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The groundhog may have predicted a quick end to winter, but the forecast suggests it may linger.

Thursday will bring some relief from the cold and wind, but low temperatures will stick around the Quad-Cities Wednesday morning and return over the weekend.

Meteorologist Dave Cousins, with the National Weather Service, Davenport, said wind chills will be zero to minus 5 through mid-morning Wednesday. Winds should quiet down during the day, and it will start to warm up, with highs by Thursday around 40 degrees. But then it will rain, and temperatures will fall again, so Friday may bring a wintry mix.

And if snow, sleet and wind isn't enough, we still need to watch for floods.

On Tuesday, the Rock River at Moline was 2 feet over flood stage, registering in at 14.03 feet. It's forecast to be at 13 feet by next week.

“Flooding will depend on how much rainfall there is Thursday,” Cousins said. “It could prolong what’s already going on with any melting."

Energy crews prepare

Meanwhile, Alliant and MidAmerican Energy crews are preparing for possible effects from cold and wind that could affect customers.

MidAmerican Energy Co. has dispatched additional crews to the Quad-City area, according to a news release. Ice accumulated overnight Monday on power lines and trees while winds increased Tuesday.

Gusty winds may cause more significant impacts to already ice-coated power lines and tree limbs.

When ice accumulates on power lines and the wind increases, that can cause “galloping,” when wind pushes and lifts the lines, causing them to jump up and down, said Mike Wagner, spokesperson for Alliant, which also has backup crews prepared.

Ice can add two hundred more pounds to the weight of a line, Wagner said. “We treat every day as a potential emergent situation,” he said.

Other winter outages are caused when someone hits a pole with a vehicle or a piece of equipment malfunctions, he said.

By the numbers

Yes, it's snowy and cold. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Gross:

Snowfall 

2019: 51.5 inches since Nov. 1.

2018: 26.5 inches from Nov. 1 to Feb. 12.

That's the seventh snowiest winter on record in the Quad-Cities.

  1. 1974-75: 69.7 inches
  2. 2013-14: 65.1 inches
  3. 1978-79: 64 inches
  4. 1959-60: 61.5 inches
  5. 1996-97: 59.1 inches
  6. 1971-72: 54.1 inches 

Median temps

December-February: 26.1 degrees.

That's only the 80th coldest winter in the 140 years of record-keeping.

Median winter temps: 25.4 degrees

Coldest day

Minus 33 degrees on Jan. 31, breaking the record of minus 27 degrees, set Feb. 3, 1996

Top 5 warmest winters*

  1. 1877-78: 36.3 degrees
  2. 1881-82: 35 degrees
  3. 1931-32: 33.2 degrees
  4. 1889-90: 32.5 degrees
  5. 2001-02: 32.2 degrees

Top five coldest winters*

  1. 1978-79: 14.1 degrees
  2. 1874-75: 15 degrees
  3. 1892-93: 15.6 degrees
  4. 1977-78: 16 degrees
  5. 1935-36: 16.4 degrees

*median temperatures

Power down?

Icy weather increases the chance of power outages. Alliant Energy and Mid-American Energy reported a number of them by 3:30 p.m. Tuesday:

  • Bettendorf 4
  • Davenport 15
  • Rock Island  5
  • Moline 1
  • Muscatine County 4
  • Clinton County 25
  • Scott County 875 (combined for both companies)
  • Rock Island County 234

No school, again?

Seem like the kids are never in school. There have been more snow days than in recent memory.

Bettendorf

Cancellations: 7

Early dismissals: 2

Late starts: 3

Davenport

Cancellations: 7

Early dismissals: 1

Late starts: 2

North Scott

Cancellations: 7

Early dismissals: 2

Late starts: 3

Pleasant Valley

Cancellations: 7

Early dismissals: 2

Late starts: 3

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