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Flood warnings resume, more thunderstorms in the forecast

Whether it was steady or in an outright downpour, rain dominated the weekend and pushed rivers back into flood stages. In Brainerd, Saturday night's booming thunderstorm brought such a hard rain it was challenging rain gutters. Sunday had periods...

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Whether it was steady or in an outright downpour, rain dominated the weekend and pushed rivers back into flood stages.

In Brainerd, Saturday night's booming thunderstorm brought such a hard rain it was challenging rain gutters. Sunday had periods of pouring rain followed by bright sunshine as thunderstorm cells moved through the lakes area. From the forecast, the wet weather will continue.

"The active weather pattern will remain with us through at least Friday, with no signs of a sustained dry periods setting in until next weekend," the National Weather Service forecast office reported. "Several more inches of rain are expected over the course of the work week, on top of the couple of inches picked up by most areas Saturday. Severe weather will be possible Monday through Wednesday, with the flood threat continuing as well. During the course of work week, the flood threat will be transitioning from a primarily flash flood risk to start the week to an increased risk for main stem river flooding by next weekend."

At the Brainerd Lakes Airport, 1.05 inches of rain was recorded for the weekend as of 6 p.m. Sunday. Other areas of the state received much more. In southwest Minnesota, the National Weather Service reported more than 5 inches of rain fell Saturday through Sunday morning.

The flood warning continues for the Mississippi River at Aitkin and Fort Ripley. The river near Fort Ripley was just above flood stage at 10.3 feet and rising. It's expected to increase to 11.9 feet by Friday causing minor flooding or rural areas. The new crest is compared to a previous crest this time of year of 9.7 feet on June 15, 2005.

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In Aitkin, the Mississippi, at 12.2 feet Sunday morning, was also rising with minor flooding expected. The river may reach 13.8 feet by Friday leaving some roads covered with water. The latest Aitkin crest compares to an earlier crest of 13.3 feet on May 7, 2013.

The Mississippi River in both areas is expected to begin falling, again, by Friday.

In Brainerd, the latest rains pushed the Mississippi River back into near-flood stage. At 12.42 feet Sunday, the river was below the 13-foot flood marker when minor flooding begins. But trees, recently gaining in visibility, in the river's expanded bed now have water pushing up to the leaf tops again. Moderate flooding is reached when the river hits 16 feet.

The forecast also calls for more rain throughout the week. Today's sunshine and high of 83 is expected to give way to thunderstorms tonight. Tuesday and Wednesday should provide partly sunny skies and highs in the upper 70s or low 80s. Each day has a chance of showers or thunderstorms but at a 40 percent chance or less. Showers and thunderstorms are likely Wednesday night and Thursday. Friday may bring mostly clouds and continued change of rain. Saturday and Sunday may provide at least part sun with highs in the upper 70s and just a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service in Duluth forecast through Saturday notes afternoon convective storms are possible from Brainerd to points east in Wisconsin.

"Some of these storms could become strong with hail and gusty winds possible."

Related Topics: WEATHER
Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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