Weather

St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast

Thursday, June 4, 2020  4:00 AM

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

Watching More Clouds Than Just in My Coffee

Dry Yesterday Yielding to Storm Threats Today

In this relatively active weather pattern, we managed a dry day yesterday (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations), but showers and thunderstorms moved from the Dakotas into northern Minnesota overnight (see Shortwave Albedo from Colorado State satellite slider). There have been a couple of strong storms to our north (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop), but the best moisture has been kept to our south by the large thunderstorm complexes over Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. That has kept the moisture supply over the Northern Plains relatively modest as ground dew points remain in the 40's in North Dakota and Minnesota, and in the 50's to near 60 in South Dakota (see NWS Aviation Weather Center METAR map).

There is a fairly strong storm pumping the hot and humid air northward. That storm is on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border (see Mid-tropospheric water vapor loop from Colorado State satellite slider) and will move to the US-Minnesota border over the next 24 hours. That heat and humidity pump will move eastward and a jet streak (dark area moving into Washington state on that water vapor loop) will push eastward to South Dakota and Minnesota by later today. This combination of the increasing upper-level winds and the abundant moisture to the south has the NWS Storm Prediction Center concerned about the severe weather potential this afternoon and this evening. With the best heat and humidity still off to our south, it is uncertain how many showers and thunderstorms will develop over Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. The relatively strong upper-level winds should keep the storms moving rapidly, so the potential rainfall isn't going to be that great.

So, Chance of Storms Early, Better Chance Late, Sunshine In Between

To sum up today, we will likely end up being partly cloudy. There will be a few scattered showers and thunderstorms around for part of the morning, then we will likely see a good supply of sunshine through the middle of the day into the middle afternoon. Then, there will be a better chance for showers and thunderstorms late this afternoon through midnight. However, there is the chance that the bulk of the storms stay in southern Minnesota or even further to the south. Highs will climb into the lower 80's and may climb into the middle 80's if we have limited cloud cover this morning. The humidity won't be as high as it was on Monday and Tuesday with dew points perhaps only making it to the noticeable 50's.

Drier and Slightly Cooler Friday and Saturday

The drier air will again win out for tomorrow and Saturday. So, we will likely see more sunshine and perhaps some slightly cooler temperatures. Highs will climb to the lower 80's tomorrow and may only make it to about 80 on Saturday. Lows will be in the lower 50's tonight as the wind stays up, but could drop to near 50 by Saturday morning.

Return of Sticky Air Raises Potential for Saturday Night and Sunday AM Storms, Then ??????

The weather pattern is going to change by the second half of the weekend. A pair of strong low pressure systems, one to the west of southern California and the other well off the coast of Washington state (see Pacific Mid-Tropospheric water vapor loop from Colorado State satellite slider), will push into the western US by the weekend. This will create a southwest-to-northeast flow pattern from the Pacific into the Northern Plains. This will pump the really hot and sticky air through the Northern Plains and into the Canadian Prairie Provinces. That looks to have the potential of getting us really hot and humid early next week, but daily and especially overnight thunderstorms could cut down on the sunshine and determine if we can see sustained heat. If Minnesota is to get really hot, it appears that it might happen Sunday afternoon and especially Monday, but that's a bit uncertain right now.

I am a bit more confident in a shower and thunderstorm threat for Saturday night into early Sunday as the very warm and sticky air lifts over the seasonably warm and dry air over us. Then, either storms will reform over us Sunday afternoon or they will push to our north and we will have a chance to heat up.

Since the amount of moisture will be relatively high, there will also be the potential for heavy rainfall and severe weather in any storms we end up with.

Tropical Storm Cristobal Flooding Central America, Could Bring Rain to US Gulf Coast Next Week

Tropical Storm Cristobal, the complex of heavy thunderstorms over extreme southern Mexico, moved into Mexico yesterday. Still, the storm is expected to move back over the Gulf of Mexico beginning tomorrow. This would allow the storm to regain strength and pump its showers and thunderstorms over the US Gulf Coast. That could produce at least heavy rainfall over the US Gulf by the weekend and early next week. There is the possibility that the leftover moisture could fuel thunderstorms in the interior US, but it's much too early to be sure.

St. Cloud May and Spring Weather Summary Shows Dryness of Past Four Months

Rainfall is something we haven't seen much of over the past four months. The St. Cloud May and Spring 2020 weather summary shows that we have just completed the 9th driest May in St. Cloud records, dating back to 1897. Since February 1, when the heavy snowfall of the first half of the cold season slowed, there have been only 4.52 inches of precipitation, less than 60 percent of the average total. On top of that, most of our rainfall has come in three brief surges, accounting for more than 70 percent of the precipitation we have seen over that four-month period. That has taken us from having saturated soil in danger of flooding from last year's heavy rainfall to more reasonable soil moisture. Over that 4 month period, there also have been only 10 days with at least 0.10 inch of precipitation, the least since 1934.

Detailed St. Cloud, MN, and Vicinity Forecast


Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Hover Around Me While I'm Trying to Forecast"

Thursday 6/4/2020: Partly sunny, breezy, and continued warm. A chance of both morning and late day showers and thunderstorms. High: between 82 and 87. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%

Thursday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then partial clearing in the early morning hours. Low: between 53 and 58. Winds: E 5-15 MPH, shifting to N 8-15 MPH late. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.

Friday 6/5/2020: Sunny, breezy, and a bit cooler. High: between 80 and 85. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%

Friday Night: Partly clear, a bit of a breeze, and cooler. Low: between 50 and 55. Winds: NE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday 6/6/2020: Partly sunny, warm, and becoming more humid. High: between 77 and 82. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%


Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Try and Climb Up My Leg While I Try to Forecast"

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, breezy, warmer, and more humid. A chance of showers and thunderstorms late. Low: between 55 and 60. Winds: SE 8-18 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.


Confidence Level: "The Speed of the Rabbits' Nose-Wiggling is Proportional to the Temperature A Week From Now"

Sunday 6/7/2020: More humid with a good chance of morning showers and thunderstorms. Turning hotter and more humid in the afternoon. High: between 82 and 88. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 60%

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, breezy, very warm and sticky. A slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Low: between 62 and 68. Winds: SE 8-18 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Monday 6/8/2020: Partly sunny, hot and humid. A slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. High: between 88 and 95. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%

Extended: More storms Monday night and Tuesday???

Forecast Confidence (10 - "The Rabbits Will Thump, Objecting to Me Yelling at the Light Bulb"; 0 - "I Will Be Hosting a DIY Show on Home Repairs"): 7 Thursday through Friday, 6 Friday night and Saturday, 4 Saturday night, 3 Sunday, 2 Sunday night and Monday.

Yesterday's High: 83°F; Overnight Low (through 4 AM Thursday): 54°F
St. Cloud Airport Storm Precipitation (through 4 AM Thursday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Thursday): None

St. Cloud Daily Average and Record Temperatures
June 4 Historical Data High Low
Average Temperatures 74°F 50°F
Record Temperatures 95°F (1900) 67°F (1963)
45°F (1935) 33°F (1951)

Next Update: Friday, June 5, 2020 8 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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