Average Temperature Departure
Average Maximum Temp Departure
Accumulated Precipitation Departure
Drought Monitor

Midwest Weekly Highlights - March 11-17, 2012

Record Warmth

The second week of March saw temperatures soar well above normal (Figure 1), setting records across the Midwest. Temperatures averaged 15°F to 25°F above normal with maximum temperatures even warmer (Figure 2) due to numerous locations in the upper Midwest reaching more than 40°F above normal late in the week. Many different kinds of records were set including record highs for a given day, earliest date to reach a specific temperature, statewide records for a given date, record highs for any day in March, number of consecutive days above some threshold, and consecutive days setting a record. Many of the new daily records topped the old record by 10 or more degrees.

Localized Rain

The second week of March saw less than normal rainfall across most of the Midwest (Figure 3). Localized rains in the southern and northern extents and along the eastern edge of the region were above normal, with some locations topping twice normal (Figure 4). The drought status was largely unchanged with Minnesota and northwest Iowa remaining in Moderate to Severe Drought (Figure 5). The warm weather has led to a rapid melting of the snow cover in the upper Midwest (Figure 6).

Severe Weather

Severe weather was reported in seven of the nine Midwest states (Figure 7) during the week. reports spread across five of the seven days with 15th having the most. The majority of the reports were for hail exceeding 1". Some of the biggest hail fell on the 12th in Coleman, Michigan (Midland County) with reports of up to 2" diameter hail and on the 15th in several locations including Carrollton, Illinois (Greene County) with up to 2.75" hail, Bay City, Michigan (Bay County) with 2" hail, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Washtenaw County) with 2" hail, and multiple locations in St. Charles County, Missouri with hail ranging from 2" to 2.75". Tornadoes touched down in Michigan on the 12th and 15th. A lone EF1 rated tornado on the 12th damaged garages and pole barns near Coleman, Michigan (Midland County). On the 15th, three twisters touched down in southeastern Michigan. The strongest, rated as EF3, was in Washtenaw County where over 100 homes were damaged including 13 with significant damage. About an hour later, two more tornadoes struck in Lapeer County (EF2) and Monroe County (EF0). In Barbourville, Kentucky (Knox County), seven people were injured when the roof of a building collapsed. Reports indicated that water pooled on the roof due to clogged drainage pipes.

The Iowa Climatology Bureau also contributed to this report.
The Minnesota State Climatology Office also contributed to this report.

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