Tropical Depression Cristobal continued to weaken Tuesday afternoon as it moved into the Upper Midwest, shifting further east into Wisconsin where the heaviest rain now is expected to fall.
A flood watch in effect until 7 a.m. Wednesday covers the southeastern portion of Minnesota and the western half of Wisconsin where 2 to 4 inches of rain was forecast, the National Weather Service said.
The Twin Cities was previously included in the flood watch but the Weather Service on Tuesday afternoon canceled the watch there, downgrading the amount of rain expected in the metro area to 1 to 3 inches.
Cities such as Albert Lea, Rochester and Red Wing were still included in the flood watch and could see 2 to 4 inches of rain. Up to 4 inches could fall in an area from Eau Claire to Rice Lake and Ashland in Wisconsin, the Weather Service said.
“Small creeks and streams may rise quickly, and flooding may also occur in urban areas,” said the latest advisory.
It’s rare for tropical storms to affect the Upper Midwest, and Cristobal will be the first to do so since traces of Tropical Storm Erin hit Minnesota in 2007. The state also was affected by Hurricane Rita in 2005.
Showers pushing into the metro area by midafternoon Tuesday could linger into Wednesday afternoon before a sunny stretch of weather arrives Thursday.
After reaching a blistering high of 96 degrees Monday in the Twin Cities, the mercury will struggle to reach 70 degrees Wednesday. Temperatures will moderate into the 70s Thursday through Sunday, and the next chance of rain will come Sunday night, the Weather Service said.