All eyes are on the skies today as a large area of light to moderate rain slowly makes its way through Iowa. This rain is putting a damper on 4th of July plans and could seriously affect planned fireworks displays tonight. But there’s another problem the state will face over the coming days… more rain, and lots of it.
Take a look at a recent 5-day forecast from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. The graphic shows the forecasted amount of rain that could fall. You can see a large area of. You can see more than half of the state could see 3 or more inches of rain, with a large swath of ground that could see 7 or more inches of rain. This is very troubling, especially for the Iowa River in southeast Iowa.
Any more rain could force the Army Corps of Engineers to release more water from the Coralville Reservoir. This could flood some low lying areas in Iowa City. Right now it’s not expected to reach a level as serious as 2008, but it will have to be very closely monitored as heavy downpours in the wrong place could trigger bigger problems for the area.
The one bit of good news was the extended period of dry weather over the past week. Without this time off from the rain, this could turn into a major problem. Most areas can handle another 2-3” of rain now, but totals like this, if they in fact happen, would be too much for many rivers to handle.
We’ll continue to monitor this as more round of rain move through the state over the next few days. For now, enjoy the holiday and hope for a good fireworks in Cedar Rapids or wherever you plan to watch them tonight!