Periods of rain and thunder on Memorial Day; rivers are rising

Most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin enjoyed sunshine and pleasant temperatures on Sunday.  Memorial Day will be cloudy and rainy in many areas.

On to the details.

Temperature trends 

Our Sunday high temp at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was 73 degrees. That was one degree above average for May 26, and it was quite an improvement over the rain, wind and temps in the 40s that we endured last Sunday!


Evening update

The Sunday high temp at MSP airport was updated to 74 degrees in the Sunday evening climate report.


Metro area highs will probably only reach the lower 60s on Memorial Day, and most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin will see highs in the 50s to lower 60s.

Tuesday will feature a lot of highs in the 60s:

Twin Cities highs are projected to reach around 70 on Wednesday, followed by lower 70s Thursday and mid 70s on Friday.

Rain and thunder chances

Scattered showers will move across parts of northern Minnesota Sunday night, and there will be a chance of scattered showers in the north on Memorial Day. The main rain event will be to the south on Memorial Day.

Some showers and thunderstorms are expected to move into southwestern Minnesota late Sunday evening and spread northeastward overnight Sunday night. Periods of rain, with some embedded thunderstorms, are expected in southern Minnesota and parts of central Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Memorial Day.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential rain pattern Sunday evening through Monday evening:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Sunday evening through Monday evening, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of rain. It will rain in some areas that look dry in the NAM loop, but the loop illustrates the general rain pattern.

Southern Minnesota and portions of the Twin Cities metro area could see some heavy rainfall amounts on Monday. Here’s the NWS rainfall forecast, which was issued Sunday afternoon:

NWS Twin Cities

With saturated ground due to our rainy May, there could be flooding in some areas.

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

You can check the NWS offices in the Twin Cities, Sioux Falls, S.D. and La Crosse, Wis. for updates on the rain and potential areas of flooding.

Severe weather potential

The Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Service shows a marginal risk of severe weather Monday and Monday night in portions of far southern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin:

NWS Storm Prediction Center

Marginal risk means that an isolated severe thunderstorm is possible.  The SPC outlook will be updated early on Monday.

River levels are rising

Recent rainy weather has caused river levels to rise again across much of southern Minnesota, and rivers have reached flood stage at many locations.

You can click on any location on the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service  (AHPS) site to get hydrographs of recent and forecast river levels. Some locations list levels in feet above sea level, others list levels in feet above a local reference point.

Here’s the Sunday afternoon hydrograph for the Mississippi River at St. Paul:

NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

You can see that the Mississippi River had reached minor flood stage at the St. Paul location Sunday afternoon and it’s expected to keep rising until late Tuesday.
The lower portions of some trees on the eastern side of Raspberry Island were underwater Sunday afternoon:

May 26, 2019       City of St. Paul webcam

There are flood warnings along some rivers in Minnesota. You can get flood warning updates by clicking on any green-shaded location on the National Weather Service Twin Cities website.

Here’s how the NWS map looked Sunday evening:

NWS Twin Cities

Projected river levels are updated on a regular basis, so check back to the AHPS site and the National Weather Service point forecasts for the latest info on the rivers near you.

If you’d like to scroll through hydrographs along a certain river in central or southern Minnesota, check here.

  • horrido

    Why is there never any mention of the disastrous planting season farmers are having? It’s as bad as I’ve ever seen it, and I’m in my late 50s – were talking crisis. It’s going to hit us all in the pocket book in a BIG way, too.