2020 Spring Flood Outlook

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – On Thursday the National Weather Service released their first of two outlooks for spring flooding. The second outlook will be released in early Spring.

What to expect

  • The risk of flooding is near normal for this Spring. Areas that typically see flooding during the Spring should expect to see flooding this Spring
  • Soil moisture is high which is a concern for excessive runoff
  • Frost depth is minimal which will be beneficial if conditions allow for drying
  • Any significant flooding will be driven by Spring rains

This winter season has been a snowy one for much of Central Illinois with the entire region receiving more than 15 inches of snow since the first snow of the season. This means most of the region is sitting near to above average on seasonal snowfall. It certainly didn’t hurt to have a record setting snowfall to start the snow season on Halloween which left much of Central Illinois under 2-4 inches of snow.

Since the start of the snow season, the Peoria area has seen above average snowfall in October, November, and January and is more than an inch above the February monthly average for snowfall. It has also been a winter season with temperatures in every month except for November which saw well below average temperatures. Since temperatures have been relatively warm, the snow that Central Illinois has received has been really wet leading to above average precipitation.

The winter season looks even warmer and less snowy if you don’t factor in October and November when Central Illinois saw well above average snowfall and below average temperatures. You can see all the temperature, precipitation and snowfall maps below in the gallery.

Thanks to the abnormally warm temperatures this winter, snow pack across northern Illinois is not particularly impressive. The warmer temperatures have allowed snow to melt shortly after falling, resulting in elevated river levels and high stream flows over the past few months. Barring any significant winter storms in the next month, the risk of flooding this upcoming Spring will generally be based on heavy Spring rains.

According the the National Weather Service’s Spring Flood Outlook, the risk of flooding in Central Illinois is near normal and areas that typically flood in the Spring should expect to experience some flooding throughout the Spring.

The climate outlook for March, April and May from the Climate Prediction Center currently shows a 40% chance of seeing above average precipitation. The temperature outlook is less certain with an equal chance of seeing above average, near average or below average temperatures.

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