Midwest Weekly Highlights - December 25-31, 2012
Another Week, Another Blizzard
The Midwest was hit with blizzard conditions for the second straight week but the areas affected were further to the southeast (Figure 1). Just after Christmas, a storm system swept from southeast Missouri to Lake Erie with snow, wind, and low visibilities creating blizzard conditions on the 26th (Figure 2) and 27th (Figure 3). Another system on the 29th (Figure 4) dropped additional snow along roughly the same track. Numerous weekly snowfall totals of 12 to 15 inches were reported in Indiana. More than 200 daily snowfall records were set during the week and snowfall totals were well above normal along the path of the storms (Figure 5). Snow also spread across Missouri and into central Illinois on the 31st but nearly all fell after the morning observations and was recorded on the 1st of January (Figure 6).
Despite most areas in the region receiving below normal precipitation totals
(Figure 7), dozens of daily precipitation records were set. Only the southeast third of the Midwest had widespread above normal totals but some locations did receive between 150% and 200% of normal for the week (Figure 8). Drought remained primarily in the western half of the region
(Figure 9). The very dry soils have been a contributing factor to numerous water line breaks in some areas. Reports of problems have been reported near the Mississippi River in Missouri
(St. Louis County) and Illinois
(Adams and Rock Island counties).
Temperatures Below Normal
As the year came to a close, with annual temperatures among the warmest on record, temperatures dropped to below normal for nearly the entire region. A small pocket of near normal temperatures in northeast Illinois was surrounded by below normal readings (Figure 10). The coolest readings were in western Iowa and southwest Minnesota where temperatures were more than 10°F below normal. Just a handful of daily temperature records were set with each being a record low maximum temperature. Temperatures dropped well below zero in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin on the last night of the year and morning lows on Jan 1st ranged between 0°F and -20°F for much of those three states