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The National Weather Service in the Quad Cities will now be issuing Flood Watches for River Forecast Points for situations when rivers MAY rise above flood stage, but flooding is not yet certain.

Flood Warning vs Flood Watch

  • Flood Warning - Flooding is imminent or is occurring.  TAKE ACTION!

  • Flood Watch - Flooding is POSSIBLEPrepare to Take Action!

What is a River Flood Watch?

  • A River Flood Watch is a way for the National Weather Service to inform the public and other customers of the possibility of flooding at a particular point along a river.
  • It does not mean flooding will occur, it means conditions are favorable for flooding and that flooding is POSSIBLE.
  • Flood Watches will be issued for forecast points on rivers for which the NWS is currently issuing river forecasts and flood warnings.
  • Flood Watches for Rivers are polygon based, rather than county based, to only highlight areas along rivers that may be impacted.
  • A Flood Watch will be UPGRADED to a Flood Warning if or when confidence is high that flooding will occur at the particular point.

Purpose of River Flood Watches?

  • Flood watches will help the NWS provide advance notice of the possibility of river flooding when there is limited confidence on the amount of rise the river will experience.
  • Allows partners and the public to begin monitoring hydrometeorological conditions more closely in order to prepare to take action should a warning be issued.

When will Flood Watches for Rivers be issued?

  • A Flood Watch will be issued when forecasters have between 50% and 80% confidence that a particular forecast point on a river will rise above flood stage.
  • Flood Watches will typically be issued 6 to 48 hours before a river is forecast to rise above flood stage.

Where can Flood Watch information be found?

  • Flood Watches will be highlighted on the NWS Quad Cities webpage in the color seagreen opposed to Flood Warnings which are highlighted in lime green.
Flood Watch                     
Flood Warning                        
  • A direct link to Flood Watch information can be found here          
  • Flood Watch Information will be played over NOAA Weather Radio
  • Forecasters from the NWS Quad Cities forecast office will detail information and reasoning behind the Flood Watch in the Area Forecast Discussion

Note:  Flood Watches will be disseminated to partners in traditional methods no differently than any other Watch event, for example the Law Enforcment teletype service, nwsChat, the NWS webpage, a subscription service, etc.

QPF Day 1 Outlook

Rain Day 1 Outlook - TEXT

QPF Day 2 Outlook

Rain Day 2 Outlook - TEXT

QPF Day 3 Outlook

Rain Day 3 Outlook - TEXT

QPF Day 4-5 Outlook

Rain Days 4-5

NWS National Significant Flood Outlook

National Significant Flood Outlook

NCRFC Significant River Flood Outlook

North Central River Forecast Center Significant Flood Outlook

QPF used in River Forecasts

Forecast rainfall used in current River Forecasts

Any inquiries can be directed to:

Jessica Brooks
Service Hydrologist
NWS Quad Cities IA/IL
Davenport, IA 52806

563-386-3976 ext 493


Hazardous Weather Outlook
Area Forecast Discussion
River Levels
River Statements




Weather Graphic

Weather Story

Composite Reflectivity