St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast

Friday, February 15, 2018  3:30 AM

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

If You Take the Wind, We'll Keep the Cold

Breeze Producing Wind Chills of Some Concern This Morning

While yesterday's weather was less eventful than most of what we've seen over the past two weeks, a mid-morning cold front (see 24-hour loop of NWS WPC surface analysis maps) did bring a brief period of heavy snow (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations) to central Minnesota. The St. Cloud Airport picked up 0.6 inches, pushing the February snowfall to 16.1 inches, 0.4 inch short of one of the 10 snowiest Februaries on record. More importantly, the northwest winds kicked up behind the front with gusts of 30-35 MPH frequent in the middle and late afternoon. Temperatures also began to fall from the middle teens to the plus single digits during the afternoon and have dropped below zero overnight (see 2-day graph of St. Cloud temperatures from MesoWest). While the winds have eased from yesterday afternoon's levels, northwest winds are still blowing at 8-15 MPH (see NWS Aviation Weather Center METAR map), so wind chills have been hovering in the -35 to -15 range during the early morning hours (see NWS Minnesota Hourly Weather Round-Up). The National Weather Service has a wind chill advisory out until 9 AM for the wind chills colder than -25, for which exposed skin can get frostbitten in 30 minutes or less (see NWS wind chill chart). The winds also blew some of the old snow across area roads, so there are icy spots where roads have partial snow coverage (see MnDOT Minnesota road reports).

Winds Ease Off Leaving Cold Through Saturday

However, the weather is going to remain fairly quiet today through early next week. The cold high pressure area has moved into the Dakotas (see NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map) and will push into Minnesota today. That will allow those pesky northwest winds to ease up. Temperatures will remain cold with highs in the plus single digits, but the sun will return so it will feel better than yesterday afternoon or early this morning. Temperatures will drop off tonight back into the minus single digits, but the winds will be light. We should see a good supply of sunshine tomorrow and highs will creep into the teens.

Chance for Light, But Prolonged Sun-Mon Snow in Southern Minnesota, But Central Minnesota Only to Get Brushed?

There will still be an active storm track as the series of storms off the West Coast push into the US (see Shortwave Albedo from Colorado State satellite slider), but a strong southern storm track will generally keep these systems far enough away to keep the chances for precipitation low. One storm will push east of the Rockies on Saturday and begin to develop in the Plains on Sunday. However, it appears that the next system will take a track across southern South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. That track could produce a prolonged period of light snow in eastern Nebraska and Iowa and southeastern South Dakota from Saturday night into Monday. While it won't snow hard, there could be as much as 3-6 inches of snow over the two day period. Some of that slowly accumulating snow could brush southern Minnesota from late Saturday night into Monday. The forecasts put part of central Minnesota on the northern fringe of this snow, so Willmar, the Twin Cities, and Hutchinson might see an inch or two from this system. I have between a dusting and 2 inches in Sunday's forecast for St. Cloud, because of the uncertain track of the storm.

Still Cold, but Quiet Early Next Week

Besides catching only the fringe of this system, the weather in Minnesota should stay quiet through the early part of next week. It will remain on the cold side with highs backing down to the teens on Monday and possibly staying in the plus single digits on Tuesday.

Confidence Level: "The Bulb on That Hard-To-Reach Light in the Foyer Will Burn Out"

Rest of Thursday Night: Clearing, breezy, and colder. Still blowing snow in open areas. Low: between -10 and -5. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH evening, 8-15 MPH late. Wind chill: between -35 and -20. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%.

Friday 2/15/2019: Sunny, not quite as breezy, and a shade colder. High: between 4 and 10. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Wind chill: between -30 and -15 in the morning, in the minus single digits to near zero in the afternoon. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%.

Friday Night: Partly clear early, increasing clouds late, light winds, and not quite as cold. Low: between -5 and 0. Winds: E 5 MPH. Wind chill: between -15 and 0. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%.

Saturday 2/16/2019: Partly sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon and slightly milder. High: between 14 and 18. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Confidence Level: "Every Time I Try to Put in a New Bulb, the Light Fixture Will Try to Detach From the Ceiling"

Saturday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and not as cold. A chance of light snow or flurries late. Low: between 10 and 15. Winds: NE 5-15 MPH. Wind chill: between -10 and 0. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Confidence Level: "The Only Way I'll Be Able to Change the Bulb and Hold the Fixture in Place Will Be to Yell At It"

Sunday 2/17/2019: Cloudy with occasional light snow or flurries, breezy, and a shade milder. Between a dusting and 2 inches of snow are possible. High: between 20 and 24. Winds: NE 8-15 MPH. Wind chill: between 5 and 15. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.

Sunday Night: Cloudy with a bit of a breeze and occasional flurries. Low: between 0 and 5. Winds: NE 5-15 MPH, becoming NW 5-15 MPH. Wind chill: between -15 and 0. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Monday 2/18/2019: Cloudy, light winds, and perhaps a few flurries. A bit colder. High: between 10 and 15. Winds: WNW 5-15 MPH. Wind chill: between -15 and 0. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Monday Night: Partly cloudy, light winds, and colder. Low: between -15 and -5. Winds: NW 5 MPH. Wind chill: in the -20s. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Tuesday 2/19/2019: Sunny, but colder. High: plus single digits. Winds: SW 5 MPH. Wind chill: minus teens AM, minus single digits PM. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Extended: Continuing mainly below average temperatures. Some light snow threats?

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 through Monday.

Yesterday's High: 17°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM Friday): -4°F
St. Cloud Airport Total Storm Precipitation (through 3 AM Friday): 0.02 inch/0.6 inch snow; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Friday): TBA

St. Cloud Daily Average and Record Temperatures
February 15 Historical Data High Low
Average Temperatures 27°F 7°F
Record Temperatures 55°F (1921) 34°F (1981)
-9°F (1936) -34°F (1936)

Next Update: Monday, February 18, 2019 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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