St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast

Friday, December 15, 2017 3:00 AM

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

More Clouds and Periods of Light Snow, Then Some Sun(?!!) for Sunday

The parade of storm systems continues to push southeastward from central Canada across the Northern Plains and Great Lakes (see Hemispheric Products, infrared, and Canada to get Canadian infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) One such system produced a few tenths of an inch of snow yesterday midday into the afternoon, another such system has spread some very light snow and flurries across central and northeastern Minnesota during the evening hours (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart). St. Cloud has had a little measurable precipitation for five straight days, but there hasn't been much each day. The total snowfall in the past 5 days has been 0.8 inch, so we actually have a complete inch of snow cover.

And, there's more to come. Another storm system is due to push some light snow from the Canadian Prairie Provinces (see Environment Canada Prairie Provinces radar loop) and North Dakota (see NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop) later this morning. This system is a little stronger and has a little more potential to squeeze out snow accumulations, especially from Lake of the Woods and northwestern Minnesota across east central and northeastern Minnesota. In the St. Cloud area, the low end of snow accumulation this afternoon and evening is still a dusting, but more areas could see up to an inch or 2 by midnight tonight.

Wherever the light coating of snow falls, roads will slicken up in spots so be aware of the travel conditions from the MnDOT road reports site.

Temperatures have remained near 20 or in the upper teens overnight (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart) and will only go up a few degrees today.

There doesn't appear to be any reinforcing storm for tomorrow, but we will have a lot of low clouds and the threat of some spotty flurries or some freezing drizzle. Temperatures will remain in the 20's to near 30.

After today's system goes by in the early morning hours, we could actually see a break in the parade of storm systems. So, our chances for sunshine could increase for Sunday and Monday. Some clearing could allow lows to drop into the teens. Highs will end up near 30 degrees and should break above freezing on Monday.

A cold front will push through Monday evening, but the air immediately behind it won't be that cold. So, with some luck, strong northwest winds behind the front will push any lingering low level moisture out of the area. That would allow us to see some Tuesday sun with highs again climbing into the 30's. There could be some really strong winds of 20-30 MPH with higher gusts Monday night and Tuesday. That would be enough to push vehicles a bit in open areas. Still, that looks to be the extent of the travel problems through early next week.

We could turn to colder than average temperatures late next week as some really cold air over the Arctic Ocean is forecast to push southward into south central Canada. It is unclear whether we get a direct hit from that cold or have a glancing blow, but there is the potential for below average highs in the teens late next week.

It is very uncertain whether there is a storm affecting Minnesota on the leading edge of that cold air, but we have a week to get that forecast down.

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

Friday 12/15/2017: Not quite as cold. Mostly cloudy with a few morning flurries. A better chance of light snow or flurries in the afternoon. Between a dusting and an inch of new snow is possible by early evening. High: between 25 and 30. Winds: SW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 50%

Friday Night: Mostly cloudy with light wet snow, tapering to freezing drizzle after midnight. Breezy and milder. An additional dusting to an inch is possible. Lows: between 22 and 27. Winds: E 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 50%

Saturday 12/16/2017: Mostly cloudy with some fog and spotty freezing drizzle. Seasonably cold. High: between 25 and 30. Winds: E-NE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 20%

Saturday Night: Partial clearing, breezy, and mild. Low: between 18 and 23. Winds: N-NE 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%

Sunday 12/17/2017: Partly sunny and seasonably mild. High: between 28 and 33. Winds: NW 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%

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

Sunday Night: Partly clear. Low: between 18 and 23. Winds: S 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%

Monday 12/18/2017: Partly sunny, breezy, and milder. High: between 35 and 40. Winds: SW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%

Monday Night: A chance of an evening flurry, then partial clearing and turning windy. Low: between 18 and 23. Winds: becoming W-NW 15-30 MPH with higher gusts. Chance of measurable snowfall: 20%

Tuesday 12/19/2017: Mixed clouds and sun, blustery, and still mild. High: between 32 and 36. Winds: NW 20-30 MPH with higher gusts. Chance of measurable rainfall: 10%

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

Extended: Returning to near normal temperatures middle of next week.

Forecast Confidence (10 - "Will more of your hair fall out, Bob?"; 0 - "Will the winning PowerBall Numbers be encoded in your lost hair, Bob?"): 7 Thursday, 6 Thursday night and Friday, 5 Friday night and Saturday, 4 Saturday night through Monday.

Yesterday's High: 22°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 20°F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 3 AM Friday): 0.01 inch/0.1 inch snow; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Friday): TBA

December 15 Historical Data High Low
Average Temperatures 24°F 7°F
Record Temperatures 53°F (1907) 31°F (1993)
-5°F (1916,1951,2008) -28°F (1901)

Next Update: Monday, December 18, 2017 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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