Intense Rains and Flooding near Rochester, June 28, 2019

radar loop
Radar animation of repeat thunderstorm during the morning of June 28, 2019.
Credit: College of DuPage

Heavy thunderstorms regenerated and remained nearly stationary over southeastern Minnesota early in the morning on Friday June 28th, 2019, leading to very high rainfall totals and significant flooding.

The storms formed near a boundary separating very warm and humid air from slightly cooler air to the north, where clouds and rain the previous day had held temperatures down. The boundary moved little during the night, and with relatively weak winds aloft, thunderstorms appeared to sit in place and re-form repeatedly over the same areas.

The hardest-hit areas were in the Rochester area, where the airport recorded 4.95 inches of rain, and where a National Weather Service cooperative observer recorded the largest official total of 5.99 inches. Even larger reports from the public, from storm spotters, and from automated rain gauges included 8.50 inches south-southwest of Rochester, 7.3 inches near Predmore, 6.30 inches at Wasioja, and 6.24 inches at Byron. Totals of 3-5 inches were recorded near near Owatonna,  Lake City, Wabasha, and Preston.

The heavy rains let to severe flooding in parts of Olmsted and Dodge counties. Numerous roads were submerged, runways were flooded at Rochester International Airport, a truck attempting to cross high waters near West Concord was swept into a field, and a farmer near Byron lost over 40 cattle.

The National Weather Service in La Crosse also produced a summary of this event.

Last updated June 28, 2019



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