Remnants of Imelda to bring heavy rain to Central Illinois

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill. – Since Tuesday, tropical storm Imelda and its remnant moisture brought more than 2 feet of rain to southeast Texas. The slow storm movement and the non-stop stream of tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico led to some of the worse flooding seeing in the Houston area since Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Now, Imelda is gone and all that is left is a plume of tropical moisture that is slowly lifting into northeast Texas. This moisture will drift into the Central Plains on Saturday and into the Midwest Saturday night and Sunday where it will interact with a cold front coming out of the northwest. The end result will be periods of heavy rain falling in Central Illinois between Saturday night and Sunday.

Storm Impacts

  • Scattered showers & storms develop Saturday
  • Periods of heavy rain move through Saturday night & Sunday
  • Urban street flooding possible in poor drainage areas
  • River rises likely through next week

Scattered showers and storms will begin to move through Central Illinois on Saturday as the tropical moisture plume begins to filter into the region. Storm coverage on Saturday will be highest west of the Illinois River with localized downpours possible. The rain will become more widespread and periods of heavy rain will be possible Saturday night and Sunday as deeper moisture arrives from the south and the cold front moves through the region.

Rainfall Forecast

Rainfall forecast through Sunday night. Forecast as of 9:30 pm Thursday.

The heaviest rain is expected to fall west of the Illinois River where 2-4 inches of rain is expected while 1-3 inches is expected further east.

  • Peoria: 2-3 Inches
  • Bloomington: 1-3 Inches
  • Galesburg: 3-4 Inches
  • Canton: 2-4 Inches
  • Pontiac: 1-3 Inches
  • Lincoln: 1-3 Inches
  • Lacon: 2-3 Inches
  • Peru/La Salle: 2-3 Inches

Thanks to the recent stretch of dry weather, the parched soil in Central Illinois will be able to absorb a lot of the rain that falls limiting the potential for widespread flash flooding. Of course, during the brief periods of heavy rainfall, there will be some excessive runoff which could lead to urban and small stream flooding. This is particularly true for areas with poor drainage.

Drought Monitor

The latest drought monitor shows that the recent rains north of I-74 have brought relief to some of the hardest-hit areas of Central Illinois. Henry and Knox Counties have been pulled out of the moderate drought they’ve experienced in recent weeks and are now considered abnormally dry. Still, much of the area remains abnormally dry with pockets of moderate drought. The incoming rain this weekend could be enough to pull much of the region out of this recent drought.

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