Missouri is predicted to receive a lot of rain over the next few days, and the National Weather Service is warning people to be paying attention.
Forecasts say a large portion of central to northern Missouri could receive four to six inches of rain by Monday, with up to eight inches in local areas. Other regions farther north and south could get two to four inches.
Meteorologist Ben Miller told Missourinet a cold front that could produce some severe storms this afternoon and evening will be the focus of showers through the weekend.
“This cold front’s going to sag through the area tonight, kinda stall across southern Missouri tomorrow, and kinda slowly work back north through the weekend. Along and north of that boundary there will be waves of showers and thunderstorms kind of off-and-on through the weekend,” said Miller. “At that point it won’t be nearly as big of a severe weather threat as it will be a heavy rainfall threat. It looks like the best window for the heaviest rainfall appears to be late Saturday through Sunday night – looks to be the period when the bulk of the precipitation is going to occur.”
The Weather Service is concerned about possible flooding, especially because it is a holiday weekend.
“If this happened during the week when everybody’s at work I’m not saying there wouldn’t be impacts, but the safety level would be completely different than a weekend when you have people out boating or floating on area rivers … where they’re at-risk being in low-lying areas and maybe not quite as in-tuned as they would be otherwise,” said Miller. “We’re hoping we have the word out enough ahead of time that people are cognizant that this is an event that is going to occur and they do the right thing and stay abreast of the current conditions and the forecast and just do their best to be safe.”
Miller said how great a flooding threat the predicted rainfall poses is difficult to say.
“We’ve been pretty dry, at least along the Missouri River and north,” said Miller. “A lot of it depends on exactly how fast it falls and exactly where the heaviest corridors of this rain fall. If they’re spaced out north to south, each event doesn’t go exactly over the same areas, then we may get a nice, beneficial heavy rainfall that doesn’t result in a ton of dangerous, damaging flash flooding. If a couple of these or they all kind of train along the same corridor and you get six, eight [inches], maybe a little bit more than that, then yes those areas are going to see some significant flooding and probably some issues with flash flooding over the weekend.”
Miller encourages people to pay attention to the weather and traveler information, and heed warnings if and when they’re issued.
He said right now it looks like rain will be ending from northwest Missouri through southeast Missouri through the day on Monday, but some parts of southeast Missouri could still be getting rain Monday night and that could interfere with some fireworks displays.
For information for your area, tune in to your Missourinet affiliate station and visit these Weather Service office websites.