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Risk of flooding rainfall to shift as Gordon's moisture is drawn over Midwest

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
September 07, 2018, 3:06:48 AM EDT

As the weather pattern evolves into the weekend, the swath of torrential downpours and risk of flooding in the Midwest will shift southeastward as moisture from Gordon lifts northward.

Downpours will continue the threat of urban, small stream and river flooding from parts of the central Plains to the southern Great Lakes region into Thursday night.

In the last seven days, parts of the region have received 5-10 inches of rain with rainfall in some areas topping 15 inches during the past two weeks.

On Tuesday evening, portions of southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin picked up as much as half a foot of rain.

From 1 to 4 inches of rain has fallen on portions of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri from Wednesday midday to Thursday midday.

Enough additional rain is likely to fall to keep stream levels high and cause a second crest on some area rivers.

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However, some changes are in store by week's end, which will allow the weather to improve in some locations and turn very wet in others. Some locations caught in the middle of another surge of moisture will be hit with more rain.

Static Late Week US

A punch of dry air has ended rounds of torrential rain in portions of Wisconsin, southern Minnesota and northern Michigan.

Much of Iowa and eastern Nebraska may dry out through the weekend.

That dry press will only advance so far over the Plains and Midwest before the combination of a non-tropical storm and moisture from Gordon intervene.

From later Friday and through the weekend, the non-tropical storm and Gordon's tropical downpours are likely to become intertwined and push northeastward from the southern Plains and middle Mississippi Valley to portions of the Ohio Valley, lower Great Lakes and interior Northeast.

Static Flood Risk Midwest 3 pm

"This swath of heavy rain will extend from Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma to eastern Kansas, central and northwestern Missouri, eastern Nebraska, southeastern Iowa, the southern tier of Michigan to the portions of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

"Within the swath related to Gordon alone, a general 2-4 inches of rain is likely with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 6 inches spanning Friday to Sunday," Pastelok said.

On its own, this is enough rain to cause urban and small stream flooding. Where the rain overlaps the excessive rainfall in the past two weeks over the Plains and Midwest, a new round of river flooding may result.

Both days of the weekend may be unsettled in parts of the Midwest including for high school, college and professional football games.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see when rain may affect your area.

From Sunday to Monday, the heavy rain will swing across the eastern Great Lakes and interior Northeast. In this area, a general 1-2 inches of rain is forecast with local amounts to 4 inches possible in 12 to 24 hours.

Forward speed will limit the risk of flooding in the Northeast. However, urban flooding is likely with the potential for small stream flooding.

While the lower Ohio Valley and southern mid-Atlantic area may be south of the heaviest rainfall, there is the potential for a couple of showers and a gusty thunderstorm as the system passes through.

A few locally severe thunderstorms cannot be ruled out as these locations will be on the warm, tropical side of the storm.

The best bet for outdoor plans this weekend in the Northeast will be on Saturday and perhaps the first part of Sunday.

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