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Morning commute looks all wet: Rain ... and a different 4-letter word up north

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Is your workplace flexible enough to have a paddle-in option? Judging from what forecasters are telling us, Thursday might be the day for it across much of Minnesota.

In his Star Tribune blog, meteorologist Paul Douglas writes that heavy rainfall in the Twin Cities could lead to scattered street flooding.

At MPR News Paul Huttner says locally heavy downpours could produce an inch or two of rain and might be at their peak during the morning rush hour. But Huttner points out that the soaking is good for a moisture-deprived region that's on the edge of a drought.

In northeastern Minnesota a storm watch will take effect Thursday afternoon and continue into Friday morning. And it's not a spring storm they're watching for.

No, the National Weather Service tells us Minnesota's arrowhead region could get up to 6 inches of something else. But this being a family website (and late April) we won't mention any profanities.

This spring has been nearly devoid of flooding in Minnesota, but currently the Mississippi is over its banks at Aitkin, where there is a flood warning. The Weather Service says some roads are under water but the river level is falling and should be below flood stage by Saturday.

Over much of the state dry soil will soak up this mid-week rain. That's especially true in the Red River Valley. The Valley was getting some rain Wednesday evening, but forecasters expect the totals will be less than in eastern Minnesota.

The Fargo Forum reported this week that the region's topsoil is dry and grass fires have been springing up. Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources announced burning restrictions will take effect in 11 northern counties next week. The DNR's most recent assessment (right) shows the danger of fire is high in north central and northwestern counties.

While there will be some stormy weather passing through, don't be too alarmed by the tornado sirens you'll likely hear on Thursday. As KSTP reports, they're part of the drills associated with Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Drills are planned at 1:45 for schools and businesses and another at 6:55 is intended to give families a chance to practice their tornado preparedness.

After Thursday's moisture pushes through, forecasters expect a drying out period before another storm system arrives late Sunday. Paul Douglas says a mix of rain and s#&! is possible even in the Twin Cities next Monday and Tuesday.

Here's the outlook from KARE 11:

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