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Renewed River Flood Threat for Northern Plains

By Brian Edwards, Meteorologist
May 21, 2013; 4:42 AM ET

Heavy rain returning to the northern Plains will generate a renewed flood threat for the Red River of the North and its tributaries.

A storm in the northern Plains, which is producing another round of severe weather, will also produce widespread heavy rain from Texas to New York.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists are forecasting a widespread 2-4 inches of rainfall through Tuesday from Bismarck, N.D., to Pierre, S.D., Fargo, N.D., and Duluth, Minn.

This bull's-eye of heavy rain will be in the worst possible location, right along the Red River of the North and across its tributaries.

Flood watches have already been posted for the Red River at Fargo along with the Buffalo River and the Wild Rice River in Minnesota. For the latest updated watches and warnings, click over to the AccuWeather.com Severe Weather Center.

According to the National Weather Service in Fargo, N.D., the Red River at Fargo is forecast to rise above flood stage by Monday afternoon before peaking about 2 feet above flood stage during the middle of the week.

The above graphic shows the forecasted rise in the water level on the Red River at Fargo into next week. The graphic is courtesy of the National Weather Service in Fargo.

Of course, that estimate can change based on where the heaviest rain falls and subsequent events to follow.

It will take longer for the level to rise at the Red River near Grand Forks, N.D. Forecasts are for the river to reach flood stage by sometime on Friday.

Periods of rain along with a few thunderstorms are expected across the region through Monday. Heavy downpours in thunderstorms can lead to rainfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour at times, also creating a threat for flash flooding.

Residents living in the Dakotas or in the vicinity of the Red River of the North should take the proper precautions to guard against another round of flooding.

Keep checking back with AccuWeather.com over the upcoming days as we monitor the flood threat returning to the northern Plains. Rainfall will continue into the day Monday and linger into Tuesday as the aforementioned storm stalls across the area.

Residents are urged to keep up to date on the latest watches and warnings as they are issued. For the latest updated watches and warnings, click over to the AccuWeather.com Severe Weather Center.

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