Chalk up what’s going on along stretches of the Mississippi River to another of the myriad impacts of this past winter and early spring’s parade of ATMOSPHERIC RIVER STORMS off the Pacific–storms which then swept across the country unleashing mega snowfalls and, in their warm sectors, severe weather.

Melting Snow Straining River Systems that Drain the Area

The past snow season’s bountiful snows across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest is now melting and the meltwaters are straining the river systems that drain the area. Mississippi River levels are predicted to reach the 3rd-highest level on the books at Davenport.

As of Wednesday morning, the Mississippi had risen more than 6 ft. above flood stage, reports the Associated Press (AP)–which also reports on sandbagging and evacuations underway along the Mississippi in sections of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.


“Residents along the Upper Mississippi River are scrambling to protect or flee their homes ahead of potentially record-breaking floods. The heavy snowpack in northern Minnesota is melting rapidly, forcing residents of Campbell, Wisc., to canoe to their homes. “It’s pretty stressful,” Amy Werner told the AP. “It’s bubbling up from the ground. I’ve been living my life by every hour for about 10 days now, and it’s not over yet.” About 60 miles downriver in Prairie du Chien, the river was already more than 6 feet above flood stage on Wednesday, with streets submerged under a foot of water, and flood waters were expected to rise to nearly 25 feet by Saturday. In California, flood waters have arrived and will continue to rise.”

Percent of Normal Precipitation

MAP OF THE PAST 6-MONTHS PERCENT OF NORMAL PRECIP which clearly shows areas subjected to heavy precip due to the parade of nearly a dozen ATMOSPHERIC RIVER/”PINEAPPLE EXPRESS” storms off the Pacific and across the country, contributing to a heavy snowpack across the Upper Midwest which is now melting and producing flooding

Local Severe Weather counts reach record levels

Here in Chicago, my NWS colleagues reported just days ago on how these storms have pushed tornado and other severe weather counts here to record levels:

Our local severe weather season is off to a very active start. We’ve already seen 10 more tornadoes than the annual average, and saw several rounds of damaging wind and hail storms in March and April. Our typical peak of the severe weather season is May through June.