Rain, rain and more rain. That’s the story of this week here in Iowa. Showers and thunderstorms crawled across Iowa yesterday and are expected to do more of the same today, tomorrow and into Wednesday. The graphic on the left shows the amount of rain that’s fallen over eastern Iowa since Sunday. You can see a widespread area of 2-4” of rain shown by the areas in red.
This is of special concern because a lot of this rain fell along the Iowa river upstream from the Coralville Reservoir. The Army Corps of Engineers is keeping outflow north of Iowa City and Coralville below a level that would start flooding low lying areas of the two cities.
As of now that’s still the plan, but with more rain in the forecast, it’s certainly a situation that will have to be closely monitored. The lake is now at 60% capacity and can handle more water, but heavy rain in the wrong place at the wrong time could change those plans.
Overall the good news is even if some areas are flooded, there is still a lot of wiggle room which means the dam is doing exactly what it’s supposed to, prevent flooding of the metro areas.
As for the rest of the week, more rounds of showers and thunderstorms could bring some isolated strong storms to parts of Iowa. A minimal risk is posted for much of the state tomorrow (see graphic to the right). Another storms system enters the weather picture on Wednesday before we finally see a break in the precip on Friday and Saturday. More rain chances could return next week, but for now we’ll focus on the rain Iowa faces this week.