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Max and Min Temperatures
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Damage from high winds near Benson, MN Corn Conditions

Midwest Weekly Highlights - June 17-23, 2013


Above Normal Precipitation in North and South

Precipitation ranged from 200% to 750% of normal across portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern Illinois during the third week of June (Figure 1), where rainfall totals were 2" to 6" (Figure 2). The high precipitation totals in Minnesota and southern Wisconsin were the result of a storm system (Figure 3) that moved through on June 20th and 21st (Figure 4) (more details are in the severe weather section below). Precipitation was also above normal across southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and Kentucky. Rainfall was not quite as abundant in areas of the central Midwest and Michigan, where rainfall totals during the week ranged from 0" to 0.5", resulting in rainfall that was only 0% to 25% of normal.

Drought is now affecting only a small portion of the region, thanks to the above normal precipitation this spring and so far this summer across the Midwest (Figure 5), especially in the portions of the upper Midwest that have been feeling the lingering effects of the 2012 drought. Only 11% of Minnesota remains in moderate drought (D1), while portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Ohio are classified as abnormally dry (Figure 6). After the heavy rains in this region over the past week, drought conditions will show further improvements on the June 27th US Drought Monitor.

Slightly Above Normal Temperatures and High Humidity

Average temperatures ranged from 55°F to 80°F across the Midwest during the third week of June (Figure 7), resulting in temperatures that were near normal to slightly above normal across a majority of the region (Figure 8). The warmest days of the week were the 21st and 22nd, where maximum temperatures ranged from 85°F to 95°F across much of the southern Midwest (Figure 9). On these days, humidity was also high across the region, making it feel warmer than it actually was. Dew point temperatures of 70°F and higher moved north into the central Midwest (Figure 10). Temperatures were not above normal across the entire region. Portions of the upper Midwest, including northeast Minnesota and northern Michigan experienced temperatures throughout the week that were 3°F to 6°F below normal.


Widespread Severe Weather

Severe weather was reported on every day but one during the week and affected all nine Midwest states (Figure 11). The days with the most reports of severe weather were June 20th and 21st, when a bow echo moved through Minnesota and other parts of the upper Midwest, bringing heavy rainfall, high winds, and hail through the area. Damage from the straight-line winds included damage to buildings, trees, and significant power outages. The greatest wind speeds of 85 mph were reported at the airport in Benson, Minnesota (Swift County), which were powerful enough to knock entire trees down (Figure 12). Tornadoes were reported in Tracy, Minnesota (Lyon County) on the 21st and Rio, Wisconsin (Columbia County) on the 22nd. Fore more information on the storm in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Climatology Working Group summary.


Growing Season Update

Even though the 2013 growing season got off to a slow start this spring, more favorable weather allowed planting and development to progress late this spring and early summer. As of June 23rd, much of the corn in the Midwest has emerged and a majority of the crop is in good to excellent condition across the region (Figure 13). Much of the soybean crop has emerged as well and is also in good to excellent condition (Figure 14).

High temperatures during the day and little rainfall last week in southwest Michigan (Figure 15) resulted in fruit plants that were struggling in the heat and wilting during the day, according to the Michigan State University Extension southwest Michigan June 25th fruit regional report. Currently, this region is about one week behind the 5-year average in growing degree days. Despite the stressful conditions last week and below normal growing degree days, the harvest of summer fruit, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apricots, and sweet cherries is underway or about to start in southwest Michigan.

-MW-