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Repeating storms to renew threat of flooding over north-central US

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 18, 2019, 9:19:33 AM EDT

As the risk of severe weather continues over the central United States, so will the risk of flooding all over again from parts of the central and northern Plains to the Upper Midwest through the upcoming week and beyond.

The same pattern poised to bring multiple rounds of severe thunderstorms will produce repeating downpours.

"Some of the upcoming rainfall may overlap locations that were hit hard with flooding during the latter part of the winter and the first part of the spring," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.


Rainfall during the period ending on Sunday night, May 19, will average 2-4 inches with much heavier amounts in portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.

However, more storms and rounds of rain are poised to roll in from the Pacific next week.

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The storms will dip southward over the southern Rockies and then turn northeastward across the Plains.

This pattern will allow the storms to tap abundant Gulf of Mexico moisture and release that in the form of severe thunderstorms and torrential rainfall.

The next storm will swing northeastward from Monday to next Wednesday. Another may follow during the latter part of next week.

It is conceivable that parts of the Plains and Upper Midwest may receive 12-18 inches of rain during the second half of May alone.

Initially, the major rivers are likely to handle the rainfall with little impact. Most rivers in the region are receding and a large number of points along the river are likely to have water levels dip below moderate flood stage over the next week.

However, as rain repeats over some of the same locations, there is the risk of new surges of water that potentially may bring moderate to major flooding.

More trouble ahead for agricultural communities

Breaks in between the rain events may be limited to a few hours to a couple of days through the end of the month. Where it rains hard, fields may be too wet to plow in between the storms.

"Farmers not in the flood plain, who might be waiting for ideal conditions to plow or plant, may want to reconsider to avoid further delays," Pastelok said.

The window of opportunity for planting, especially west of the Mississippi River, may not open again until June over parts of the Plains and a portion of the Upper Midwest.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay alert of flood warnings. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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