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The weekend storm system delivered on its promise to squeeze out as much rain as possible, with numerous locations in southern Minnesota, southeast South Dakota, northern Iowa, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois getting dumped on. 

Kandiyohi County, in the Willmar area, was pounded with heavy rain Saturday morning and wound up with 5-6 inches over the weekend. You can see that area represented by the blob of red west of the Twin Cities in the graphic below. 


You can also see an area of extreme rain in far northern Iowa, where a pocket of 5-7 inches of rain was squeezed out of the clouds like a wet sponge. Basically, everywhere along the I-90 corridor from Sioux Falls to Rochester got 1-3 inches or more. 

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Far northwestern Illinois also had a pocket of incredible rain with totals in excess of 10 inches. The top measurement, according to the National Weather Service, was a whopping 9-11 inches in Freeport, Illinois. 


MSP Airport got 1.34 inches over the weekend, including 0.77 inches in the heavy rain that fell Sunday night. Believe it or not, that's the biggest one-day rain total at MSP Airport since Memorial Day weekend. 

Sven Sundgaard warned of mega-rain potential

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard warned on Friday about the conditions being ripe for a potential "mega-rain event," which is defined by a location of 1,000+ square miles receiving 6 inches of rain in 24 hours or less, with at least 8 inches falling somewhere in that area. 

The northwest Illinois rain pocket will likely go down as a mega-rain event, and it happened just 100 miles from the Minnesota border. There wasn't a mega-rain event in Minnesota, but as Sundgaard said Friday, it was important to discuss the potential of it happened somewhere in the region. In his words Friday

"We're going to see those storms redevelop, fill in and kind of develop over the same areas. Now whether that's over the Twin Cities or south of us, or further south, it's going to happen somewhere. And there's going to be just a ton of moisture available," he said. 

"It's very difficult to pinpoint an exact location and I want you to not to pay attention to where this is, but the fact that the model is producing it," Sundgaard said, pointing to a model that suggested 7-8 inches in far south-central Minnesota. 

As it turned out, that model was one county too far north. 

What's remarkable is the frequency of which mega-rain events have been happening in the past month. More than three-dozen people died when eastern Kentucky was ravaged by intense rain in a short period of time. The St. Louis area was also rocked by a foot of rain in 24 hours, as was a location in southeastern Illinois. 

BMTN Note: Weather events in isolation can't always be pinned on climate change, but the broader trend of increasingly severe weather and record-breaking extremes seen in Minnesota and across the globe can be attributed directly to the rapidly warming climate caused by human activity. The IPCC has warned that Earth is "firmly on track toward an unlivable world," and says greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030 in order to limit warming to 1.5C, which would prevent the most catastrophic effects on humankind. You can read more here.

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