More Flooding Concerns for Midwest Later This Week

By , Senior Meteorologist
May 1, 2013; 4:00 AM ET
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More rain is in the forecast for later this week in parts of the Midwest that have been hit by flooding recently.

A slow-moving storm will take shape over the Plains during the second half of the week. The circulation around that storm will draw some moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

States at risk for enough rain to cause flash and urban flooding problems spanning Wednesday to Saturday include Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The forward speed and track of the storm over the Plains will determine exactly which areas receive the heaviest rain and have the greatest risk for flooding. In the western half of the area outlined the rain would be Wednesday to Friday. In the eastern part of the outlined area the rain would be Friday to Saturday.

While part of the region has had a few days of rain-free weather, enough rain could fall over a several-day stretch to bring renewed poor drainage area and small stream flooding. There is also the potential for new rises on rivers that have crested or are receding during the first part of this week, including the Illinois, Wabash and upper Mississippi rivers.

Most of the rain later this week is projected to fall south of the Red River of the North Basin. However, flooding from melting snow has already set that river on a path for moderate to major flooding.

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Most stream and river systems in the area would be able to handle between 2 and 4 inches of rain spread over as many days. However, there is the potential for this sort of rainfall in less than half this time in some locations. Local rainfall could reach 6 inches.

Many farmers in the Midwest are scrambling to get planting operations taken care of this week in places where the soil has dried sufficiently. A large and slow-moving storm system will drift from west to east across the area from late this week into the weekend. Planting has been behind schedule by several weeks, compared to average, due to prevailing cold, wet conditions.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, as of April 28, 2013, only 5 percent of the national corn crop had been planted. Average for this date is around 31 percent. Last year about 50 percent of the national corn crop was planted.

Snowstorm Potential: If all the right pieces were to fall into place, some communities over the central Plains that rarely get a foot of snow from a storm in January may be digging out from a foot of snow by the end of the week.

While such a storm is more common in Denver and the High Plains, such an event is increasingly more rare farther east and over lower elevations in the region. The storm would be hitting some areas from eastern Nebraska to northwestern Iowa, southeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. will continue to provide updates on the snowstorm, and offers insight as to what the summer of 2013 may bring to the area.

On a side note, drenching rain could swing into Louisville, Ky. on Derby Day.


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