It’s often said in areas of drought in the southern U.S. that it takes a tropical storm to reverse the situation. This year, as we know, the Texas-Oklahoma drought was fairly well broken by a lingering storm system over Memorial Day weekend which resulted in more than 30 deaths.
Now comes what is left of Tropical Storm Bill, already as of this morning, reduced to a tropical depression. Some parts of Texas into Arkansas may see 2 to 5-inches of rain in the next day. While these rain totals don’t match some from the Memorial Day storms, they are excessive and flash flooding is a possibility.
As the remnants of Bill move slowly to the northeast across the next several days the heaviest rain will eventually spread into southern Illinois and on to Indiana by late Friday night into Saturday. Here’s the latest hydrological forecast discussion.
In fact, the remnants of Bill will interact with a stalled frontal system which has caused periodic heavy rain for more than a week as it waffled up and down across Illinois and nearby states. Flood warnings have been issued for several rivers in Illinois and extend into portions of the Mississippi River bordering the state. Flooding in Illinois ranges from major to minor and areas of heaviest precipitation have varied daily.
On Monday, tornado warning sirens sounded in downtown Chicago, a relatively rare occurrence. A funnel cloud was observed east of Midway Airport and another near Millenium Park which is just east of Michigan Avenue in the heart of the city. No touchdowns were reported, but some photos taken at the time show an unmistakable wall cloud.