St. Cloud, MN Weather Forecast

Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:35 AM

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

Where Does It Look More Like What We'd Expect December to Be?

So, here we are, about halfway through December. While it has been colder than the first week of the month,, and there has been snow in the air at times for much of the past week, the thin snow cover and limited ice cover over area lakes hasn't made it seem quite December-ish. So, if you're really into winter recreation, where can you go? The national snow cover analysis from NWS/NOHRSC shows more snow on the ground from the Red River Valley towards Lake of the Woods. The snow belt areas along the South Shore of Lake Superior from northern Wisconsin into the Michigan Upper Peninsula have widespread areas with more than 10 inches on the ground. Nationally, the Appalachians in northern New York and northern New England have fairly deep snow and ski areas in Washington, Idaho, and western Wyoming have a huge amount of snow.

Of course, from here northward, it's been cold enough to make snow as well.

Seasonably Cold With Some Spotty Light Snow Through Tomorrow

Meanwhile, we continue with the periods of light snowfall. We had the light snow with some sleet mixed in during the morning rush hour yesterday and another period of light snow in the late afternoon (see NWS: Last 72 hours of St. Cloud Observations). And, early this morning, another patch of thick clouds (see infrared loop from College of DuPage Satellite and Radar Menu) has thrown some light snow in the air in northern Minnesota (see UCAR Minnesota surface chart). Some of the snow is far away from the nearest radar, so it isn't being seen well on the NWS Upper Mississippi Valley radar loop. However, this is also a sign that the snowfall isn't that heavy as this air from central Canada only has about average moisture in it for mid-December.

We will see the cloudy skies and occasional light snow continue today. There could be another few tenths of inch of snow, but that will about do it. The good news is that the northwest winds aren't as strong as they were yesterday morning (wind gusts over 30 MPH, including a gust of 40 MPH at 9:23 AM). Still, the cold start (temperatures just climbing out of the single digits into the teens; see UCAR Minnesota surface chart) and lingering breeze are producing some wind chills near zero early this morning (see NWS Minnesota Hourly Weather Round-Up). Temperatures should return to the 20's this afternoon.

The parade of weather systems moving southeastward from central Canada into Minnesota will continue through the weekend. There will be a better chance for a coating of snow tomorrow into tomorrow night as the next system will have a stronger push of warm air over our cold air. We might see half an inch to a full inch from the snow tomorrow. Temperatures will climb, at least above the ground, tomorrow night, so the on-and-off snow showers could have some sleet mixed in tomorrow night. Again, any accumulation will be very light.

Over the weekend, temperatures will get a bit milder. Highs have a chance to top 30 on Saturday and will likely be in the 30's on Sunday and Monday. We may have some low cloud problems and perhaps some fog on Saturday, but we could break out into sunshine on Sunday afternoon and Monday. Monday may even have a shot at 40 degrees.

Colder air will move back into Minnesota for Tuesday and Wednesday, but it will likely continue to be no worse than seasonably cold (highs in the 20's).

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

Thursday 12/14/2017: Cloudy and colder. Occasional light snow or flurries. A coating of snow is possible. High: between 24 and 28. Winds: NW 8-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 30%

Thursday Night:: Partly to mostly cloudy and cold. A slight chance of a flurry. Low: between 15 and 20. Winds: NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%

Friday 12/15/2017: Not quite as cold. Mostly cloudy with a good chance of light snow or flurries. 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%

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

Friday Night: Mostly cloudy with light wet snow possibly mixed with some sleet. Breezy and milder. Temperatures holding in the 20's. Winds: E 5-15 MPH. Chance of measurable snowfall: 40%

Saturday 12/16/2017: Mostly cloudy with some fog and spotty freezing drizzle. Milder. High: between 28 and 33. Winds: NE 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 20%

Saturday Night: Cloudy and relatively mild. Low: between 22 and 27. Winds: light NE. Chance of measurable snowfall: 10%

Sunday 12/17/2017: Morning low clouds or fog, maybe some afternoon sun, breezy, and milder. High: between 32 and 36. Winds: light NE, shifting to NW 5-10 MPH. Chance of measurable precipitation: 10%

Sunday Night: Finally clearing and a shade colder. Low: between 18 and 23. Winds: SW 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%

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

Extended: Returning to near normal temperatures Tuesday and 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?"): 7 Thursday, 6 Thursday night and Friday, 5 Friday night and Saturday, 4 Saturday night through Monday.

Yesterday's High: 28°F; Overnight Low (through 3 AM): 8°F
St. Cloud Airport Precipitation (through 3 AM Thursday): 0.04 inch/Trace snow; SCSU Precipitation (through 3 AM Thursday): TBA

December 14 Historical Data High Low
Average Temperatures 25°F 7°F
Record Temperatures 53°F (1998) 42°F (2014)
-11°F (1926) -32°F (1901)

Next Update: Friday, December 15, 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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