Heavy Rains Fall on South Central Minnesota
August 1-2, 2006
Very heavy rain fell over south central Minnesota on August 1 and 2. Portions of Martin and
Faribault counties received over five inches of rain in a 30 hour period. The rain began
in the early morning hours of the 1st and fell at a light to moderate rate until noon.
The rain stopped for approximately eight hours and then returned in earnest around 8:30 PM.
Very heavy rain fell during the late-evening hours. At times, the rainfall rate exceeded an
inch per hour. Light to moderate rain continued through the overnight hours until ending
around 7:00 AM on the 2nd. The greatest rainfall totals reported were near, to slightly
above, six inches in portions of southwestern Faribault county. A six inch rainfall in
a 24 hour period is said to be a 1% probability event in this area of the state. Each year,
a given location in south central Minnesota has a 1% chance of receiving six or more inches
of rain over a 24 hour period. This is sometimes referred to as a "100-year" storm.
Some urban flooding was reported in the cities of Fairmont and Blue Earth. Overall, reports of
damage were minimal. Relatively little ponding was observed in the aftermath of the storms. This
was due to very dry conditions leading up to the event. July 2006 rainfall totals were generally
two to three inches short of normal. Extreme heat in July also dried the landscape. There was
ample buffer in the soil profile to accept the heavy rain.
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.