KIMSP Minneapolis, MN - Monday July 11, 2016 will definitely go down in Minnesota weather history. The weather reached life threatening thresholds in many areas. Tornadic supercells in Central Minnesota, Dangerous heat and humidity in the southern part of the state, and epic rainfall in the northern parts of Minnesota. For this blog, we will break down the heavy rains that flooded many parts of Northern Minnesota.
The taps ran for what seemed like forever in Northern Minnesota on Monday. Rainfall amounts approached 10.0" in some areas. to give that some respective, the Duluth flood of June 20, 2012, which damage the zoo and many roadways around the area, recorded 7-10 inches of rain, similar amounts to what fell Monday. Check out some of the rainfall totals from across Northern Minnesota from Monday July 11, 2016.
WHAT CAUSED ALL THAT RAIN?
Just like in 2012, Monday's rain was the result of several factors coming together to form the perfect storm, for heavy rainfall. The heat and humidity we toiled with in the metro yesterday was pumped in on brisk southerly and southeasterly winds. Dew points were in the 70s and temperature were in the 90s, while just north of the warm front, it was much cooler and drier.
The leading edge of this moist air mass, the warm front, parked itself just north of the metro. The moisture moves just north of this warm front and gets wrung out by waves of energy, generated from the low pressure system to our west. These waves moved from west to east along the warm front.. This is called training, and like boxcars on a train, the storms traveled east along the stalled out warm front and dumped rain in the same areas throughout the night.
WHERE DOES ALL THE WATER GO?
The rainfall will eventually make its way into the rivers and streams of Minnesota. In fact, there are 8 watersheds in our state. Watersheds are land ridges that direct water into certain drainage areas.
Since most of the water fell in the Northeastern Minnesota , The Mississippi River and the Snake River will take on most of the runoff from the epic rains.
These rivers are expected to rise 5 to 6 feet , and peak at a crest on Wednesday. Here is a link from the National Weather Service that will give you forecasts for area rivers. http://water.weather.gov/ahps/region.php?rfc=ncrfc