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Flood watch issued for much of southern Minnesota

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Flood watch
The rainfall forecast for Minnesota from Sunday night through Wednesday, Oct. 7-10, 2018.
National Weather Service graphic

Updated Oct. 7, 4:50 p.m. | Posted Oct. 6, 6:10 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for much of southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, as several inches of rain are forecast to fall over the coming days.

The flood watch is in effect from Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning and also includes Mankato, Red Wing, Albert Lea, Worthington and Redwood Falls. The watch extends into parts of western Wisconsin, including Hudson, River Falls and Eau Claire.

"A stalled frontal boundary extending from the Plains to the northern Great Lakes will focus a corridor of nearly continuous rainfall, occasionally heavy, across the Upper Midwest from tonight through early Wednesday," the Weather Service's Twin Cities office reported Sunday afternoon. "Flooding potential will increase beginning Monday afternoon after the ground becomes saturated from rain tonight and Monday morning."

Widespread rainfall of 2 to 4 inches is expected, with a swath of 5- to 6-inch totals possible from south-central and east-central Minnesota into west-central Wisconsin.

The Weather Service said many rivers and streams across southern Minnesota already are running high for this time of year — and the soil is wet, so much of the forecast rain will quickly run off into nearby waterways.

From Sept. 1 through Saturday evening, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has received 8.15 inches of rain — nearly 4.5 inches above normal.

But not all of the state has seen above-normal rainfall in recent weeks. The Weather Service reports that St. Cloud has received 2.54 inches of rain since Sept. 1 — about 1.5 inches below normal.