When it comes to broken records of the extreme weather variety, the Quad Cities has seen a fair share of them for 2019. Roger K. wrote in inquiring just how many records have fallen so far this year. It’s an impressive amount!
In all, just in Moline alone, nearly 20 records have been broken beginning with the record cold in January. It was that record cold that brought the coldest temperature ever recorded to the Quad Cities, a bone-chilling 33 degrees below zero.
Buried within the record cold for January was also a new record for snowfall as we logged an impressive 30.2 inches of snow compared to the 9.4 inches we typically see for the month. It was this snow and the combination of a wet spring which would then create our next extreme event, the record flooding on the Mississippi River.
Once the rain began in late February into March, it didn’t stop, much. Rainfall records were set three times in the span of just a couple of months, and the timing couldn’t have been worse as the spring thaw was underway and the massive amounts of snow began to melt.
All of that water had to go somewhere. The ground was completely saturated and full of water, meaning any new rainfall quickly ran off into area creeks, streams, and rivers. The Mississippi River rose to a record 22.70′ crest in Rock Island on May 2, 2019, edging out the long-standing 1993 record. Several businesses in downtown Davenport were devastated after a Hesco barrier breach just two days before the record-setting crest.
What followed the flooding was a remarkable turnaround to a short-term drought for much of the mid to late summer months when rainfall became more scarce. That quickly changed once we entered autumn with more of an active pattern that ended the short-term drought.
Now, we’re back to right where we started the year off at, record-setting cold thanks to a fairly decent snowpack and unseasonably strong area of high pressure. While the cold likely isn’t going to last forever, it is just a preview of what we can expect again for the upcoming winter season, which hasn’t even arrived yet! Yikes!
Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke