Flood Chances Rise Slightly - Video

Feb 25, 2021

Credit Island, May 2017, Miss. River 2.4 feet over flood stage.
Credit National Weather Service

The chances for flooding along the Mississippi River have risen in recent weeks, but not by much. Thursday the National Weather Service issued its second flood outlook for the spring.

Hydrologist Jessica Brooks, from the Davenport office, says in a normal year there's a 50 to 60 per cent chance the river will rise to flood stage in the Quad Cities.

"This year it's slightly higher. This year we're looking at like a 60 to 70 per cent of reaching minor flood stage where if you look compared to last year where we were looking at almost a 100 per cent chance of reaching flood stage."

latest spring flood outlook for the Miss. River at the QC
Credit National Weather Service

That's because the snowpack upstream is much less than what we've received this winter, and areas upstream in Wisconsin and Minnesota were experiencing drought conditions as winter began. If that snow melts slowly, and we don't receive too much rain, then we might get off easy.

Brooks says flooding chances are higher along the Rock and Wapsipinicon rivers because a lot snow has fallen this winter in those watersheds.

"So if we do get that snow to melt fast and have it release all the water out of there in a quicker time span, we could see some of those higher level flood events happen on those rivers."

Brooks says currently the long range forecast calls for normal or near normal precipitation in the coming weeks. Watch her full briefing on the updated flood outlook in the video below.