Local Forecast

Friday, February 5, 2016 3:26 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


Milder Weekend, Colder Early Next Week

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Cold Evening, Potential Light Snow Today

Yesterday morning's light, fluffy snow did slicken some roads during the morning commute. The St. Cloud Airport picked up 0.9 inch, while I measured 1.7 inch at SCSU. The system that produced that morning snow has quickly pushed into Lake Michigan and southern Ontario (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). The clearing behind this system allowed sunshine yesterday afternoon, but has allowed temperatures to plunge overnight. Temperatures in the early morning were hovering around zero in much of central Minnesota (see NWS Aviation Center Minnesota map). Note, however, in western Minnesota that temperatures have climbed back into the teens with a light southeast wind. That's because the next storm system, pulling its warm front along, has pushed its clouds across the Dakotas.

This weather system will again produce a chance of a little light snow or flurries. I think that today's shot of snow will only be able to produce a few tenths of an inch at most. The warmer air moving over top of the colder air will allow temperatures to climb back into the middle or upper 20's this afternoon.

Another Cold Night, Another Warm Up Saturday

Skies will clear out tonight, so temperatures will drop off once again. It won't be quite as cold as this morning, with readings bottoming out around 10 degrees or in the upper single digits.

Snow Chances Saturday Night into Sunday

A more potent low pressure system will move from the West Coast into the Northern Plains by Sunday, repeating the pattern of a warm up that will last most of the weekend. After tomorrow's cold start, we will have a lot of clouds with maybe a flurry. Temperatures will climb into the middle or even upper 20's. The mild conditions will continue tomorrow night with low temperatures holding in the 20's. Since this storm will be a bit more potent, we could end up seeing an inch or two of snow tomorrow night into early Sunday. There is a chance that temperatures could break the freezing point just before the cold front comes through on Sunday afternoon.

Colder, But Not Severely Cold Early Next Week

The advertised colder air push will begin late Sunday. However, the good news is that recent forecasts are shunting the coldest of the cold air further to the east over the Great Lakes. This means we will see more of a glancing blow from this shot of cold air. Temperatures will fall back to the lower teens by Monday morning with a strong northwest wind. Temperatures will level out around 10 degrees Monday morning, then hang in the lower teens the rest of the day. The northwest winds will continue to be strong, producing wind chills in the -15 to zero range. Temperatures will drop again Monday night, likely ending up in the minus single digits on Tuesday. However, the winds may ease off late Monday night, so Tuesday's wind chills may not be that bad. Look for highs of around 10 degrees on Tuesday.

We will generally be on the edge of the cold air by the middle of next week, which makes forecasting difficult. The good news is that the core of the coldest air in North America is due to come southward later next week, but it appears to be on a course over Ontario, Quebec, the Northeast, and the Mid-Atlantic states. If that holds up, we will most likely continue with seasonably cold temperatures.

There is the potential for more major East Coast weather with the cold surges and the possibility of another snowstorm in the middle of next week.

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Confidence Level: "I Will Still Have Dandruff Tomorrow"

Friday 2/5: Cloudy with a chance of light snow or flurries. Breezy. Any new snowfall will amount to between a dusting and an inch. High: between 24 and 28. Winds: S 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.

Friday Night: Partial clearing and still fairly cold. Low: between 7 and 12. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Saturday 2/6: Morning clouds, afternoon sun. Continued seasonably cold. High: between 25 and 30. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Confidence Level: "A Squirrel Will Squawk At Me" (they really hate me...)

Saturday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and relatively mild. A chance of light snow or flurries developing. Low: between 22 and 26. Winds: SW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 50%.

Sunday 2/7: Cloudy with a good chance of light snow. Milder. Between 1 and 2 inches could accumulate. High: between 32 and 36. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH in the morning, becoming NW 15-25 MPH by late in the day. Chance of measurable snowfall: 60%.

Sunday Night: Cloudy, windy, and colder. More light snow or flurries possible. Low: between 10 and 15. Winds: NW 15-25 MPH. Wind chill: between -15 and 0. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.

Monday 2/8: Mixed clouds and sun, windy, and colder. Maybe some flurries. Temperatures holding between 10 and 15. Winds: NW 15-25 MPH. Wind chill: between -15 and 0. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Monday Night: Partial clearing, breezy during the evening, and colder. Maybe a few flurries. Low: between -5 and 0. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH evening, 5-10 MPH late at night. Wind chill: in the minus teens. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Tuesday 2/9: Mixed clouds and sun, less windy, and continued cold. High: between 7 and 12. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Wind chill: minus teens in the morning. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Confidence Level: "The Cat Will Not Sit on My Grading"

Extended: Temperatures below average, but not severely so.

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 7 Friday and Friday night, 6 Saturday, 5 Saturday night and Sunday, 4 Sunday night through Tuesday.

Yesterday's High: 26F; Overnight Low Temperature (through 3 AM): 2F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (Through 3 AM Friday): 0.04 inch/0.9 inch snow; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Friday): 0.02 inch/1.7 inch snow

Normal Temperatures for February 5 - High: 24F; Low: 4F
Next Update: Saturday, February 6, 2016 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!

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

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