Minnesota is going to get a taste of the tropics the next couple days.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal are expected to make their way north, while at the same time, a low-pressure system moves into Minnesota from the Plains.
“That’s going to come together right over our area,” said Dave Schmidt, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in La Crosse.
That combination will mean heavy rain across Southeast Minnesota into Wisconsin on Tuesday, Schmidt said.
Widespread rain totals of 2 to 3 inches are forecast in the area Tuesday into Wednesday, with higher amounts in some areas.
“There’s potential for some localized flooding,” Schmidt added.
It’s not often that remnants of tropical storms carry this far north to affect the weather in Minnesota, but it's also not unheard of, Schmidt said.
Last year, remnants of Tropical Storm Olga deposited rain in Southwest Wisconsin Oct. 27-28.
In early October 1949, Southeast Minnesota experienced some flooding related to an unnamed hurricane.
The hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas, in 1900, one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history, dumped between 3 and 4 inches of rain in a swath across central Minnesota Sept. 10-11 that year.
“Obviously, these tropical storms weaken when they come this far inland,” Schmidt said. “But they still carry a lot of tropical moisture.”
Recent rains have left moist soil in the area, so it won’t take much to saturate the ground when the rain begins Tuesday, leading to faster runoff and rising streams and rivers, he added.
“Those with any interest along waterways should stay tuned to the latest information,” Schmidt said.
The exact path Cristobal will take is unknown, but models so far show it’s likely to follow a path over the Mississippi River.
“The models have been pretty consistent so far,” Schmidt said. “But, like any models, they can change.”