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Flood watch issued across southern half of Minnesota

With many storm drains blocked by snow, rain has nowhere to go.

Heavy rain is expected to cause street flooding in southern Minnesota this week and the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch in effect from Wednesday morning through Thursday evening. 

"Temperatures will warm into the 40s Wednesday and Thursday, with around an inch to an inch and a half of rain expected Wednesday into Thursday. The heaviest rain will fall Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening. This could lead to street flooding and standing water across low lying areas. We DO NOT expect significant rises on the main stem rivers.

Many of the the drainage systems are full of ice and snow, so any melting or runoff from the rain could lead to ponding of water in low lying areas. Looking ahead, temperatures will fall below freezing Friday, so any standing water will become ice."

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The NWS is encouraging people to clear snow and ice from storm drains on the sides of city streets to help rain and melting snow drain. Because many storm drains are currently covered in mounds of snow and ice, water will have nowhere to go and begin ponding. 

Here's the simulated future radar showing a bit of rain in south-central and southeast Minnesota Tuesday afternoon and evening followed by a lull before heavier rain arrives Wednesday before transitioning to snow on Thursday. 

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Accumulating snow is possible in northwest Minnesota and it could be significant, but areas south and east of a Fargo to Roseau line should see mostly rain, although any change in the storm track could change the precipitation type. 

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