Mild temps on Sunday, with showers at times; mid-week snow chances

The Twin Cities metro area saw highs in the 50s Saturday afternoon, with dew point temps in the upper 40s. This sure feels like spring! High temps in parts of southern Minnesota were in the 60s on Saturday, and included readings of 66 degrees at Rochester and Albert Lea. We should see many more locations topping 60 degrees on Sunday.

Temperature trends

The southern half of Minnesota should see many highs in the 60s Sunday afternoon:

Monday will be even warmer in southern Minnesota, and a few spots in the far south could reach 70:

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to be in the mid 50s Tuesday, followed by mid 40s Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Rain at times

Minnesota and western Wisconsin will see some showers at times overnight Saturday night and also on Sunday, and there could a few embedded thunderstorms.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential rain pattern Saturday evening through Sunday evening:

NOAA NAM simulated radar Saturday evening through Sunday evening, via tropicaltidbits

The loop shows the general pattern within the NAM model, but it does not depict every spot that will see some rain.

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of rain.

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Snow mid-week?

Several forecast models show a strong low pressure system spinning rain and snow over the upper Midwest Wednesday into Thursday and early Friday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern from Wednesday into Friday:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Wednesday through Friday, via tropicaltidbits

The heaviest snow from this GFS storm track would be over central Minnesota and parts of northern Minnesota. The low pressure system that would bring the rain and snow to the upper Midwest won’t form until early in the week, and the models could move the storm track north or south, so check back as we get closer to Wednesday. We could see a mix of rain and snow in the Twin Cities metro area, followed by a changeover to snow.

In case you’re wondering, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model gives the metro area mostly snow, starting Thursday afternoon and running into Friday morning.  It shows some heavy snow amounts too, so we’ll be watching for possible changes.

Red River is rising

Thankfully, the Mississippi River at St. Paul and the St. Croix River at Stillwater have fallen from the crests that they reached about a week ago. Most spots along the Minnesota River continue to see falling river levels as well.

You can click on any location on the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service  (AHPS) site to get hydrographs of recent and forecast river levels. Some locations list levels in feet above sea level, others list levels in feet above a local reference point.

The Red River along the Minnesota-North Dakota border is still rising.  Hydrographs for locations along the Red River can be found here.

Here’s the Saturday evening hydrograph for the Red River at Fargo, N.D., which is at major flood stage and still rising:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

The Red River at East Grand Forks, Minn., is expected to reach major flood stage on Wednesday. Their hydrograph shows a dramatic rise as we go through the next 5 days:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

There are numerous flood warnings in effect. You can get flood warning updates by clicking on any location on the National Weather Service Twin Cities website.

Areas with flood warnings are shaded green on the NWS main page; here’s how the map looked Saturday evening:

NWS Twin Cities

The latest flood warnings for northwestern Minnesota can be found on the National Weather Service Grand Forks, N.D., office site. Here’s how their map looked Saturday evening:

NWS Grand Forks

Projected river levels are updated on a regular basis, so check back to the AHPS site and the weather service point forecasts for the latest info on the rivers near you.

The NWS also posts some flooding details for central and southern Minnesota here. If you’d like to scroll through hydrographs along a certain river, check here.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.