What remains of tropical storm Imelda is currently inundating southeast Texas with heavy rainfall. As the system slowly moves away from that region it has its eyes set on the midwest. Imelda's remnants may merge with an approaching cold front coming from the northwest. The two energy sources combining over Illinois could set the stage for heavy, tropical like rains this weekend.
Below we can see the two pieces on today's op NAM run.
Once these two systems combine, this should allow for a large field of heavy rain to develop, combined with the tropical moisture from Imelda, and the forcing provided by the cold front from the northwest. This may perfectly come together right over Illinois.
Exact timing and intensity details need to be worked out, but right now the most favored time for heavy rains appears to be late Saturday night into Sunday. Some of the hi-res models are spitting out impressive 4+" totals when it is all said and done
As of now, it appears at least a period of heavy rainfall is likely, the biggest factor in terms of flooding will be how fast it moves and where the heaviest axis of rain sets up. Some areas of Illinois are much drier than others and will be able to absorb more rain. There are still some details to work out, and when needed we will push out more updates, including a Flash Flood TAM.
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