February ended up being the warmest winter month of the year thus far, and the state climatologist says that’s good news in helping avoid a repeat of spring flooding. Harry Hillaker says the snow that had accumulated so far this winter faded away in the warmer February temps.

Hillaker says the only long term or old snow cover in the state is in the far northeast part of the state, in areas such as Decorah, Fayette, Guttenberg, where there are a few inches of snowcover. Hillaker says that’s a lot different than this time a year ago.

Last year finding open areas without heavy snow cover in February was not easy. Hillaker says some parts or northeastern and northern Iowa had as much as 20 inches of snowcover last year at this time. He says that makes it more favorable for the ground not being saturated like it was last spring.

Hillaker says less saturation of the ground makes it easier to handle any spring rains, and lessens the likelihood for flooding.