Deluge: Second wettest year on record so far

At least we can come up for air, and enjoy a beautiful Tuesday across MPR Land.

It appears our rainy spring has pushed the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota to the second wettest year on record so far.

  • 2.37" rainfall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday (a daily rainfall record)

  • 3.04" weekend rainfall total at MSP

  • 16.86" precipitation (rain and snow) since Jan.1

  • +7.04" vs. average

  • 2nd wettest year on record so far at MSP (pending updated numbers)

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Docks under water on St. Louis Bay at Lake Minnetonka. Paul Huttner/MPR News

The results of our tropical deluge are everywhere. Lakes and ponds look like zero edge pools. I'm seeing water in places around Lake Minnetonka in the west metro in places I've never seen it before in more than 30 years of living by the popular west metro lake.

All time record on Minnetonka - still rising

As I posted earlier today Lake Minnetonka reached a new record high water level Sunday. As of Monday it's still rising. Monday's reading was up to 930.64 feet at the Gray's Bay Dam and still rising.

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The entire Minnetonka watershed picked up 2 to 4 inches or more in rainfall totals this past weekend. Long Lake recorded 4.83 inches along with many other 4 inches or more totals in the western part of the Lake Minnetonka watershed.

Lake Minnetonka has a fairly large watershed. That means heavy rainfall totals like 4.23 inches in Victoria eventually flow through waterways like Six Mile Creek into the big lake.

Widespread rainfall totals of 4 inches or more over the lake Minnetonka watershed means increased inflow into Tonka will likely continue the next few days. It takes time for all that runoff to reach the lake. That means water levels will probably go higher for a few more days before they begin to fall. You can probably throw out the hydrological models at this point. The lake is at an unprecedented level -- and likely to go higher before it goes lower.

Not just Tonka

So you're reading this in South Minneapolis and wondering why we should care about a bunch of well to do boaters getting flooded out on well-heeled Minnetonka?

Take a look at the watershed map.

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District

Lake Minnetonka feeds Minnehaha Creek. The creek flows through Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Edina and Minneapolis. All that water eventually runs into the Mississippi and heads for St. Paul. Stuff rolls downstream as they say.

Many thousands of metro residents are ultimately affected by what happens on lake Minnetonka, and Minnehaha Creek.

Drying out Tuesday

We come up for air Tuesday with a blissfully dry day in Minnesota.

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The next low passes to the south Wednesday, but may graze southern Minnesota with another shot of rain. It looks like the heaviest rain will fall in Iowa and southern Minnesota, but the Twin Cities rides the northern the edge and track changes need to be watched.

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Flooding rains are likely in Iowa Wednesday. Again, southern Minnesota rides the edge.

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Enjoy a dry Tuesday, and stay tuned.

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