Midwest Overview - April 2010
Precipitation was below normal for most of the Midwest in April (Figure 1). From southern Missouri to Michigan and areas to the southeast were below normal with southeast Ohio receiving less than 50% of normal. Another area with less than normal extended from northwest Iowa, across most of Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Near Lake Superior, totals were less than half of normal and in the northeast tip of Minnesota less than a quarter of normal. Above normal rainfall fell from northern Missouri, through southeast Iowa and northwest Illinois, into southern Wisconsin, along with a few other isolated areas. In northeast Missouri the rainfall was 50% more than normal, totaling five to seven inches (Figure 2). During April moderate and severe drought expanded in the upper Midwest and moderate drought developed in Kentucky (Figure 3).
April temperatures averaged well above normal across the region. Temperatures ranged from about 3°F above normal in southeast Kentucky to as much as 9°F above normal in the northern reaches of Wisconsin and Minnesota (Figure 4). The early part of the month was particularly warm while the latter part of the month was closer to normal (Figure 5). Daily records high temperatures were plentiful in April, with 796 record high maximums and 567 record high minimums. The first three days of the month accounted for nearly 700 records (Figure 6). Monthly temperature records were set at stations in at least four states.
Midwest statewide temperatures all ranked in the top seven of records going back to 1895. Illinois recorded its warmest April while Indiana and Wisconsin recorded their second warmest. The preliminary numbers are summarized in the table below.
No April Snow in Minnesota
No Minnesota station reported measurable snow, with only trace amounts recorded during the month. This is the first time since modern records began in 1891 that Minnesota went without a measurable snowfall in April. This comes on the heels of March which was also atypically snowless. Duluth recorded only a trace of snow on March 19th and April 7th but was otherwise snowless. International Falls recorded just 0.2 inches on March 19th and a trace on March 24th.
Corn Planting on a Record Pace
The warm and dry conditions in March and April allowed for many days of fieldwork and planting. Corn planting in the Midwest, and the country, is ahead of any time since at least 1974 when records began. The US corn crop reached 50% planted by April 25th bettering the old record of 37% by that date. In the Midwest, records were set for the percentage of the crop in the ground and the percentage of the crop planted in a week. The April 25th Midwest numbers from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service are summarized in the table below.