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7-Day Multi-Sensor Precipitation Percentage Drought Monitor Average Temperature Departure Annual Tornado Trend  

Midwest Weekly Highlights - July 25-31, 2013

Precipitation and Drought

Similar to last week, precipitation varied across the region. However this week was a bit drier across the region with many areas well below normal (Figure 1). The only large areas that saw above normal precipitation were northern Michigan, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, southwest Missouri and western Illinois, where precipitation reached as much as six times or more above normal. The greatest precipitation totals were seen in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and southwest Missouri where totals were as great as 6" to 8" for the week (Figure 2). A few areas in the region saw no precipitation at all, including western Minnesota, western Iowa, and northern Indiana. Each day during the week saw at least a couple of precipitation records fall, and while many were not impressive many of the records that fell on July 30th were. Most precipitation records set on the 30th were greater than 2", including a 5.20" report in southwest Missouri.

Due to the lack of rain in parts of the region over the last few weeks, drought has started to creep into large parts of Iowa and Missouri and smaller portions of Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana. (Figure 3). Drought conditions in northern Minnesota continue to see improvement thanks in large part to cooler conditions and near-average precipitation.

Temperatures Remain Well Below Normal

The end July was a comfortable one across the region thanks to well below normal temperatures (Figure 4). The entire region saw temperatures at least 5°F below normal with the majority of Illinois and parts of Iowa, Indiana and Missouri seeing temperatures as much as 10°F below normal on the week. High temperatures across the region were extremely comfortable given the time of the year, ranging from the upper 60's in parts of Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Minnesota to the low 80's in parts of southern Missouri and Kentucky (Figure 5). A large number of daily temperature records fell across the region each day. All of the records were of the lowest minimum and lowest maximum temperature variety. In total, excess of 900 temperature records fell across the region.

Crop and Pasture Condition

Crop conditions changed minimally across the region versus last week. Given the extremely cool conditions over the last week, growing degree day totals remain behind normal in the western half of the region. As summer creeps to a close over the next few weeks, concerns may turn towards whether or not crops will be mature enough and leave enough time for harvest before hard freezes occur. The combination of late planting and cool temperatures in parts of the region have made the possibility of a fall freeze damaging crops a concern for many.

Percentage of Crop in Good or Excellent Condition (as of July 29)
State Corn Soybeans Pasture
Illinois 64 71 71
Indiana 76 74 73
Iowa 53 53 48
Kentucky 89 86 80
Michigan 73 70 55
Minnesota 62 63 68
Missouri 49 48 44
Ohio 79 70 70
Wisconsin 61 62 52


Very Little Severe Weather

Only scattered severe weather occurred across the region for the week (Figure 6). No major storm complexes made their way into or out of the area, resulting in minimal severe weather reports. The only tornado report occurred in Missouri, and no severe weather reports occurred in Indiana or Kentucky. In total, less than 50 severe weather reports occurred within the region to end July. In general, 2013 has been a quiet year for severe weather across the United States. As of August 6, 2013, the total number of reported tornadoes is near a record minimum. The minimum through August 6th is 581 and 2013 currently stands at 596 (Figure 7). Given the slow down in severe weather over the last couple of months, 2013 stands to have a chance at the record minimum number of tornadoes for a year, which is 944.