I woke up this morning to find about a dozen reports on my iPad Damage app indicating trees down and hail damage in many communities from Mankato to Edina, south of the Twin Cities. More of the same. We have been having severe weather for about a month now, or a bit less. One day in late May, Julia and I were taking pictures of people driving too fast through the lake that formed in front of our house form a major downpour. Early in that storm we witnessed a ground strike not too far away. A short while after that an ambulance came screaming by our house, coming from the direction of the ground strike to the hospital just south of us. Later we heard on the news that a woman at a little league game (which, frankly, should have been cancelled) was struck and transported to the hospital … that was certainly her. This morning, Mankato was flooded, a day or two ago a woman was rescued from her car that was eventually swept away by a river that does not normally exist. Flooding up on the Canadian Border has been epic. The entire state is under a Meteorological Siege.
Yet, somehow, CNN has not taken notice.
I believe that what is happening here is an expanded, intensified version of what we usually get around this time of year. The Norther Plains has storms in the late Spring and early Summer for various meteorological reasons. But this Spring, the jet stream continues to experience it’s kinkyness, not the good kind of kinkyness, and we are having stalled weather systems. So, instead of having a storm front move through the area every few days, we have a big huge stormy thing hanging over us for weeks on end.
This is a similar phenomenon, most likely, to what brought epic floods to Central Europe, the UK, Calgary, and Colorado over the last two years. But, since we have no mountains to speak of and the state is full of more swamp and pond than arroyo and river, we don’t have the same kind of result. The rain that fell over the last 24 hours in southern Minnesota, falling in Colorado’s front range would have wiped out towns and people would be missing for days. Here, we have different results. Same weather phenomenon (more or less) likely caused by the same changes to the environment resulting form global warming (most likely) but spread out a bit in time and space so it becomes, rather than a single big huge national news story, this string of little local news stories (listed by day of month for June):
- 01st Hillside collapses in Eden Prairie due to rain
- 01st Minnehaha Creek Reaching Major Flood Stage
- 01st More Flash Flooding Imminent - Soaking Rains Overnight
- 01st More Heavy T-storms Capable of Flash Flooding Overnight
- 01st More storms on tap after parts of MN soaked Saturday
- 01st Rain Pounds Central Minnesota, Flash Flood Watch Extended to Monday
- 01st Several homes flood along swollen Minnehaha Creek
- 01st Stearns Co. keeps eye on rainfall as spring storm prompts flooding
- 02nd Storms pound Twin Cities, prompt flood warnings, cancel marathon
- 02nd Weekend Storms Bring Lightning, Flooding and Fires
- 03rd Flooding, lake sewage releases: What we’ve learned
- 05th Flooding, Severe Storms to Bear Down on Over 1,200 Miles of US
- 05th Tornado Watch Southwest Minnesota
- 06th Storms Bring Lightning, Flooding and Fires; Rain Lingers
- 07th .89" Rain Fell Saturday
- 11th A Volatile Pattern (another 2–3" rain by Sunday?)
- 13th As rain batters IFalls, sandbags guard against high water
- 13th June’s already a wet month mid-way through
- 14th Crews rescue capsized boaters on Lake Minnetonka
- 14th Storms dampen weekend festivities; more rain on the way
- 15th A Month’s Worth of Rain in 36 Hours for much of Minnesota (Saturday’s damaging winds sparked by rare “gravity waves”)
- 15th Flooding rains drench parts of Minn.; more on the way
- 15th Lightning suspected in St. Cloud school fire
- 15th Thousands still without power in the Twin Cities
- 16th Gravity waves drove weekend storms; severe risk today
- 16th Heavy rains, high winds pound southern Minnesota
- 16th Homes, mills feel rising waters in northern Minnesota
- 16th Luvern gets 5 inches over weekend
- 16th Luverne, Minn., swamped by 4-inch rainfall
- 16th Storm Cleanup Underway, Rain Continues this Week in Soggy Minnesota
- 16th Storms pound Steele County, flood streets
- 16th Storms rake SW Minnesota with hail, high winds
- 16th Storms Rake SW Minnesota With Hail, High Winds
- 16th Storms rake SW Minnesota with hail, high winds
- 16th Strong Storms Moving Through SE South Dakota, SW MN, NW Iowa
- 17th Across Minnesota, rising waters pose hardships for farmers and residents
- 17th Epic flood threat and severe risk continue
- 17th International Falls mayor likens rising waters to a 500-year-flood
- 17th Minnesota storms: Flood fears, water rescues, soggy forecast
- 17th More rain puts more of Minnesota underwater
- 17th Northern MN Hit Hard By Heavy Rain, Flooding
- 17th Storms rake swath of Minn. with hail and high winds; sandbaggers confront rising water
- 17th Woman Pulled From Flooded Car By MN State Trooper Offers Thanks
- 17th Xcel now says 50,000 lost power
- 18th Endless rain, flood threats dampen business bottom lines
- 18th Mankato Area Hit By Major Flooding
- 18th Mankato streets flooded after rain overwhelms storm sewer system
- 18th Midweek Severe Storms to Ignite From Texas to Minnesota
- 19th 3 Homes Hit By Lightning In Lakeville
- 19th Flash Flood Warning Issued In Twin Cities
- 25th Flooding Causes State Of Emergency In St. Paul
- 25th St. Paul Declares State Of Emergency, Evacuates Impound Lot
The interaction between the nature of events and the nature of news journalism certainly is interesting. We couldn’t stay out of the news when the Polar Vortex was visiting. Now, we are being ignored in all our glorious wetness. That is reasonable … so far this weather has not caused the death and destruction of epic flooding in mountain areas, and we are lucky that we’ve not had significant tornadoes here – the twisters are staying to the south of us, just. But it is interesting that we suffer the weather of countless tiny drops Minnesota style. In silence. With the occasional stern look. We will be making some hot dish now, out of season, but it is our comfort food. Don’t worry, we’ll be fine.
Here's a few tweeted pics from the NWS Twin Cities:
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This morning I saw a Weather Underground post about the flooding rains Sioux Falls, SD, has been experiencing. Apparently, month-to-date rainfall at KFSD is (or was at the time the blog post was written) 138% of the previous record rainfall for the entire month of June, and that station has a 121-year period of record. A section of I-29 south of Sioux Falls has been closed due to flooding.
The weather system currently afflicting you is presumably the same one that produced a double tornado in Nebraska yesterday. But apart from this blog post and the aforementioned Weather Underground post, I haven't heard anything about the flooding up your way.
Yes, it is the same system.
And just a few days ago, I was asking my wife, wish we were back in the Twin Cities (we lived there once, and have family there), they are supposed to get five inches of rain. We are in California, and I have to confess I can barely remember what rain feels like.
On Monday, the National Weather Service's map for MPX had so many different types of watches, warnings, and advisories that the legend overflowed! http://imgur.com/9wrTpBK