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Flooding Likelihood Down Slightly

downtown Davenport, April 2019
downtown Davenport, April 2019

The chance of spring flooding in northwestern Illinois and eastern Iowa has decreased slightly for the Mississippi River, but it's the same for its tributaries.

Thursday, the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities released its third and final spring flood outlook.

Two weeks ago, the second outlook showed the risk for the Mississippi was "near normal to slightly above normal."

But now, Meteorologist Rich Kinney says the risk is "near normal." That includes the chance of flooding at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities.

"For minor flood stage two weeks ago it was 69, now it's 66 per cent. Moderate flood stage two weeks ago was 53, now it's 49. Major flood stage two weeks ago it was 24 per cent - the latest is 19 per cent."

A big factor this year is the snowpack has not melted yet in Minnesota and northern parts of the Mississippi River basin.

"It looks like daytime highs getting above freezing but not that warm and then still-chilly lows at night. So that would suggest a relatively slow snowmelt, at least for the next week, and we certainly hope that can continue. What you don't want is for three straight days of really well above normal temperatures and then melting everything rapidly."

Last year at this time, the snowpack up north had already melted.

As usual, Kinney says the other factor that could affect the risk of flooding is whether we get heavy spring rains.