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A lot more rain last night means an already rainy year got even rainier

Central Minnesota got drenched last night, resulting in some of the higher rainfall totals on record – and continuing a year that’s seen above average precipitation.

The storm system moved through overnight into Tuesday morning, dropping as much as 5.06 inches in some spots – that total was the highest recorded during the past 24 hours or so, the National Weather Service says.

Here’s its list of places with more than 1.5 inches over the past 24 hours.

nws twin cities rainfall aug 29

(Photo: National Weather Service Twin Cities)

Second on that list is St. Cloud. The 4.08 inches that came down there is the fifth-highest amount ever in a single calendar day, the SCSU meteorology Twitter account says.

Here’s a YouTube video posted by StormChasingVideos.com, showing some of the water in Foley – just northeast of St. Cloud. The Foley Police Department says at least one car stalled in standing water on Highway 23, and others were trying to get around it. The water had receded by about 1:30 a.m.

Minneapolis meanwhile got a little over 1.5 inches, though the Twin Cities was subjected to some serious lightning.

A lightning strike is even suspected in a house fire in south Minneapolis, KSTP says.

We’re above normal for rain

There’s been a lot of rain this summer overall.

As the National Weather Service Twin Cities points out in the tweet above, much of the eastern two-thirds of the state has gotten 15-20-plus inches of water since June 1.

A spot near Brainerd and a strip from Red Wing to Austin, have seen the most.

In general, the state is anywhere from 2 to 12 inches above normal (when compared to historical levels from 1981-2010).

That is, except for the very southwest corner, which is actually slightly below normal levels over the past three decades.

Looking specifically at the Twin Cities, the weather service notes 2016 is actually on pace to be wetter than the wettest year on record, which came back in 1911.

But not quite a ‘mega-rain event’

There’s actually a classification the Minnesota DNR climate office has called “mega-rain events.”

There have been 12 of these in the state’s “post-settlement history” – and five of them (so, nearly half) have come since the year 2000.

To qualify for a “historic mega-rain event,” a 6-inch area has to cover more than 1,000 square miles, and the core of the weather event has to go above 8 inches.

The most recent occurred in 2012, when Duluth was hit with its worst flood on record.

The city got 7.24 inches over two days, and the St. Louis River at Scanlon crested at a record 16.62 feet – rising up 10 feet in a day.

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