Thursday, May 26, 2016 4:41 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
Synopsis: Stormy Pattern Continues Into Weekend (Next Best Chance of Storms Tonight Through Friday??)
Important Morning Rain, Afternoon Scattered Severe Weather Wednesday
The showers and thunderstorms moved through southern and central Minnesota yesterday morning through midday (see infrared loop from College
of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu), moving through St. Cloud just before noon. No severe weather was reported, but 0.58 inch fell at the St. Cloud Airport (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations). Those storms have now moved off to the north and east (see NWS
Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop).
As the cold front pushed into southwestern Minnesota yesterday afternoon, some scattered showers and thunderstorms developed. There weren't very many of them, but the one that moved from Westport through Lake Osakis and Long Prairie, then through much of Morrison County produced some 1 inch diameter hail and a tornado that damaged some boats on Amelia Lake near Villard in Pope County.
Overnight, another wave of thunderstorms developed in South Dakota and Nebraska and pushed through southern Minnesota into the Twin Cities (see infrared loop from College
of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu). Those storms just missed St. Cloud to the south and east (see NWS
Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop). There were a couple of reports of large hail and straight-line winds in the southern third of Minnesota.
More Sun, Fewer Storms Today
The isolated storm producing the tornado in west central Minnesota and the overnight storms across southern Minnesota are examples of how difficult it is to forecast the biggest threat for heavy rain and severe weather in this weather pattern. The atmosphere has plenty of deep moisture sufficient to trigger thunderstorms if there is either enough lift or enough heating, but the individual storm systems that can focus the thunderstorms are hard to forecast. And, any major area of thunderstorms affects the ability for the best moisture to reach areas to the north of the organized thunderstorms.
In short, this is why my forecast for the best chance of storms has been jumping around.
Today still looks to be the break between storms. We should have some periods of sunshine after the early morning fog breaks up (see NWS
Aviation Center Minnesota map), so temperatures will have a good chance of breaking 80 degrees today. It looks like the threat of showers and thunderstorms will be lower than we saw midday yesterday. However, there could be a few scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Given the warmth and humidity, some hail and gusty winds could be possible from these storms. I'd give it a one in three chance of storms this afternoon.
Another Wave of Storms Late Tonight Through Tomorrow
Friday now looks like a stormy day, which is what I thought Tuesday, but didn't on Wednesday. In fact, showers and thunderstorms should move into Minnesota the second half of tonight with some heavy downpours and perhaps some hail possible in the early morning hours. We should get a break in the storms from mid-morning into early afternoon, but another wave of showers and thunderstorms are likely tomorrow afternoon. Since the day will likely stay cloudy, there isn't a great potential for severe weather, but more midday and afternoon sun than expected would increase the risk. There is a better chance for significant rainfall tomorrow, which is still needed.
Only Scattered Storms over Memorial Day Weekend?? Or Not???
It now appears that Friday night and Saturday will have a smaller chance of showers and thunderstorms as the main low moves northward. However, this is where the computer forecasts have been jumping around. I still have a chance of a few scattered showers and thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon. If we get a good supply of sunshine, some of the storms could produce hail and some damaging winds, but they will be scattered.
There doesn't appear to be any storm moving close enough to focus a higher chance of showers and thunderstorms in Minnesota on Sunday or Monday either, but that has been jumping around all week. So, for now, I have a smaller chance of mainly afternoon showers and thunderstorms with highs in the 80's and uncomfortable humidity.
So, it looks like you should proceed with any outdoor plans over the weekend, but make sure you have a rain plan and keep aware of each day's weather situation to be sure that you can take shelter when needed.
Better Chance of Monday Night-Tuesday Storms???
The next organized period of storms appears to be Monday night into Tuesday, but that's really iffy now. The generally sticky pattern with frequent chances of storms will continue well into next week.
Today, there is a greater risk of severe weather in the High Plains from Nebraska into north Texas.
Confidence Level: "I Will Still Have Dandruff Tomorrow"
Thursday 5/26: Early fog, then midday and afternoon sun, breezy, and very warm, but not quite as humid. A slight chance of a late day shower or thunderstorm. High: between 80 and 85. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.
Thursday Night: Warm and sticky with some evening fog. Showers and thunderstorms likely in the early morning hours. Low: between 60 and 65. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30% evening, 80% after midnight.
Confidence Level: "A Squirrel Will Squawk At Me" (they really hate me...)
Friday 5/27: Maybe some lingering early showers, then a midday break in the storms. More showers and thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. Some afternoon storms could produce severe weather. High: between 75 and 80. Winds: S 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 50%.
Friday Night: Partly clear. A few scattered showers and thunderstorms late at night. Warm and sticky. Low: between 62 and 66. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.
Saturday 5/28: Sunny to partly cloudy, breezy, very warm and still sticky. A chance of scattered late day showers and thunderstorms. High: between 80 and 85. Winds: W 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.
Confidence Level: "The Cat Will Not Sit on My Grading"
Saturday Night: Partly clear, light winds, and still humid. Some areas of fog possible by morning. Low: between 57 and 62. Winds: SW 5 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.
Sunday 5/29: Sunny in the morning, partly sunny in the afternoon, breezy, very warm, and humid again. A slight chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. High: between 82 and 86. Winds: S 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.
Sunday Night: Partly clear, light winds, and still humid. Some areas of fog possible by morning. Low: between 60 and 65. Winds: SW 5 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.
Monday 5/30: Sunny in the morning, partly sunny in the afternoon, breezy, very warm, and humid again. Scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms. High: between 82 and 86. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.
Extended: Better chance of showers and thunderstorms Monday night into Tuesday??? Stormy pattern continues through mid-week.
Forecast Confidence (10 - "Know what gas will
cost next week, Bob?"; 0 - "Been a victim of road rage lately, Bob?"): 7 Thursday, 6 Thursday night, 5 Friday, 4 Friday night and Saturday, 3 Saturday night and Sunday, 1 Monday.
Yesterday's High: 75°F; Overnight Low (through 4 AM): 59°F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 4 AM Thursday): 0.58 inch; SCSU Precipitation (through 4 AM Thursday): TBA
Normal Temperatures for May 26 - High: 72°F;
Next Update: Friday, May 27, 2016 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!
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go to the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department home page.