15-30 MPH Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.

End of "Reasonable" Forecast Certainty

Sunday Night: Rain and showers likely. Continued chilly. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: E 15-25 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 70%.

Monday 4/28: More rain likely. Continued chilly and windy. High: between 45 and 50. Winds: E 15-25 MPH Chance of measurable rainfall: 70%.

For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Extended: Slow improvement towards the middle of next week. Highs near 50 on Tuesday. Good supply of sunshine returns Wednesday. Highs in the 50's.

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 9 Thursday, 8 Thursday night and Friday, 7 Friday night and Saturday, 6 Saturday night and Sunday, 4 Sunday night and Monday, 3 Tuesday and Wednesday.

Yesterday's High: 47F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 41F
St. Cloud Prison Storm Total Precipitation (through 3 AM): 0.38 inch; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM): TBA

Normal Temperatures for April 24 - High: 61F; Low: 36F
Next Update: Friday, April 25, 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!

Are you interested in studying meteorology? If so, go to the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department home page.

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