Rains Increase to the East
Relatively dry conditions were the rule across the western half of the Midwest, but rainfall totals increased to several times normal in the eastern states of the region. Totals for the first ten days of July ranged from less than a tenth of an inch in parts of Missouri to 3 to 6 inches in most of Ohio and Kentucky
(Figure 1). Despite the low totals in the west, severe thunderstorms were reported in all nine states (Figure 2). Compared to normal, rainfall amounts ranged from less than 10% of normal to more than 400% of normal
(Figure 3). Daily precipitation records numbered more than 180 with Kentucky (55) and Ohio (34) leading the way, though records fell in each of the nine states.
Midwest temperatures were within 5°F of normal with the warmest temperatures in the north and east while the coolest temperatures were around the confluence of the Ohio River and the Mississippi River where Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky meet (Figure 4). Maximum temperature departures increased from southeast to northwest
(Figure 5) while minimum temperatures increased from southwest to northeast (Figure 6). In addition to the spatial variability of the maximum and minimum temperatures, temperatures warmed through the period in most areas from cooler than normal to start the month
(Figure 7) to above normal by the end of the period (Figure 8). Daily temperature records were mostly record high minimums and record low maximums.
Severe weather affected the region on each day in the period and all states had reports. Most of the activity however occurred on the 10th
(Figure 9) in the eastern states when numerous wind damage reports came in from Indiana, Kentucky, and especially Ohio. Many of the earlier days in the month had just a handful of scattered reports. Tornadoes were reported in Kentucky on the 6th, Wisconsin on the 9th, and on the 10th in both Indiana and Ohio. Isolated hail reports were also reported on each of the first ten days of the month with sizes ranging from just over the severe threshold of (quarter sized) to golf ball sized hail in a few cases. In Kentucky
(Laurel County) on the 1st, a severe storm blew down a tree onto a moving vehicle causing injuries to the occupants.
The rains of 2013 have nearly eradicated drought according to the US Drought Monitor (Figure 10). Some areas in Missouri have largely missed out on recent rains and have returned to abnormally dry in the latest depiction while other areas in the region battle with ponding of water in fields. Growing degree day totals since May 1st are within 100 degree days of normal for nearly the entire Midwest
(Figure 11). Western areas are slightly behind normal while eastern areas are typically slightly ahead of normal. The weather in 2013 was not kind to the Michigan strawberry crop which just finished up with a below average harvest. Other small fruits are being harvested now.