Heavy Rains Fall on Central Minnesota
October 28, 2004
A narrow band of extremely heavy rain bisected the state of Minnesota on October 28. The rain
began during the early morning hours in west central Minnesota and exited east central
Minnesota by late evening. Two or more inches of rain was reported in many areas within a 50 mile
wide stripe centered along a line from Madison in Lac Qui Parle county to Pine City in Pine county.
Radar-based precipitation estimates (see below) indicated that four or more inches of rain fell in portions of
Lac Qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Wright, and Pine counties. A narrow
streak of five or more inches of rain drenched southeastern Chippewa and southwestern Kandiyohi
The deluge led to reports of street flooding and the inundation of farmland. Agricultural field
work came to a halt in these areas and will not resume until the soils freeze. The National Weather
Service issued flood warnings for seven Minnesota counties during the episode.
October rain events exceeding four inches are quite rare in Minnesota. A four inch rain event in the last week
of October is even rarer. A quick scan of the 100-plus year historical data set uncovers only five other events
of this magnitude occurring during the final week of October anywhere in Minnesota. For further historical context,
consider that the average monthly
precipitation total for October is around 2.25 inches in the affected areas.
The State Climatology Office thanks the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the National Weather Service, and
all of the diligent volunteer precipitation observers who make analyses of these events possible.
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Last modified: October 29, 2004