St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast

Thursday, November 23, 2017 4:30 A

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

Warming Up Through Thanksgiving

Coming Off Yesterday's Down Low Yesterday

The wild temperature swings have continued through the past week (see 7-day plot of St. Cloud temperatures from MesoWest). The temperature hasn't reached 30 degrees since the early morning hours of Tuesday. Temperatures had a slow recovery from the morning low of 9 degrees, only reaching 26 during the afternoon. In fact, yesterday's high of 29 degrees was reached at 9 PM last night (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart).

Skies are again clear with calm winds early this morning, but slightly more low-level moisture has kept readings in the teens to near 20. There were some single digit temperatures near Brainerd earlier.

"That's Hot"

There was a weak push of milder air over the top of the cold air at the ground, which created some patchy clouds and flurries. That weak low came through Minnesota in the middle of the night (see NWS WPC Latest North American zoom-in surface map) Those clouds have moved out, but the next storm system, along the northern British Columbia-Alberta border, will produce a stronger surge of warm air over the leftover cold air. You can already see the effect of that air, which was brought down the east slopes of the Rockies, in yesterday's high temperatures that reached the 50's in Williston, 60's in western North Dakota, and 70's in Rapid City.

This surge of warm air aloft is already beginning, since we have a patch of high and middle clouds moving from the Canadian Prairie Provinces across northern Minnesota (see College of DuPage GOES-16 infrared satellite loop). It will take a while to warm up the ground, so temperatures will only get into the middle to upper 30's.

The good news is that the threat of freezing drizzle tonight I was worried about earlier in the week appears to be a non-event in the St. Cloud area. There may be enough low-level moisture to produce some spotty fog, but it appears it won't be as moist as expected. That's mainly because the south winds will continue overnight, so temperatures near freezing by sunset will climb to near 40 in the early morning hours and stay there.

There is a small possibility of some icy spots on untreated roads from Hwy. 210 (Brainerd) northward. The best chance for widespread freezing drizzle will only be to the north of Hwy. 2.

The warmest of this round of warm air will be over Minnesota late tonight into tomorrow morning. A cold front will push through around midday, with only a few scattered rain showers. In the afternoon, enough dry air will push in to clean out the low clouds. The return of sunshine and the leftover mild air could easily produce a high in the 50's here and in the 60's in southern Minnesota. St. Cloud's November 24 record warm high is 56 degrees, set in 1990. The only weather problem on Friday could be a period of gusty winds behind the cold front with speeds of 20-30 MPH and gusts over 40 MPH.

Back On the Down Low for Saturday

The cold air behind tomorrow's cold front won't be as cold as what we've seen before. Highs should be able to make it to about 40 degrees on Saturday with some 20's on Saturday night.

That's Hot Again for Sunday and Especially Monday

Another major warm-up will set in Sunday into Monday. We could make a run at 50 degrees on Sunday. If we end up with the amount of sunshine being forecast on Monday, we could jump well into the 50's and might have an outside shot at 60 degrees. The latest 60-degree high in St. Cloud was 63 degrees on December 6, 1939. If that happens, we would have an outside shot at Sunday's record warm high (59) and a better shot at Monday's record warm high (58).

In 2006, we had a period in late November during which highs broke 50 degrees in 5 of 6 days. That's the last time it was so warm so late in November.

"Oh...up...up....up and dow-ow-ow-own. Oh, up and down...and down!"

Links to Travel Information

The only areas where weather is causing travel problems is in the Pacific Northwest:

Ground and Air Travel

Confidence Level: "The Leaves Will Fall in My Yard"

Thursday 11/23/2017: Some early sun, then clouding up. A slight chance of a late day sprinkle or flurry. Not quite as cold. High: between 35 and 40. Winds: S 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%

Thursday Night:: Mostly cloudy and breezy with rising temperatures through the night. Perhaps some patchy fog with some drizzle. Early evening temperatures near 32 rising to 40 by midnight and holding there in the early morning hours. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 20%.

Friday 11/24/2017: Cloudy and mild in the morning with a chance of some rain showers. Partly clear, breezy, and warm in the afternoon. High: between 50 and 55 (record warm high: 56 in 1990). Winds: SW 8-15 MPH, becoming NW 15-30 MPH with higher gusts midday and afternoon. Chance of measurable rainfall: 30%

Friday Night:: Partly cloudy, breezy, and not quite as mild. Low: between 25 and 30. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Wind chill in the teens. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%

Saturday 11/25/2017: Mixed sun and clouds and not quite as warm. High: between 37 and 43. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%

Confidence Level: "The Neighbors' Leaves Will Blow into My Yard"

Saturday Night:: Clear with diminishing wind and colder. Low: between 20 and 25. Winds: light S. Chance of measurable snowfall: 0%

Sunday 11/26/2017: Partly sunny, breezy, and even milder. High: between 45 and 50 (record warm high: 59 in 1914).. Winds: S 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%

Confidence Level: "The Yard Fairy Will Secretly Rake Up All of My Leaves During the Week"

Sunday Night:: Partly clear, breezy, and milder. Low: between 35 and 40. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 0%

Monday 11/27/2017: Partly sunny, windy, and still warmer. High: between 52 and 58 (record warm high: 58 in 1998). Winds: SW 10-20 MPH in the morning, becoming W 10-20 MPH by late in the day. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%

Extended: Pattern of wild temperature swings continue with Tuesday on the downward trend.

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, 6 Thursday night through Saturday, 5 Saturday night, 4 Sunday, 3 Sunday night and Monday, 2 Tuesday.

Yesterday's High: 29°F (set at 9 PM Wednesday night); Yesterday's Daytime High: 26°F ; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 20°F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 3 AM Thursday): None; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Thursday): None

November 23 Historical Data High Low
Average Temperatures 34°F 18°F
Record Temperatures 53°F (2006) 46°F (2009)
7°F (1950) -10°F (1989)

Next Update: Friday, November 23, 2017 8 AM (or as needed)





Current Watches/Warnings

Weather Safety

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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