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Accumulated Precipitation Percent Drought Monitor Average Temperature Departure Annual Tornado Trend  

Midwest Overview - July 2013

Lack of Rain in Iowa

Rainfall total varied across the Midwest with the most extreme conditions being the dryness in western Iowa where totals were less than 25% of normal (Figure 1). The majority of the region, centered on Iowa, was below normal for the month, while other locations received up to twice their normal for the month. The wetter locations included most of Kentucky and Ohio along with parts of southern Illinois, southern, Missouri, Upper Michigan, and the arrowhead of Minnesota.

The dry conditions in Iowa were a change from the preceding spring which was well above normal in the state (Figure 2). Atlantic, IA (Cass County) recorded its second driest July with just 0.12" and monthly totals set records in three other Iowa cities; Carroll 0.18" (Carroll County), Sac City 0.20" (Sac County), and Red Oak 0.42" (Montgomery County). Plentiful soil moisture from the preceding months and cool temperatures helped to lessen the impact of the dryness on crops unlike 2012. Moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions expanded across the western most states in the Midwest during the month (Figure 3).

Cool Temperatures

Midwest temperatures were near or below normal (Figure 4). Cooler than normal temperatures, up to 3°F below normal, were in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The remaining states were near normal. Despite the small departures from normal for the month, there was a wide range of daily temperatures. Cool weather to start July gave way to well above normal temperatures by mid-month but cool temperatures returned later in the month. Daily temperature records showed a similar pattern with record lows early and late in the July sandwiched around record highs in the middle of the month (Figure 5).

Widespread Severe Weather

Severe weather touched the region on all but a handful of days including a three day respite in the middle of the month. Reports were spread across the region with Ohio being particularly well covered (Figure 6). Tornadoes touched down in six of the nine Midwest states during July (Figure 7) but 2013 tornado totals are still running well below normal nationwide (Figure 8).

The Indiana State Climate Office also contributed to this report.
The Iowa Climatology Bureau also contributed to this report.
The Minnesota State Climatology Office also contributed to this report.
The Missouri Climate Center also contributed to this report.