About Our Office

 

Weather Forecast Office Quad Cities WFO Sign

Location: The National Weather Service (NWS) Quad Cities Weather Forecast Office (WFO) is located just north of Interstate 80 at the Davenport Municipal Airport. This location is on the northwest side of Davenport and is approximately 7 miles from the downtown area. The office can be easily accessed via Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 61. The WFO homepage is available at: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dvn
What We Do: The Quad Cities WFO provides warnings, forecasts, and other hydro-meteorological information to the public, media, emergency management, aviation community, and other customers 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.  The WFO is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which is part of the United States Department of Commerce (DOC).
Operational employees work eight-hour rotating shifts. Forecasters prepare graphical and digital forecasts, issue warnings, watches, and advisories, aviation forecasts, and river forecasts and warnings. Meteorologist Interns and Hydro-meteorological Technicians (HMTs) monitor weather observations, provide public service, and program/monitor broadcasts over eleven NOAA Weather Radio–All Hazards Stations. HMT/Interns also collect and disseminate river and rainfall data, launch balloons to gather upper-air weather data, administer the Cooperative Weather Observer Program, and prepare local climatological data summaries and reports. Electronic Technicians and an Information Technology Officer keep state-of-the-art computers and data collection systems up and running.
About The QCA: The Quad City Metropolitan Area (QCA) consists of numerous municipalities clustered around five larger cities on both sides of the Mississippi River. Much of the QCA is built along a section of the Mississippi River that flows east-west rather than north-south.  The larger cities include Davenport and Bettendorf on the Iowa side, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline on the Illinois side. The population of the metro area is near 400,000, ranking second only to Chicago in the two-state area of Iowa and Illinois. The area is highly industrialized, specializing in the manufacture of munitions for the U.S. Army, farm implements, rolled aluminum, and other items. Towns in the surrounding counties are largely agriculturally-oriented with some of the most productive farm land in the country.  Hog and cattle production rank at or near the top nationwide.  There are three daily newspapers, four television stations (and cable) and multiple radio stations.  There are excellent hospitals on both sides of the river, excellent schools, and churches of nearly every denomination. There are 31 Iowa and 22 Illinois motel/hotel/bed and breakfasts in the metropolitan area. Rates depend on size and quality of the room but are comparable to other Midwest urban areas.
Climate:  The climate of eastern Iowa and northwest Illinois is continental in character, featuring strong seasonal contrasts and sharp daily changes.  Winters are cold and generally dry while summers are warm and humid. The mean annual temperature is about 50 degrees ranging from normal highs and lows of upper 20s and around 10 in January, to mid-80s and mid-60s in July.  Annual precipitation averages between 30 and 40 inches with much of it falling in the period from April through September.  Seasonal snowfall averages about 30 inches, but in the past 30 years has ranged from as little as 12 inches to as much as 70 inches. The average growing season is around 170 days between late April and mid-October.
Recreation:  Cultural and recreational facilities of all types common to a community of this size are available. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra, oldest west of the Mississippi, performs in Centennial Hall seasonally. A number of theatrical, musical, and sport events are performed throughout the year at the "I-Wireless Center” with a 12,000 seat capacity. The QCA is home to the Quad City Mallards, a United Hockey League Team, and the Quad City Steamwheelers, Arena Football 2 League Team. Both teams play home games at the I-Wireless Center.  The Quad Cities is also home to the Quad Cities River Bandits, a Class-A Farm Baseball Team associated with the St. Louis Cardinals Professional Baseball Team. The John Deere Classic Golf Tournament is held annually at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, IL located nearby. There are ten public and five private golf courses in the QCA.  Big cities such as Chicago and Des Moines are 2 ½ hours from Davenport and St. Louis is approximately a 5 hour drive.
Each January, thousands of Bald Eagles are visible along the Mississippi River in the QCA as they migrate through the region. Pheasant, duck, deer, and small game hunting are available nearby. Boating and fishing on the Mississippi River and nearby lakes and streams draw a sizable share of enthusiasts. 
Educational Facilities:  The QCA has two universities; St. Ambrose in Davenport; and, Western Illinois Regional Center in Moline, IL. Augustana College is located in Rock Island, the Palmer College of Chiropractic is in Davenport, Blackhawk College is in Moline, and Scott Community College is in Bettendorf, IA.  Three state universities offering a meteorology degree are within a 2-4 hour drive: Northern Illinois University in DeKalb; Western Illinois University in Macomb; and, Iowa State University in Ames. The University of Iowa, located in Iowa City, offers a program in Hydrology and is a one-hour drive from the WFO.
Housing:  Rental property is available. Housing is available in a wide range of prices depending on the location and age of the home. Prices are comparable to other similar Midwest cities. The 2008 average price of a 3-4 bedroom home was: $234,000 in Bettendorf; IA, $127,000 in Davenport; IA, $112, 000 in Moline; IL, and $91,300 in Rock Island, IL. Newer 3-4 bedroom homes with three car garages are typically more. A wide range of lifestyles (urban, suburban, small town, and country) are available within a 20 minute drive of the office.  The average commuting time is 10-15 minutes, but can range from 5 to 35+ minutes.
Taxes:                    Illinois                    Iowa

Sales                                   7.25%                             7.00% (Scott County)
State Income                      3.00%                             8.98% (graduating scale)
Personal Property             6.25%                             Variable

Transportation:   While bus service is available in the cities, none extends to the Davenport Municipal Airport, making a car necessary for WFO employees. Taxi and limousine service are available. Employee parking at the WFO is free. The Quad City International Airport, located in Moline is the main airport serving the QCA and is 18 miles from the WFO.
 

About The County Warning Area: The WFO Quad Cities County Warning Area (CWA) consists of 36 counties; 21 in eastern Iowa, 13 in northwest Illinois, and 2 in extreme northeast Missouri. The population of the CWA is over 1.45 million. The largest cities are all in Iowa and in descending order are Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Dubuque. The largest metropolitan area is the QCA, which has a population near 400,000, and includes Scott County, IA and Rock Island and Henry Counties in Illinois. Several other cities have populations around 25,000 or more, including Burlington, Muscatine, Clinton, and Iowa City in Iowa, and Freeport and Sterling-Rock Falls in Illinois. These urban areas serve as industrial centers for manufacturing and distribution of a variety of goods but primarily those related to agriculture. The CWA has a land area of 20,941 square miles which yields a population density of 69.3 people per square mile. Land use is primarily agricultural with gently rolling hills interspersed with flood plains along the many rivers. The terrain north of the Quad Cities along the Mississippi River becomes more rolling with bluffs extending several hundred feet above the river. Elevations range from just over 1,200 feet above mean sea level in Jo Daviess County at the highest point in Illinois, to just under 500 feet above mean sea level along the Mississippi River just south of Keokuk, IA.

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