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More snowfall than normal, but no records

STERLING – Northwestern Illinois has seen more snowfall than usual this winter.

But the National Weather Service says the threat of flooding on the Rock River isn’t that much greater this year.

In Moline, the closest city with historical data, 46.6 inches of snow have fallen so far this winter, much greater than the seasonal average of 29.4 inches. That makes this the 15th snowiest winter on record.

If Moline gets another inch of snow, that would put this winter in 10th, said Tom Philip, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Davenport, Iowa. If this season’s snowfall beats 51.5 inches, that would make it the fifth snowiest. The most snowfall came in 1974-75, with 69.7 inches.

“We’re getting into more rain events at this point now,” Philip said. “It’s continuing to warm up. It’s possible that we could get into the fourth or fifth spot.”

Last month tied the record for the snowiest February on record, which was in 1994. That was largely because of the blizzard at the beginning of the month.

With the coming of spring, flooding always is a threat, especially after a snowy winter. But Philip said the chance of flooding on the Rock River is only slightly greater than normal.

“The changing of seasons will cause unsettled weather,” he said. “With that will come severe weather in March, April and May. And the storms can produce tornadoes. That dies off a little in the summertime and will have another peak in October and November.”

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