Update - Heavy rain threat through Monday - KMSP-TV

Update - Heavy rain threat through Monday

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It has been a nice break; temperatures actually above normal in the 80’s and plenty of sunshine, but as well all know, it never lasts. More active weather has returned to the region over the weekend that will likely bring plenty of rain along with it. Rain and cloud cover will inherently bring cooler temperatures, although we aren’t talking about anything “cold”, just a return to near normal by early next week.

So how much rain? Well, with any big weather maker and summertime moisture levels, rainfall can vary greatly. Just Saturday morning, areas around Albany have seen nearly 3 inches of rain… while just done the road in St. Cloud… there has been next to nothing. That being said, current forecast shows widespread amounts of 1 to 4 inches area wide, with local amounts that could exceed 5 or 6 inches if areas get multiple rounds of slow moving thunderstorms which has already started to occur. Here is the current rainfall forecast through Tuesday of next week from the Weather Prediction Center…

You can see the HUGE amount of real estate that is covered by heavy amounts of rain. Unfortunately for us, we could use a sip or two of water, but several inches of rain is just way too much. Therefore, flooding and flash flooding may be a real concern as we go through the next couple of days. The way we determine that is by taking into consideration on how much rain we have had in the past, current ground water levels, and the amount of evaporation that has taken place. With those variables, we are able to determine approximately how much water the ground can hold before excessive runoff occurs. This estimate is called the flash flood guidance, or the amount of rain it takes before flash flooding occurs. Here is the map of Minnesota…

They measure this on a county wide scale but local results will vary a little bit. This shows how much rain it will take for flash flooding to occur in a 3 hour period. Take Hennepin County for example, if the county experiences 2 inches of rain over the course of 3 hours, then flash flooding is likely occurring and the National Weather Service will issue flash flood warnings for that area. Now, if you think about it, 2 inches of rain in 3 hours just isn’t all that hard to achieve this time of year. You can get 2 inches of rain in 20 or 30 minutes this time of year, so residents will need to be vigilant if heavy rain moves in and you are in a low lying area. Stay tuned for the latest rain totals as this system moves through the area.

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