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Midwest Weekly Highlights - June 10-16, 2013

Near Average Temperatures for Most

Temperatures in the region warmed up a bit from last week's below normal temperatures, resulting in comfortable temperatures for nearly the entire region (Figure 1). Nearly the entire region was within a degree or two of normal for the week, with the only widespread area not within a couple degrees of normal was southwest Missouri, where temperatures ranged from 2°F to 6°F above normal on the week (Figure 2). Near normal average temperature for the week do not necessarily mean that the average maximum and minimum temperatures were also near-normal, however in this case, they were. Both the average maximum and minimum temperatures were within a couple of degrees of normal sans southwest Missouri (Figure 3)(Figure 4).

Precipitation for Most of Us

Precipitation on the week was concentrated through the central and eastern portions of the region (Figure 5). Peak amounts, while not as impressive as many weeks during the spring so far, occurred in northern Indiana and southern Michigan, where totals ranged from 3" to 4". Overall though, a majority of the region saw at least some precipitation with portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northern Minnesota being the exceptions. Compared to normal, the region was about half above and half below (Figure 6). Generally the eastern half of the region was above normal, while the western half was below normal.

With the cooler temperatures and increased precipitation this year versus last year, there is little-to-no drought remaining in the region (Figure 7). The only areas experiencing any form of drought are, extreme southeastern Ohio, northwest Iowa, north central Minnesota, and southwest Minnesota, where the only area of severe drought (D2) exists. Those areas experiencing abnormally dry to severe drought conditions remain forecasted to see relief as the growing season continues into summer (Figure 8).

Crops Nearly Completely Planted ... but too Late?

The last few weeks of relatively good weather allowed farmers across the region to catch up and get nearly their entire crops planted. With planting wrapping up, the next concern for farmers is crop development. Will there be enough time for crops to mature and be harvested before fall freezes and winter makes its appearance? The evolution of the summer growing season will play a large role in the timing, development, and maturation of this season's crops. For much of the corn and soybean growing areas in the region, the median date of the first hard (28°F) freeze occurs in mid-late October (Figure 9).

Tornadoes and a Derecho

Severe weather was fairly widespread across the central and eastern parts of the region with numerous reports in each state (Figure 10). Tornadoes were seen in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky, with all of those reports coming during the first three days of the week (10th - 12th). The big severe weather day, June 12th, caught quite a bit of media attention as a derecho formed and made its way across northern Illinois, northern Indiana, and Ohio on towards the east coast, bringing with it widespread high wind reports, as well as large hail and tornadoes. If you're one of many wondering what a derecho is, NBC News published a nice explanation, here.