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 counties

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.


- Return to Minnesota Climatology Working Group Main Page

URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/flash_floods/ff041028.htm
Last modified: October 29, 2004