Upper Midwest Flash Flood Threat

June 13, 2012; 7:00 PM
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Round after round of downpours will drench part of the Upper Midwest, while rain avoids much of the Ohio Valley and central Plains into next week. (Flickr image by Universal Pops)

Round after round of showers and thunderstorms are forecast to take aim over portions of the Upper Midwest and northern Plains into the week of June 18, raising concerns for flash and urban flooding.

Drought conditions and dangers from wildfires continue to build over the Four Corners and central Plains. However, a storm track from the northern Rockies to the upper Great Lakes will bring frequent episodes of rain farther north.

While the exact track of the nearly daily storms will vary slightly from day to day, inches of rain will add up in parts of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and neighboring northwestern Ontario.


In a few spots, the pattern could bring 6 inches to 1 foot of rain through the week of June 18.

Along with the rain comes the risk of locally violent storms, especially in areas bordering the building heat to the south and east.

Drenching downpours will fall over some, but not all, of the dry spots.

The bulk of the rain will miss some of the neediest areas of the corn belt, where the heat will build into the weekend including portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas.

Rainfall has been very spotty around the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest since early May.

Minneapolis has received nearly twice their normal rainfall from May 1 to June 12 with about 9.75 inches. Meanwhile, Fargo, N.D., has had less than 2.00 inches during the same period.

Rainfall in a large swath from Kansas to Indiana, Ohio and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan has ranged from 25 to 50 percent of normal from May 1 to June 12.

While this may not sound serious, soil evaporation rates during sunny, warm weather this time of the year can reach around one quarter of an inch per day.

The dry weather and building heat is raising concern for the the corn crop in part of the area.

This story was originally published on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

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