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Drought and mild winter lead to low spring flood risk

National Weather Service Quad Cities

This year's mostly mild winter means a low risk of flooding in the Quad Cities area this spring.

The National Weather Service for the Quad Cities recently released this year's first Spring Flood Outlook. Hydrologist Matt Wilson says the flood risk is below normal for the Mississippi River and local tributaries.

"Flooding threat is going to be the highest for points along the lower part of the Rock River, but that is really only for minor to moderate flooding to be expected."

Wilson says local temperatures this winter have been five to eight degrees above normal. And the period of heavy snow last month was not enough to cause flooding in the spring.

Another factor this year is drought in Eastern Iowa.

National Weather Service Quad Cities

"We still do have plenty of areas that are in that D3 extreme drought," he said. "The areas that are anywhere from that D1 moderate drought to D3 extreme drought do have much higher capacity to take in any spring rains that we get."

Wilson says people in the Quad Cities area can expect warmer than average temperatures to continue through May.

The flood risk could change due to lots of rain in the area or heavy snow north of the Quad Cities.

The National Weather Service will release its second Spring Flood Outlook later this month.

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.