29. Heavy rains are expected the next several days, saturated ground and high streams from recent snow melt will not take much more precipitation without problems.
There is enough risk of problems that the NWS Duluth has issued a Flood Watch across all of northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin (to the right).
A Watch indicates the need to stay tuned to Weather Radio or local media in case rivers and streams rise, putting roads under water. Gravel roads are already saturated and culverts are already moving quite a bit of water through them -- if enough rainfall occurs, both paved and unpaved roads may begin washing out.
I found these pictures (to the left) in a Google search, each picture is linked to its source. I thought it was prudent to go over a few things that omnipotent humans sometimes forget:
* we are not omnipotent. * Nature is more in control than we are. * flooding can occur anyplace, anytime. * daytime is bad, nighttime is worse. * there is no way of knowing what's under that water - road? nothing? * it's not worth the trouble to find out if you can make it across or not. * 6 inches of moving water can knock an adult off their feet. * 2 feet of water will make any vehicle float, less for smaller cars.
I'm sure the car in this photo (to the left) thought they could make it across the road. They probably drive the road everyday and felt familiar enough with it to try to cross it. We underestimate the power of water, especially when it's flowing over the road.
"Turn Around, Don't Drown". If you come up to water covering the road, there is no reason not to find an alternative route.
Quite a bit of rain is expected.
This colorful map (to the right) is from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) and shows expected liquid the next five days across the US.
Most of Wisconsin is painted in colors that fall between 2 and 3 inches of rain. These numbers come from the computer models that forecast our weather and therefore are not perfect, but are a good guide where the heaviest rain may fall and how much is expected.
Regardless of the forecast details, it looks like most areas will see high rain amounts the next several days.
Streams and rivers have been running high.
I took three stream gauges from the NWS's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) on the NWS Duluth's website and put them into a singe image (to the left).
1) The Nemadji River just south of Superior. The recent measurements indicate that snow melt has raised the river the last couple days, but may have reached it's crest.
2) Whittlesey Creek a few miles west of Ashland. This creek crosses Highway 13 just north of US 2 and I've attended a workshop concerning this stream. It's a sandy-bottomed, ground water feed stream, that is flashy and makes sudden changes up and down.
3) The Black River a few miles north of Ironwood. This river drains higher terrain of the Gogebic Range and also shows signs of rising the last several days due to snow melt.
These three locations are good examples of streams and rivers in the area. Any more precipitation will push the current levels higher, possibly into Action or Flood stages.
Some interesting weather ahead.
This graphic (to the right) is today's Weather Story from NWS Duluth, showing expected weather the next several days.
To recap what is painted on the map:
60s and 70s today across the region with sunny skies and south winds.
Heavy Rain likely Thursday and Friday.
Snow possible across the region Friday night with colder temperatures and breezy conditions.