St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast

Thursday, January 28, 2021 4:05 AM

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

Creeping Back Towards Milder Than Average

Cold Air: Overpromised and Underdelivered

The low clouds persisted again (see Shortwave Albedo from Colorado State satellite slider) in central Minnesota for much of yesterday and, more importantly, overnight. That has made a huge difference in temperature. Compare the daily swing of temperatures in St. Cloud (see 7-day graph of St. Cloud temperatures from MesoWest) to that of Bigfork (see 7-day graph of Big Fork temperatures from MesoWest), which has dropped into the -20s each of the past two nights. Meanwhile, the temperature has barely budged in St. Cloud. And, yesterday's warmest temperatures were reached at midnight. You can still see the 30-degree temperature difference between central and northern Minnesota early this morning (see NWS Aviation Weather Central METAR map).

Moderating Temperatures, But Lots of Clouds Today Through the Weekend

Now, the cold high (see NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map) will be drifting off to the east, allowing high temperatures to return to near average during the next few days. The flow of milder air will also mean some high and middle clouds are pushing over the top of the leftover cold air (see Shortwave Albedo from Colorado State satellite slider), so we will have a lot more clouds. There is a patch of radar echoes (see College of DuPage North Central US radar loop) in those middle clouds, but there are still patches of dry air between the clouds, so there aren't many reports of any precipitation reaching the ground. So, only a stray snowflake is possible. High temperatures will return to the upper teens to near 20. There will be an increasing southeast wind, at 8-15 MPH, so the early morning wind chill in the plus single digits (see NWS Minnesota Hourly Weather Round-Up) could drop back below zero for a while this morning.

Clouds May Produce Some Spotty Freezing Drizzle or Flurries Friday Night into Saturday?

The clouds will remain thick tonight into tomorrow. That means the temperatures won't drop much overnight, remaining in the teens. Tomorrow, we will have more clouds and wind, but those southeast winds will tap slightly milder air. Highs will be well into the 20's and perhaps approach 30. The clouds and the wind will continue Friday night into Saturday. Temperatures will remain between the upper 20's to near 30 both day and night. There could be some spotty freezing drizzle or flurries from these clouds, so that will have to be watched.

Some Light Snow Saturday Night??

The forecast weekend storm continues to show a track well to the south of Minnesota with only southern Minnesota seeing a small chance of getting into the plowable snow. Central Minnesota has a chance for a light snow accumulation Saturday night (between a dusting and 2 inches), but it's too early to pin either that amount down or how big the threat of freezing drizzle will be on Friday night into Saturday.

The clouds are now expected to persist through Sunday, but it appears that all of the snow will ease off into flurries.

Seasonable Temperatures Early Next Week....Beyond That ????????

Early next week, we have a shot at the sun returning with high temperatures generally remaining in the 20's. Yes, the long-range forecasts have a major central US storm for the middle of next week (thus, the NWS has a good chance for significant snow right now at Day 7). However, I am not nearly ready to go for it, considering the wide variation in storm tracks (the storm is two states apart in different computer forecasts right now). So, it has to be watched.

Detailed St. Cloud, MN, and Vicinity Forecast

Confidence Level: "While Preparing a Meal I Will Drop a Slice of Bread"

Thursday 1/28/2021: Cloudy, breezy, and not quite as cold with a slight chance of a stray snowflake. Perhaps a glimpse of afternoon sun. High: between 17 and 22.  Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Wind chill: minus single digits in the morning, in the plus single digits in the afternoon. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Thursday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and not nearly as cold. Perhaps a few flurries. Low: between 12 and 17. Winds: SE 5-15 MPH. Wind chill in the plus single digits. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Friday 1/29/2021: Cloudy, breezy, and more seasonable. Perhaps some flurries. High: between 22 and 27.  Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Wind chill: between 0 and +10 AM, teens in the afternoon. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Confidence Level: "The Bread Will Land on the Floor Jelly Side Down"

Friday Night: Cloudy, breezy, and milder. Perhaps some spotty freezing drizzle. Temperatures holding between 22 and 27. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 20%.

Saturday 1/30/2021: Cloudy and breezy. A chance of flurries or freezing drizzle. High: between 25 and 30.  Winds: E 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 20%.

Confidence Level: "My Sock Will Not Get Stuck to the Floor Because I Won't Step in the Jelly Spot"

Saturday Night: Cloudy with a chance of light snow or flurries. Not quite as breezy. Temperatures holding between 24 and 30. Winds: NE 5-15 MPH evening, becoming NW 5-10 MPH late. Chance of measurable snowfall: 50%.

Sunday 1/31/2021: Cloudy with any snow tapering to flurries early. Breezy, and seasonably cold. High: between 25 and 30.  Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%.

Sunday Night: Clearing, light wind, and seasonably cold. Low: between 5 and 15. Winds: NW 5 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Monday 2/1/2021: Sunny and a little colder. High: between 20 and 25.  Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.

Extended: Continued average to milder than average temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday. Don't want to talk about any potential Wednesday-Thursday storm!!

Forecast Confidence (10 - "The Rabbits Will Thump Even Though I Fed Them"; 0 - "The Rabbits Will Offer To Groom My Bald Spot"): 7 Thursday, 6 Thursday night and Friday, 4 Friday night and Saturday, 3 Saturday night through Monday.

Yesterday's High: 11°F (set at midnight through 1 AM); Yesterday's High: 10°F; Overnight Low (through 4 AM Thursday): 4°F
St. Cloud Airport 24-Hour Precipitation (through 4 AM Thursday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 4 AM Thursday): None

St. Cloud Daily Average and Record Temperatures
January 28 Historical Data High Low
Average Temperatures 22°F 2°F
Record Temperatures 46°F (1906) 29°F (2015)
-17°F (1966) -31°F (1951)

Next Update: Friday, January 29, 2021 8 AM





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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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