Under normal October circumstances, it would be perfectly acceptable to complain about the weather around here over the weekend… plenty of clouds, showers, and chilly. But just remember, it could be worse. Snow will be flying in Wyoming and the Dakotas as we go through the next 72 hours… and lots of it! Up to 2 feet could fall in the Black Hills of South Dakota with several inches possible all the way to I-29. Here though, just a chilly rain expected with a few flakes possibly mixing in across our far north and west areas from Alexandria to Bemidji and International Falls. More on the snow below, but we have our own things to be concerned about. Areas of heavy rain will be likely through early Saturday with flash flooding now a possibility with some of the stronger storms. Here is the current forecast for rainfall amounts from 6am Thursday through 6am Sunday.
This is ON TOP of what we have already received, and you can see that many areas from Wyoming to Wisconsin can expect widespread amounts of 1 to 4 inches of liquid, with locally higher amounts possible. But the areas that see the most persistent rain and then strong thunderstorms on top of that could be dealing with a flash flood scenario. Here is the forecast from the Weather Prediction Center…
This shows that the metro area has a slight risk for flash flooding. This is just like the severe weather risk from the Storm Prediction Center where areas are given a slight, moderate, and high risk.
Here is a rundown of what we have already seen through 10am Thursday...
Widespread amounts pretty much area wide of a half inch to an inch. Some severe weather may go along with this heavy rain. Here is the current risk outlook by the Storm Prediction Center.
A warm front will be moving northward early Friday bringing unusually warm and humid air to the region for this time of year. Combine these components with a cold front and associated area of low pressure trecking through the region, and you have a classic battle of the airmasses that could produce large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes in storms that happen to form. Best chances for this severe weather will be along and south of the I-90 corridor, but the slight risk does extend northward into the metro area.
Those that aren't looking forward to the chilly and wet weather have a reason to be thankful and therefore NOBODY should be dreading this weekend's forecast because it could be far worse. I am a snow lover, so I am not happy, but I know many of us think its just too early for snow. Well, I will tell you that heavy snow isn't going to miss us by much. The following graphic is a forecast that shows the probability of U.S. locations receiving at least 2 inches of snow over the next 3 days, followed by another graphic that shows the probability of receiving at least a foot of snow over the next 3 days.
Yup, that's right. At present, parts of the western Dakotas and Wyoming have a 95% chance of getting more than 2 inches of snow. Some of the mountainous regions have upwards of a 70% chance of getting more than a foot! Welcome to October!!