It's the time of year when spring and summer flood projections begin for the major midwest rivers. Ever since 2008 and to a lesser degree 2016, we have, needless to say, taken a much closer interest in these statistics.

Experts tell the Gazette that while the current flood risk is "slightly elevated" on the Cedar and Iowa rivers, we have significantly less to worry about at this time than areas along the Mississippi River.

The Cedar River at Cedar Rapids has a current flood stage risk of 9 percent in early forecasts, while the Iowa River at Iowa City has its historical average of a 5 percent flood stage risk at this time.

Conversely, with a major flood stage of 21.5 feet, Dubuque is looking at a 91 percent risk of reaching that mark on the Mississippi River. At Rock Island, that risk is already over 95 percent with an 18-foot major flood stage.

Again, these are very early and first projections but it's information that the National Weather Service will be closely monitoring as we head to spring and summer in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.