Monday, February 6, 2023 3:00 AMBob WeismanMeteorology ProfessorSaint Cloud State UniversityAtmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences Department
Except for the cold periods near Christmas and in late January, most of this cold season has been dominated by temperatures similar to the end of fall or the start of spring with highs in the upper 20's to lower 30's and lows in the teens or even 20's at times. After not being above 20 degrees from January 26 through February 3, St. Cloud returned to the milder than average readings over the weekend (see 30-day graph of St. Cloud temperatures from MesoWest), with a 30-degree high yesterday. Now that the slab of arctic air has either pushed into the Atlantic and begun to warm or is leftover in northern Quebec and Labrador (see red areas on the Shortwave Albedo loop from Colorado State satellite slider) and the main steering winds have again split into two branches with the northern one well up in the Canadian Prairie Provinces (see Mid-tropospheric water vapor loop from Colorado State satellite slider), our air for most of this will be coming from either the Canadian or the US Rockies, meaning that the air will have gone down the mountains and warmed. So, we will resume the early March temperature preview with above average temperatures most of this week, except for possibly Friday.
One Storm System Late PM and Evening
We do have a storm to deal with this afternoon and evening. There is a large trough (switch from north-to-south flow along the Pacific coast to southwest-to-northeast flow from Utah into Montana and the Dakotas on the Mid-tropospheric water vapor loop), but the stronger southern part is going to stall over the Rockies. The northern portion moving from Alberta to Saskatchewan will push into Manitoba this evening. There isn't a lot of moisture available to this storm, but there are a lot of high and middle clouds from the Dakotas into Idaho (see Shortwave Albedo loop from Colorado State satellite slider) with some of the radar echoes (see College of DuPage north central US radar loop) producing precipitation at the ground in a few parts of North Dakota and Montana (see NWS Aviation Weather Center METAR map). In this milder flow, temperatures aloft are marginal for snow, so there have been rain showers in Montana, where middle of the night temperatures are above freezing, and a few patches of freezing drizzle and sleet in North Dakota.
Snow and Rain Showers, Possibly Some Ice
The precipitation will arrive in central Minnesota this afternoon and persist into the evening, but with the mild air aloft and ground temperatures that will be around freezing, we could see a mixture of either snow and rain showers or some freezing rain mixed with the snow showers, with the best chance for ice during the middle and late afternoon. The total precipitation won't be much (a coating of snow or ice, less than an inch) with the best chance of between a dusting and two inches of snow in north central and northeastern Minnesota. However, the possibility for ice means that untreated surfaces could be slippery for the afternoon commute.
Milder Tuesday and Wednesday (Maybe Fog and Dirty Air)
This system will go by this evening and we will have clearing after midnight. Tuesday and Wednesday will feature highs in the 30's with sunshine after some morning clouds and perhaps some fog. There might even be a chance for temperatures in the 40's in some parts of Minnesota Wednesday, but the light winds make me a bit squeamish about forecasting that warm. Lows will be in the 20's to perhaps the teens. With the light winds and mild readings, air pollution levels will at least continue in the moderate (yellow) range with some chance of reaching the unhealthy for sensitive groups category.
Few Snow or Rain Showers Thursday?
By Wednesday, the southern end of the West Coast trough (see Mid-tropospheric water vapor loop from Colorado State satellite slider) will push northeastward into the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee River Valleys. On that track, the bulk of the precipitation would stay to our south and east. However, the northern branch of the steering winds would bring a storm system across south central Canada once again on Thursday (see potential low pressure track across southern Canada from the NWS WPC storm track). The spread of possible locations (blue crosses) doesn't look terrible for a 3-day forecast, but how this system would interact with the southern one is uncertain due to a larger variation in the development of the southern system, which is not shown on the NWS WPC storm track map. So, we will have a chance for some light snow on Thursday or Thursday evening, but it is uncertain how much. Most of the possibilities would be light accumulation at most.
Friday a Bit Cooler (Warming Up Again Weekend?)
Colder air will push in from the northern Canadian Prairie Provinces, but note that the air yesterday afternoon (see NWS WPC 3 PM Sunday North America zoom-in map) wasn't really that cold for being that far north (single digits and teens, rather than below zero). So, we will likely see a day of temperatures closer to average with lows in the plus single digits to plus teens and highs near or above 20. Current signs are that temperatures could return to the upper 20's and 30's over next weekend.
Confidence Level: "I Will Have to Remove Five-Foot High Snow Piles to Put Out the Trash"
Monday 2/6/2023: Morning sunshine, increasing midday and afternoon clouds, breezy, and mild. A chance of rain, freezing rain, or snow showers during the middle and late afternoon. High: between 30 and 33. Winds: SE 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 50%.
Monday Night: Cloudy with some evening freezing rain or snow, then partial clearing, turning windy, and drier midnight into the early morning hours. A coating of snow is possible late Monday afternoon into Monday evening. Low: between 24 and 28. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH evening, WNW 15-30 MPH with higher gusts late evening until early morning, WNW 8-15 MPH late. Chance of measurable precipitation: 40%.
Tuesday 2/7/2023: Mixed clouds and sun, not as breezy, and still mild. High: between 32 and 35. Winds: SW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Tuesday Night: Partly clear, light winds, and mild. Some areas of fog by morning. Low: between 18 and 23. Winds: SW 5 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Wednesday 2/8/2023: Morning low clouds and fog, then some afternoon sunshine, still light winds, and mild. High: between 30 and 35. Winds: S 5 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Confidence Level: "The Continuing Snow Melt Will Make It Icy Right Where I Have to Change My Balance and Throw the Snow"
Wednesday Night: Clear with light winds and seasonably cold during the evening, then increasing clouds, breezy, and not as cold late at night. Low: between 20 and 25. Winds: SE 5 MPH evening, 5-15 MPH late at night. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Thursday 2/9/2023: Cloudy, breezy, and mild. High: between 32 and 36. Winds: SE 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Confidence Level: "The Melting Maven Will Magically Make My Sidewalk Ice Disappear Overnight
Thursday Night: Cloudy with a chance of evening light snow or flurries. Clearing, windy, and cooler late at night. Low: between 10 and 15. Winds: NW 15-30 MPH with higher gusts. Wind chill: between -15 and 0. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%.
Friday 2/10/2023: Partly to mostly sunny, breezy, and more seasonably cold. High: between 20 and 25. Winds: NW 10-20 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%.
Extended: Average to warmer than average temperatures through the weekend????
Forecast Confidence (10 - "The Rabbits Will Thump Even Though I Fed Them"; 0 - "The Rabbits Will Offer To Groom My Bald Spot"): 6 Monday through Wednesday, 5 Wednesday night, 4 Thursday, 3 Thursday night and Friday.
Yesterday's High: 30°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM Monday): 8°F
St. Cloud Airport 24-Hour Melted Precipitation (through 3 AM Monday): None; SCSU 24-Hour Precipitation (through 3 AM Monday): None
|February 6 Historical Data||High||Low|
|Record Temperatures||50°F (1987)||31°F (1925)|
|-7°F (1936)||-33°F (1982)|
Next Update: Tuesday, February 7, 2023 7 AM
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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