Prolific weekend rainfall totals, Tonka sets record

Leave the Toyota in the garage this morning and take the Ark instead.

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Lake Minnetonka reaches record high level. Paul Huttner/MPR News

Our well advertised stalled weekend weather system delivered everything it promised, and more. Widespread rainfall totals between 2 and 5 inches drenched Minnesota, and some isolated totals of 6 to 7 inches-plus have swollen creeks and lakes to record high levels.

Here's a quick look at rainfall total estimates courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service Doppler radar.

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Twin Cities NWS

A map showing radar rainfall estimates from 8 PM Saturday through 8 PM Sunday over Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Areas in yellow indicate over 1.5" of rainfall. Areas in red show 3+ inches, and areas shown in purple indicate 6+ inches of estimated rainfall. The highest rainfall report we have received so far is 6.5" in Winnebago, Minnesota.

Widespread deluge

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I can't remember ever seeing this many "F" markers (flash flood) on the map across Minnesota. The slow moving front triggered what looked like a high school a marching band of storms on Doppler.

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Twin Cities NWS

Twin Cities: A month's rain in one day

There are numerous reports of 4 inches-plus rainfall totals this past weekend in the metro. Here's the map, and note the 6 inches-plus totals near Brooten in west-central Minnesota.

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Twin Cities NWS

Here are some selected Twin Cities weekend rainfall totals.

  • 2.95 inches Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

  • 3.25 inches Burnsville

  • 4.16 inches Eden Prairie

  • 4.23 inches Victoria

  • 4.25 inches Roberts, Wisconsin

  • 4.83 inches Long Lake

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Submerged municipal boat docks in Deephaven. Paul Huttner/MPR news

Lake Minnetonka reaches record high

I've never seen this much water in Minnetonka in 30-plus years of living near the popular west metro lake. Municipal boat docks in Deephaven are now well under water. You can wash your feet on the way to the boat. Lakes and ponds on the west metro are brimming like infinity pools.  Sunday the lake reached an incredible 930.58 feet above sea level.

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Minnehaha Creek Watershed District

Water is now flowing over the spillway -- the control structure at Gray's Bay Dam. As far as I can tell that's unprecedented.

Here's the scoop from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

Due to recent rainfall, Lake Minnetonka is currently at record levels.  At 9:30am Sunday, June 1, the water level in Lake Minnetonka reached 930.56 feet, an increase of 4 inches since Friday, May 30 and eclipsing the old record of 930.52 set in September 2002.

Per the DNR-approved operating plan for the Gray’s Bay Dam, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District continues discharging water at a rate of 300 cubic feet per second and additional water is flowing over the spillway north of the dam at a rate of 215 cubic feet per second.

According to the National Weather Service, 2.71 inches of rain fell at Twin Cities Airport from Saturday, May 31 to early Sunday, June 1.   At the height of that rain event, the level of Minnehaha Creek increased by approximately 1.5 feet and was flowing at a rate of nearly 600 feet per second at Hiawatha Avenue.   See updated creek levels and flows here:,02,03,04,06,12&format=gif&period=7&site_no=05289800

With an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain in the forecast through Monday, June 2, communities can expect lake and creek levels to continue to rise and should prepare for potential flooding.  Photo:  Minnehaha Creek out of its banks near the Falls in Minneapolis  Credit: Ryan Schwartz, Twitter @ShakopeeWeather

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Minnehaha Creek rages near Minnehaha Falls. Ryan Schwartz, Twitter @ShakopeeWeather

A raging Minnehaha Creek flooded out some homeowners this weekend. The creek rose about 1.5 feet this weekend, and is now falling slowly.

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Drier days ahead

We can all use to dry out this week. Mercifully for soggy flooded homeowners, our sum pumps will get a break. Drier high pressure builds in by Tuesday from the west.

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The next low tracking south of Minnesota brings a soaking for parts of Iowa, and will graze southern Minnesota with another round of showers. The best chance for a soaking will be south of the metro, along the Interstate 90 corridor.

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Good sleeping weather

The forecast looks good for open windows again by late tonight. You may be able to give your overworked air conditioning a break this week as dew points plunge into the low 50s. High in the upper 70s will feel perfect for many.

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