The National Weather Service announces the first river flood forecast of the season

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Spring is just around the corner and for many riverside residents, the focus is on the threat of flooding.

The National Weather Service has released the first of three spring flood forecasts of the season.

“The forecast is slightly above average to near average,” said Matt Wilson, senior service hydrologist for the National Weather Service Quad Cities.

Wilson looked at several different factors that affect flood potential in regional rivers, including temperature, snowpack, snow water equivalent, ice on rivers, frost depth and amount of snow on the ground in the north.

“Some factors are higher than other years. But also, some of the other factors are a reduction in threats from what we normally face,” Wilson said.

A major flood, such as the one that broke the flood barriers in downtown Davenport in 2019, no It is expected this spring, at least on the Mississippi River from Dubuque to Burlington.

“There we really expect to see minor to moderate flooding. That should be a major part of what we see this year,” Wilson said.

While warmer than average temperatures and below average snowfall and snowpack were inconsistent here at home, conditions were different up north.

“In Minnesota, Wisconsin, so the headwaters of the Mississippi, we have a lot of snow, where the average snowpack and the average snow water equivalent are higher. So when the water melts in the spring, it’s the Mississippi River comes in. This is where our Mississippi high flood conditions really occur,” Wilson said.

As for the risk of flooding in some smaller rivers?

“The Rock River is close to normal, maybe a little above normal. But yes, Wapsi near DeWitt is also expected to see flooding. But it’s a very annual event and it’s not expected to be a regular thing for them,” Wilson said.

Additional snowfall, cold temperatures that cause ice jams, spring precipitation, and rapid snowmelt can throw the wrench in our north. current forecast.

“This is a situation where we could see some of these major flood threats,” Wilson said.

The second one will be released on February 23rd and the final version will be released on March 9th.

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