Mississippi River flood warning, snowflakes expected for coming week

The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a flood warning for the Mississippi River in Aitkin and forecasted no snow accumulation for the Brainerd lakes area.

Gail LeBlanc rides her bike along a path at Whipple Beach as boaters enjoy time on the lake Saturday, April 17, 2021, on a warm sunny afternoon in Baxter. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Snowflakes are expected in the Brainerd lakes area to begin the week along with a Mississippi River flood warning, which is expected to last until Wednesday evening, April 21.

The forecast calls for snow but not any accumulation while the flood warning issued by the National Weather Service in Duluth continues for Aitkin. An earlier flood warning issued for the Brainerd lakes area expired.

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“The week will be cooler to start off with because we have a cold front kind of moving through the area presently, but we should get back up into the 50s by Thursday,” said Jonathan Wolfe, a meteorologist with the Duluth office.

The temperature reached a high of 50 degrees Sunday, April 18, and rain fell in the afternoon with lows in the upper 20s Sunday night.

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“There are a few chances here and there for some light, light rain — like flurries — but overall nothing significant with any notable accumulations, so kind of breezy to start the week with but kind of becoming kind of a decent spring week,” Wolfe said Sunday.


Winds reached 18 mph in the Brainerd lakes area with 78% humidity Sunday evening. At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, the Mississippi River crested at about 13.3 feet, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth. The flood stage for the iconic river in the Aitkin area is 13 feet.

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“Minor flooding is occurring and minor flooding is forecast. … It will then fall below flood stage Wednesday morning,” according to the flood warning.

“All the rain that we had last week, week-and-a-half or so has run off. The Mississippi River — especially that particular area — is prone to flooding, especially fields, and it does go across a few roads,” Wolfe said.

The boat ramp at Aitkin City Park floods at 13 feet, and a few driveways become covered with water in the Cedarbrook area with minor flooding of farmland occurring in the Cedarbrook community, according to Wolfe.

“Whenever it does get above 13 feet we issue flood warnings for that particular site. ... It’s supposed to crest around 13.8 feet and again that’s still minor flooding,” Wolfe said.

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The cresting of the river Sunday falls shy of the previously recorded crest of 13.3 feet on June 13, 1984, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth.


“The only snow would be tonight into tomorrow morning,” Wolfe said Sunday evening. “It should just be light — like snowflakes in the air — nothing accumulating.”

Wolfe said the Brainerd lakes area received 0.04 inches of rain as of Sunday evening.

“This time of year, the snow starts to taper off,” Wolfe said. “Most of the systems that come through should likely be more rain than snow at this point.”

FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at . Follow him on Twitter at .
I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write mostly features stories for the Wadena Pioneer Journal. The newspaper is owned by Forum Communications Co.
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