Uncle! 2014 is wettest year on record so far

And the weather hits of 2014 just keep on comin’. By now many Minnesotans are ready to cry “Uncle.”

Another wave of heavy thunderstorms in Minnesota dumped flooding rains on Mankato and New Ulm overnight and pushed the Twin Cities into record territory for precipitation so far in 2014.

Vivid lightning from storms in Mankato overnight. Bethany Lutheran College web cam

The numbers are preliminary, but by my count we’ve now pushed into the #1 spot for the wettest year on record so far for 2014.

  • .51 inch overnight rainfall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • 21.1 inches  precipitation so far in 2014 at MSP Airport
  • Wettest year on record so far to date (surpassing 2001)
  • 30.61 inches average annual precipitation at MSP Airport (30-year average for 1981-2010 )
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

No doubt about it. Last night’s nocturnal thunderstorm outbreak dumped more flooding rainfall totals across southern Minnesota. Summer warm fronts are notorious for spawning nocturnal boomers. Warmth near the ground and low level jet streams combine to create mushrooming storms after sunset.

Weak steering currents aloft barely nudged slow moving storms overnight. Ground zero this time? Stalled storm clusters that parked over Mankato and New Ulm for hours, dumping some 2 to 6 inch rainfall totals. Here’s the overnight Doppler storm total rainfall algorithm from Weather Underground.

Weather Underground

The flash flood and storm reports rolled in from the Mankato area overnight.

NOAA via Iowa Emergency Management

The scenes from around Mankato this morning are stunning.

As you would expect, the heavy rainfall overnight spawned additional flood warnings, as rivers pushed rapidly higher overnight.

711 AM CDT WED JUN 18 2014

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE TWIN CITIES HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING FOR…
BLUE EARTH COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…
NORTHEASTERN BROWN COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…
NORTHERN WASECA COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…
SOUTHERN LE SUEUR COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…
SOUTHERN NICOLLET COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA…

* UNTIL 700 PM CDT WEDNESDAY

* AT 706 AM CDT…LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS REPORTED FLOODING ACROSS THE WARNED AREA. AN ESTIMATED 2 TO 6 INCHES FELL OVERNIGHT WHICH HAS LED TO NUMEROUS FLOODED ROAD AND RISING RIVERS AND STREAMS. IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME FOR FLOODED AREAS TO RECEDE. FURTHERMORE…MORE RAIN IS POSSIBLE THIS EVENING ACROSS THE WARNED AREA.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT ARE EXPERIENCING FLOODING INCLUDE…MANKATO…NEW ULM…WASECA…MINNEOPA STATE PARK AND SLEEPY EYE.

Rising rivers

There’s just no where else for the water to go in most Minnesota rivers. Here’s a quick round up of U.S. Geological Survey gauge readings on some rapidly rising rivers pushing into flood stage.

   

Next waves by tonight and Thursday

We’re not done yet with the unprecedented waves of heavy thunderstorms. Here’s the latest surface map sequence from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

NOAA

Another low pressure wave pushes through tonight and Thursday with more storms. The good news? Friday, and possibly Saturday are trending drier as the system slowly but mercifully pushes east.

Yes, there is another risk that some of the storms will turn severe again later today and overnight into early Thursday.

NOAA

We just can’t take much more rain, but it looks like another 1 to 3 inches may fall by Thursday evening. Here’s the latest NOAA three-day rainfall projection.

NOAA

Drier days in sight?

The forecast still suggest we may be seeing the light at the end of this waterlogged tunnel.

The latest trends suggest drier days ahead. Friday, Saturday and a good chunk of next week may actually be rain free. Here’s the take on the forecast into early next week from the  European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

Weatherspark

Weather fingers and toes crossed. Stay tuned.