The National Weather Service of Northern Indiana has issued several warnings for the Wabash County area, which may see flash flooding, strong wind, funnel clouds, and flooding along the Eel River.
A flash flood watch is in effect for parts of the county until midnight tonight. The NWS says heavy rainfall this afternoon may produce 1 to 2 inches of precipitation in a short period of time, conditions which are favorable to flash flooding.
NWS Meteorologist Nathan Marsili said the heaviest showers and storms are developing to the east and west of Wabash County, which is good news for those with outdoor plans this weekend. But Marsili warned that flash flooding is still possible as a small patch of showers and storms can still produce a lot of rain.
A large, upper-level system is moving slowly through the region this afternoon and Saturday, producing a funnel boundary that has stalled in the area, Marsili explained.
The threat of showers is reduced heading into the evening, particularly after sunset when the heat subsides, with few scattered showers possible overnight, Marsili said.
The NWS has also issued a special weather statement for Wabash County and other parts of the state, indicating that funnel clouds are possible this afternoon and evening. But tornadoes are not likely.
According to the NWS special weather statement: “These funnel clouds rarely touch the ground and typically do not pose any sort of hazard. The atmospheric conditions that these funnel clouds develop in do no support strong, damaging tornadoes. However, on rare occasions, funnel clouds can briefly touch the ground and produce very minimal, if any, damage.”
North Manchester residents may see the worst damage this weekend, as the Eel River is expected to rise near flood level due to heavy showers and thunderstorms.
The NWS has declared a flood warning will be in effect for North Manchester along the Eel River tonight through Sunday evening. The river is expected to crest tonight at 8.5 feet – just below action level. The latest NWS observation found the Eel River at 7.44 feet in North Manchester. Minor flooding occurs when the river hits 11 feet.
But even there, Marsili said the chance for flooding has been reduced as the area has not seen as much rain as originally expected.
“If we can get through (the afternoon) without the threat of additional rain aggravating the flooding, we'll be lower here” than expected, Marsili said.