Saturday, November 28, 2015 2:30 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
Quiet and Cold Through the Weekend
Coldest Morning of the Season So Far
Sunshine finally returned to Minnesota yesterday, although the biting wind and cold air mass made it the coldest day of the week. Temperatures only climbed into the middle to upper 20's (see Yesterday's
High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany). The winds finally eased off late yesterday and skies remained clear (see infrared loop from College
of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) as high pressure pushed into Minnesota (see NWS
WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map). Temperatures have dropped down into the lower teens and some single digits (see NWS
Aviation Center Minnesota map). So, this morning will likely be St. Cloud's first single digit low of the season, a temperature not seen since March 6 (low of 8 degrees).
Return Trip in Minnesota Cold But Uneventful
The generally sunny and cold weather will continue in the northern two-thirds of Minnesota today. We will have lighter winds and temperatures may get a shade warmer than yesterday, climbing to around 30 degrees. There will be a fair number of clouds across southern Minnesota from the stalled front that triggered the Thanksgiving snow flurries here and mixed bag to our south. Under clear evening skies, temperatures will again drop well down into the teens by midnight.
Potential for Minnesota's First Widespread Major Snowstorm Monday Night and Tuesday
However, that front to our south, which has been the main weather-maker for the US east of the Rockies, will be pulled back to the north from tomorrow through Tuesday. The driving force will be the stalled low in the Rockies (see water vapor loop from College
of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), which will be shoved eastward by a new eastern Pacific low. That means the heavy rains seen to our south (5-7 inches over North Texas) over the last several days will push into the Tennessee Valley. More importantly, an area of moderate precipitation will develop where the air aloft is cold enough to support snow. This may set the stage for Minnesota's first widespread major snowfall of the season early next week.
The clouds to our south will begin to spread into more of Minnesota the second half of tonight. However, the cold air near the ground remains very dry. That combined with the slow movement of the western storm means a day to a day and a half of thickening clouds. Expect sunshine dimmed by high and middle clouds tomorrow with highs climbing back above freezing. The clouds will keep Sunday night's low temperatures in the 20's, a good 10-15 degrees milder than this morning or tonight.
We likely won't see a lot of sunshine on Monday, but it will probably take most of the day or likely into the evening to squeeze out steady snowfall. Highs will hover around freezing.
At this point, the main event looks to be Monday night into Tuesday. The storm track could move a bit, but this system is strong enough to have a fairly wide snow swath. And, it looks like there will be plenty of cold air in place to keep the precipitation as snow. Pinning down the highest snowfall amounts and their location is a bit difficult now, but most of Minnesota could see on the order of 4-8 inches of snow with some places getting more.
After this storm goes by, it may be colder for a few days, since the snow reflects much of the sun's energy back to space. However, a jet stream across Canada will keep really cold air trapped in northern Canada. So, this new snowfall would likely not stay the whole winter.
Ice, Flooding Cause Major Southern Plains Problems
The main national travel problem has been the Kansas-Oklahoma ice storm of the past couple of days. Two have died on icy Kansas roads and the heavy rain has produced enough flooding to kill three people in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. The north Texas Metroplex broke its annual rainfall record of over 55 inches yesterday with still 5 weeks to go in 2015. The freezing rain will move into Kansas City today with heavy rains in Arkansas.
There aren't many delays listed on the FlightAware.com delays map but that swath of heavy precipitation could cause problems in Dallas-Ft. Worth and Denver later today. Locally, only Hwy. 1 near Lutsen is reporting some snow on the roads.
Here's some useful travel links for this week:
Ground and Air Travel
Confidence Level: "I Will Still Have Dandruff Tomorrow"
Saturday 11/28: Sunny, less windy, and continued cold. High: between 27 and 32. Winds: SW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%.
Saturday Night: Partly clear and cold during the evening with some moderation late. Low: between 12 and 16, but temperatures rising towards 20 by morning. Winds: W 5 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%.
Sunday 11/29: Cloudy and a shade milder. High: between 34 and 38. Winds: S 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Confidence Level: "A Squirrel Will Squawk At Me" (they really hate me...)
Sunday Night: Cloudy and not as cold. Low: between 22 and 26. Winds: SE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Confidence Level: "The Cat Will Not Sit on My Grading"
Monday 11/30: Cloudy, breezy, and cold again. A chance of snow by late in the day. High: between 30 and 34. Winds: E 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.
Monday Night: Cloudy with light snow likely. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds: NE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 70%.
Tuesday 12/1: Cloudy with a chance of snow. High: between 30 and 35. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 50%.
Tuesday Night: Clearing, breezy, and colder. Low: between 22 and 26. Winds: NW 10-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.
Wednesday 12/2: Sunny, breezy, and continued seasonably cold. High: between 28 and 33. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Extended: Storm in the long-range forecast for Monday. We'll see if it's still in the forecasts a couple of days from now.
Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will
cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 8 Friday through Saturday, 7 Saturday nigth and Sunday, 5 Sunday night, 3 Monday through Tuesday.
Yesterday's High: 27°F; Overnight Low Temperature (through 2 AM): 10°F
St. Cloud Airport 24-Hour Precipitation (through 2 AM Saturday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 2 AM Saturday): None
Normal Temperatures for November 28 - High: 31°F;
Next Update: Sunday, November 29, 2015 8:00 AM (or as needed)
Ground and Air Travel
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.