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THIS WEEK: Keep the rain gear around for April

The Illinois climatologist explained we'll see chances for more rain and warmer temperatures.

MOLINE, Ill. — Spring is known for some wild mood swings.

Seventy-degree afternoons one day, the threat of snow showers the next.

But this spring has also seen a drenching.

"The last couple of weeks have been greatly beneficial to getting rid of at least improving drought conditions in northern Illinois especially," said Illinois State Climatologist Dr. Trent Ford on "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens."

It comes as much of Iowa and Northern Illinois have seen dry and in some cases, drought-like conditions.

The Quad Cities region is listed as being in a "moderate drought" by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

"The last couple of weeks have been greatly beneficial to getting rid or at least improving drought conditions in northern Illinois especially," Ford said.

Listen to our entire interview with Illinois State Climatologist Dr. Trent Ford on THE CITIES PODCAST.

National Weather Service Quad Cities Meteorologist and Chief Science Officer Ray Wolf said climate changes have already left a mark on the upper Midwest.

"We've noticed that the summers around here are more humid than what we're used to seeing in our much younger days," Wolf explained. "And the ramifications of that come out in terms of the amount of rainfall we get, and particularly noteworthy in the spring."

The impact of La Nina isn't over

And this spring is also being impacted by a La Nina winter.

The weather pattern that makes wetter and warmer weather in our region usually starts to fade by April.

This year, climatologists say it could continue into the summer.

"This year we're still in La Nina, it's persisting, and the latest outlooks from NOAA show or suggest that we're likely to be in La Nina at least into summertime if not through summertime which is fairly rare," Ford said.

He said that can have an impact on areas already hit hard by the drought last year.

"And that, again, can lead us into a bit of a drier outlook for areas farther to our west, Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska. Their outlook is pretty dry for the spring and summertime."

April showers to be expected

Ford said the rain that's falling in late March and early April is coming at a good time because the soil is thawed and has a greater chance to soak in moisture for the drier summer.

And the projection for April and May?

"Elevated chances of above-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation for the Quad City area as well as through much of the state of Illinois," Ford said.

Watch "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens" Sunday mornings at 10 on WQAD News 8.

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