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A wet 2009 gets even wetter with today's storms, weekend forecast

A wet 2009 gets even wetter with today's storms, weekend forecast

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BLOOMINGTON - Rainfall in the Twin Cities already is about 4 inches above average this year and more is on its way.

"The ground is so saturated, it's just running off," said Jim Angel, a climatologist with the Illinois Water Survey. "It's not like it's going to help us in August when it's dry."

Bloomington-Normal received 1.81 inches of rain between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday, according Darcy Loy of Illinois State University's campus service/grounds department. Nearly an inch was recorded before 7 a.m., said Angel.

Pontiac received about 1 1/4 inches by afternoon, according to Nathan Marsili, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Romeoville. The Vermilion River was at 4.5 feet by afternoon. Flood stage is 14 feet.

Clinton and Lincoln each had received about an inch of rain by late Wednesday.

Chris Geelhart, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, said the Twin Cities area could get another inch or more from a system that is expected to roll through the area Friday into Saturday.

All of the rain comes after an already wet first quarter of the year and on the heels of the second wettest year on record, said Angel.

The Twin Cities received nearly 14 inches in January through April, he said. The average for the four months is 9.78 inches.

As of 7 a.m. Wednesday, Bloomington-Normal had already received 1.94 inches so far this month. May is the wettest month of the year, Angel said, with an average rainfall of 4.27 inches. When Wednesday's total is added and if the rain comes this weekend, the area will be close to that monthly total and there's still a half of month to go.

Angel said the six-to-10-day forecast calls for cooler than normal temperatures and about normal precipitation. The eight-to-14-day forecast anticipates cool temperatures and a return of wet conditions, he said.

That's not good news for farmers, gardeners or just those who are trying to keep up on lawn mowing.

"All parts of the system (soil moisture, rivers, streams) were above average going into the growing season," Angel said. "Even if we get average or below average precipitation, it's too much of a good thing now."

Reporters Tony Sapochetti and Kevin Barlow contributed to this story.

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