FOLLETTS — Following heavy rains in East Central Iowa this week, water levels along the Wapsipinicon River are rising.
“The Wapsipinicon River is expected to go into major flood stage by late this weekend,” David Sheets, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in the Quad Cities, said. “It is going above 12.5 feet to 13 feet. So people typically who live along the river knows what those stages mean.”
Forecasters are predicting this trend to continue through the weekend with more rain coming by Friday. Sheets said the river has risen above flood stage and will continue to rise.
Flood stage along the Wapsipinicon River is 11 feet, Sheet said, but the normal or average river level varies depending on the weather. The river is normally at 10 feet or a little lower than that.
Anticipated rainfall over the weekend could aggravate the situation more, Sheets said. “It is certainly something we’re watching.
“There’s a potential for thunderstorms maybe to bring heavy rain Friday night and that could prolong the time above flood stage or that category of major flooding. It might make it last a little bit longer than what’s in the current forecast,” Sheets said.
This time of year, severe weather is always possible when thunderstorms are forecast, Sheets said. “It looks like the amount of instability and wind shear could bring us some storms with some damaging winds perhaps and maybe some large hail.”
Sheets said the nice, comfortable weather will end, and more stormy, hot and humid conditions will become the norm over the next several days.
High temperatures today are forecast to top out in the middle 80s, but highs over the next few days will be around 90 if not slightly higher. More humid conditions will make the weather feel more June-like, said Sheets.
“Going into next week, we have temperatures still staying pretty warm,” Sheets said. “We will be up in the 80s every day. The biggest difference people will notice is the humidity is coming back. We had fairly comfortable air and low humidity across the area over the last several days, but more humid weather is coming back and that will be around going into the middle part of next week.”