Soaking rainfall in store for much of the Midwest

After a long stretch of rather quiet weather for much of the Midwest, a storm system acted to shatter the serenity for some residents on Sunday night.

Following seemly endless rounds of severe weather during the summer, the general weather pattern across the Midwest for much of autumn has been largely unremarkable in terms of feisty weather. However, the same storm system that brought heavy rain and some mountain snow to the Northwest to end this past week changed that trend.

A potent cold front associated with this storm system was the main driver of explosive storms late Sunday.

On Sunday evening, hail reports were widespread across the region in Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. In Madison, Nebraska, hail stones were reported to be spanning from the size of half dollars all the way to baseballs.


Counties in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota also reported strong winds, with one report of winds taking down electric poles.

As the cold front pushed eastward overnight Sunday, thunderstorms and heavy downpours continued to march eastward into Wisconsin, western Illinois and Missouri. The threat for severe weather diminished considerably during that time.

As the cold front tracks into the Great Lakes on Monday, it will encounter a more stable air mass where not all of the ingredients needed for widespread severe weather will be in place.

Rather than a widespread threat for damaging wind gusts or hail, any storms that develop ahead of the front on Monday will mostly act as rainmakers.

Periods of heavy rain and a few locally gusty thunderstorms are forecast to develop across much of the Great Lakes on Monday. Impacted areas will include portions of the Canadian province of Ontario, south to northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Gale warnings and small craft advisories were in effect until Tuesday morning across much of the Great Lakes as brisk winds are expected to whip up choppy waters and high wave action.

The National Weather Service's warnings advised that inexperienced boaters, "especially those with smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in hazardous conditions."

Meanwhile, generally, up to an inch of rain is expected to fall across the Great Lakes on Monday. However, a few locations caught under the heaviest downpours can easily record up to 2 inches of rainfall. Areas most likely to encounter the heaviest downpours include northeastern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula.

Flash flooding can develop as a result of heavy rain, especially in low-lying or poor-drainage areas.

While Monday's rainfall can lead to flash flooding issues for some, rain will be beneficial for others. Although many areas across the Great Lakes region recorded near-normal rainfall amounts in September, a few drier locations will greatly benefit from this rain event. A handful of locations across Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana are currently experiencing either abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

Once such location is Duluth, Minnesota. In September, Duluth recorded a total of 0.85 of an inch of rain--only 21% of its average rainfall for the entire month. The city has yet to record any measurable precipitation this month, but Sunday night into Monday will likely end its dry streak with a quick 1-2 inches of rain possible.

The Great Lakes will not be the only region to deal with drenching rainfall on Monday. A combination of the remaining moisture from what once was Hurricane Delta and moisture from the Atlantic Ocean will work to unleash heavy rain on portions of the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast on Monday.

Quiet weather will return to much of the nation's midsection on Tuesday as a large area of high pressure is set to develop over the Ohio Valley. This area of high pressure will work to keep areas from the Midwest to the Southeast dry and pleasant into at least midweek.

Forecasters say the coldest air yet this season is then likely to plunge into the North Central states late in the week.

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