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Significant Midwest Floods From Overnight Rainfall

18 May 2020, 11:00 am

Significant flooding across the Midwest last week and over the weekend culminated in numerous water rescues and river flooding on Sunday and Monday across northern Illinois in particular, including Chicago.

The heavy rainfall has also prompted widespread river flooding across northern Illinois and other parts of the Midwest, and in some cases, the potential for at or near record crests this week.

First things first, though: Chicago is likely headed for its wettest May on record after this exceptionally soggy stretch. As of late Monday morning, 8.20 inches of rain had fallen so far this month, including 7.88 inches over a four-day stretch from Thursday through Sunday. That 8.20-inch mark puts it just five hundredths of an inch off Chicago’s current wettest May on record  – set just last year. Here’s more information on Chicago specifically from the National Weather Service (NWS) office there:

Those statistics are based on official NWS observations at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. NWS Chicago has more information on Chicago-area rain statistics available on their Twitter account.

Here’s a look at some of the flooding from the Chicago area late Sunday, including numerous water rescues and widespread reports of washed out roadways. Standing water was visible across many neighborhoods in Chicago, especially on the west and south sides of the metro area.

And some other rainfall reports from across the Chicago area:

Heavy rain is also taking its toll on area rivers and streams. Among several waterways experiencing flooding (including the Chicago and Fox Rivers right in or near Chicago), the Des Plaines River on the west side of Cook County is bracing for major flooding on Monday and Tuesday, before rivers gradually start to recede later this week.

Take a look at some hydrographs from the Des Plaines River, including the fourth-highest crest on record in Lincolnshire:

Chicago’s 7-day outlook, fortunately, includes a needed breather from the heavy rain. A dry, sunny week is mostly in store after a few more showers on Tuesday.

Chicago’s next chance for significant rainfall will likely come next weekend, but hopefully, a mainly dry week should allow the ground some needed time to recover from last week’s enormous rainfall totals.

Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this.

About the author
Chris doesn't remember a time when that he didn't love the weather. When he was five years old, he wrote his first words, "Partly cloudy", in Ms. Benn's kindergarten class. According to Chris, it's been a love affair ever since, from teaching himself how to read forecast models at age 12, to landing at WeatherNation. Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, he started to go after his lifelong drea... Load Morem of becoming a meteorologist by predicting whether or not there would be snow days - turning him into Greenwich High School's "defacto weatherman". He turned that snow day-predicting website into a front page story a local newspaper, which in turn earned him a look at WABC-TV in New York, where Chris did the weather live on-air at the age of 16. He attended Boston University, where he continued being a "weather nerd", performing weather updates on the campus radio and TV stations, and doing the daily forecasts for the student newspaper. Following his studies at BU, Chris worked at Mile High Sports and ESPN Denver for four years while pursuing his certification in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. Chris is a huge sports fan, rooting for the Rockies, Nuggets, Broncos, Avalanche and UConn. He frequently find links between sports and weather, including an investigative analysis he did in 2013, finding trends between Peyton Manning's play and game time temperature (he doesn't like the cold). Chris also enjoys running, playing any sport, socializing and periodically overeating at all-you-can-eat buffets.

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