Heavy Rains & Severe Storms Over the Weekend

CNN Meteorologist Sarah Dillingham

Thunder, lightning, hail, heavy rain, and tornadoes?  This weekend had it all over a good chunk of theU.S.  Some of the hardest hit areas for severe weather included Illinois and Missouri, who reported 6 tornadoes Sunday afternoon and numerous severe wind reports.  Some winds were so strong nearPeoria,ILthat as many as 21 freight train cars were derailed or toppled into a field or onto a neighboring track.  Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were in effect as the storm pushed through with winds estimated at more than 60 mph! 

These strong storms also produced heavy rainfall across these areas and as much as 4-6” fell across eastern South Dakota, southern Minnesota, including areas south of Chicago.  Some locations even saw 8-10” or more across northeastern Illinois and southeastern South Dakota, and those rains have prompted Flood Warnings south and southeast of Chicago which will remain in effect until 8 pm CT Monday night.  Although this has been a lot of rainfall for a 48-hour period, the areas that saw the most rainfall are actually in need of it as ‘Severe’ drought already exists across southern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa. Central Illinois has also seen abnormally dry conditions so far this year, and these areas of drought aren’t that surprising considering the well below average snowfall those areas saw during the 2011-2012 winter season. 

 The Midwest will start seeing drier conditions take over Monday afternoon, but there is another chance for showers to move back in with a weak system moving in Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday.  The best rainfall looks to stay over Minnesota, Wisconsin, and across the Eastern Great Lakesfor that period, but rainfall amounts should remain around ¼ to a ½ an inch.

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