Midwest Weekly Highlights - April 24-30, 2013
Wet in the Southeast, Dry in the Northwest, Flooding Still Lingering
The week saw subdued precipitation totals compared to last week's record rainfalls. The southeastern portion of the region was wet with 100% to 400% of normal precipitation, while the northwestern part of the region was dry with most areas seeing 0% to 50% of normal precipitation (Figure 1). The greatest rainfall totals were seen in southern Kentucky where as much as 4" to 5" of rain fell during the week (Figure 2). Just over 100 daily precipitation records were broken, with the majority occurring on the 24th, 27th, or 28th.
On the heels of last week's heavy rains, many rivers had receded to below flood stages by the end of the week, though portions of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers remain in major and moderate flood stage. Portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Indiana are also experiencing river flooding, as indicated by the National Weather Service river observations.
Severe weather is beginning to ramp up as spring is finally making an appearance across the region. No tornadoes were reported during the week, however a number of hail and few wind reports occurred in Iowa, southern Wisconsin, and extreme northern Illinois
Mixed Bag of Temperatures Across the Region
The majority of the region continued to see below average temperatures last week, ranging from 2°F to 8°F below normal in southern and northwest portions of the region (Figure 4). A swath of near-normal to above-normal temperatures ran across the central and northern portions of the region with areas in Wisconsin and Michigan topping out at 2°F to 5°F above normal for the week. The swath of near-normal to above-normal temperatures for the week was primarily a result of an extremely warm day on April 30th, where temperatures were as much as 19°F above normal
(Figure 5). For the week, over 350 daily temperature records were broken, with the vast majority being record lows in the cooler parts of the region. Record highs fell predominantly on April 30th.
Much of the rain that fell during the week was in areas where drought is not a concern, resulting in a minimal change in the drought status for the region (Figure 6). Minimal as it were, the region did see a reduction in all categories of drought except for extreme drought (D3) where it remained at 0.04% of the region. Areas in the Midwest that are still experiencing drought are forecasted to see improvement through the end of July
A Tale of Two Springs for Farmers
Ignoring the eventual drought of 2012 that ruined many crops, the status of planting between 2012 and this year is amazing. The table below highlights the drastic differences.