The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 25, 2014

Rain creeping back into forecast

OTTUMWA — Rain is easing back into the forecast, though there are no indications it will be like Sunday’s washout.

The National Weather Service gives the Ottumwa area at least a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms for every day through Tuesday, with the best chance at 60 percent Monday night. The chances aren’t great for any one forecast period, but the cumulative probability makes it very likely we’ll see rain again at some point this week.

Rainfall amounts through Friday night are not expected to be particularly high, welcome news for a sodden state. Ottumwa’s June rainfall stands at 6.46 inches, well over the average total for the entire month. The difference in northern Iowa is even more stunning. Sioux City sits at 8.2 inches of rain in June. They normally receive just 3.89 inches in the month.

That means flooding in northern Iowa, but not here just yet. The Des Moines River at Ottumwa has stabilized at about 7.75 feet.

More rain upstream could well change the situation. The Army Corps of Engineers has increased the amount of water released at Saylorville Lake, a reservoir on the Des Moines River. That increase means more water flowing into Lake Red Rock, the last major holding point before Ottumwa.

More rain would force the Corps to release more water from Saylorville, potentially increasing the amount they would need to release from Red Rock and raising river levels locally.

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