St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast

Friday, April 20, 2018 1:45 AM

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

With Snow Threats Gone, Could It Be Spring?

50 Never Felt So Good!

For the first time since December 4, temperatures in St. Cloud topped 50 degrees (see Yesterday's High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany). That 50-degree high was the 3rd latest 50-degree high in St. Cloud history. The only two years with a later first 50 were 1951 (April 20) and 2013 (April 26). By the way, 2013 was the last year with more than 45 inches of snow (so far this year, we have 46.3 inches of snow since February 1, tied for 3rd place with 1951). Still, on that High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany, you can see the effect of the lingering deeper snow cover to the south as temperatures were a good 10-15 degrees cooler. Note also the whitish areas, meaning colder temperatures, yesterday over western North Dakota (low clouds) and southern Minnesota and northern Iowa (clear sky, but over snow cover) on the College of DuPage Northern Plains infrared satellite loop. That snow is being worked on, and much of the snow cover over the North Dakota-Minnesota border and central Minnesota is now gone (see NWS NOHRSC snow cover chart). With the temperature of the snow pack 30 degrees or warmer (white and red areas), most of Minnesota, except the south and east central, will see the rest of the snow disappear quickly.

60 Tomorrow? 70 Monday?

Temperatures this morning are mainly in the upper 20's to lower 30's despite light winds (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart). That's because some high clouds have pushed across the Dakotas into Minnesota from the next storm system in southern Nevada (see counterclockwise circulation on the Shortwave Albedo from Colorado State satellite slider menu). This storm, however, will take a track much further to the south than recent storm systems, so our weather will be dominated by the high pressure area parked over Minnesota (see NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map). This high will drift eastward over the next few days, allowing temperatures to reach near average values today.

By tomorrow, we will be able to work on the first 60-degree high of 2018. St. Cloud hasn't been 60 degrees since October 22. If we make it tomorrow, it would tie for the 6th latest 60-degree high in St. Cloud records. The latest was April 26, set most recently in 2013. There will be a better chance to see temperatures climb well into the 60's on Sunday. This warm streak won't end until a cold front gets pulled through by the next storm system to take a more northern track through Canada. That isn't expected to happen until Monday night. Before then, we may have a chance to see temperatures break 70 degrees on Monday. St. Cloud's last 70 degree high was on October 20. If we make it, it would actually be close to the usual first 70-degree high, with the median date of April 17.

The main drawback to the melting is the rapidly rising rivers. Several places along the Redwood, Cottonwood, and Minnesota Rivers are experiencing or will be experiencing flooding by tomorrow, including Montevideo, New Ulm, and Redwood Falls. At least minor flooding will spread along much of the Minnesota, Mississippi, and Red Rivers as this quick melting continues.


Confidence Level: "I Will be Up Early to Make the Forecast"

Friday 4/20/2018: Sunshine through high clouds, and finally back to seasonable temperatures. High: between 52 and 58. Winds: S 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will See the Light On and Want Petting Instead of Forecasting"

Friday Night: Partly clear, light winds, and mild again. Maybe some patchy fog. Low: between 30 and 35. Winds: light SE. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%.

Saturday 4/21/2018: Sunny to partly cloudy and seasonably mild. High: between 55 and 62. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Saturday Night: Partly clear, a bit of a breeze and even milder. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: S 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Sunday 4/22/2018: Partly sunny, breezy, and warmer. High: between 62 and 66. Winds: SW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Confidence Level: "The Rabbits Will Shed Information on the Upcoming Weather, Rather Than Just Fur in My Hand"

Sunday Night: Partly clear and really mild. Low: between 42 and 47. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH, diminishing late. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%.

Monday 4/23/2018: Sunny in the morning, mixed clouds and sun in the afternoon, breezy, and still warmer. A chance of a late day rain shower or thunderstorm. High: between 67 and 72. Winds: SW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%.

Monday Night: Partly clear and warm. A slight chance of an evening shower. Low: between 48 and 55. Winds: S 8-15 MPH, becoming N 8-15 MPH late. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Tuesday 4/24/2018: Cloudy and cooler with a chance of rain showers. High: between 45 and 55. Winds: NE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 40%.

Extended: Seasonable temperatures on Wednesday.

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Will more of your hair fall out, Bob?"; 0 - "Will the winning PowerBall Numbers be encoded in your lost hair, Bob?"): 8 Thursday, 7 Thursday night and Friday, 5 Friday night and Saturday, 4 Saturday night and Sunday, 3 Sunday night and Monday.

Yesterday's High: 53°F; Overnight Low (through 1 AM Friday): 29°F
St. Cloud Airport 24 Hour Precipitation (through 1 AM Friday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 1 AM Friday): None

April 20 Historical Data High Low
Average Temperatures 59°F 35°F
Record Temperatures 84°F (1980) 56°F (1985)
35°F (1928) 16°F (2013)

Next Update: Monday, April 23, 2018 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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