As of this week—amazingly—there was still snow in the parking lot at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport:
This spring, it’s barely stopped raining.
On Thursday afternoon, the raging Mississippi River crested in St. Paul at the sixth highest level all time—six feet above flood stage—with a flow rate of 122,000 cubic feet per second. That’s enough to fill the Empire State Building in about five minutes.
The exceptionally high river levels have come after an exceptionally rainy month. The Twin Cities need less than an inch of rainfall by Monday to break a 140-year-old record for June rainfall (11.67 inches), and the forecast is currently calling for up to four inches. Any further rainfall will prolong the crest, which has already caused mudslides, flooded cities and farmers’ fields ,and prompted disaster declarations in 35 counties across the state. The impact in flood-hardened St. Paul itself has been relatively minor, like the relocation of cars from the city’s impound lot, and the closing of three roller coasters at a nearby amusement park.
Factoring in last winter’s abundant snowfall, the Twin Cities will easily finish the wettest first half-year on record, according to data from the National Weather Service:
Twin Cities precip for 1/1-6/24 easily greatest for that time frame over period of record (3.33" greater than 1965). pic.twitter.com/elhfflYkki-- NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) June 25, 2014
Heavy rains in 1965 caused the Twin Cities’ worst flood on record, six feet above this week’s levels:
A persistent jet stream pattern, locked in place at least partially by the mammoth California drought, has helped keep the atmosphere unusually productive across the upper Midwest so far this year.