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Midwest Weekly Highlights - November 10-16, 2012

Temperatures and Precipitation Mixed

In the second week of November, cool temperatures were recorded in the Ohio River valley and the Red River Valley with temperatures running a couple degrees below normal. The area between, from northern Missouri to Wisconsin and Michigan, recorded temperatures a couple degrees above normal (Figure 1). Daily temperature records were dominated by hundreds of record highs on the 11th and 12th, mostly in the western half of the Midwest. The warm temperatures, topping 70 in Minnesota, were due to warm southeasterly winds ahead of a cold front (Figure 2) that also brought substantial rains from Missouri to Upper Michigan (Figure 3). Daytime highs in Minnesota fell into the teens and 20s by the 12th. Precipitation totals were above normal from northwest Iowa to northeast Minnesota, near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and from west central Missouri to Upper Michigan. The highest values were more than twice normal (Figure 4) while the driest areas in lower Michigan and southeast Ohio were nearly a half inch below normal (Figure 5). Daily precipitation records topped the 200 mark for the 11th and 12th as well. Snow was limited to the northern extents of the region and to totals of just a few inches (Figure 6).

Slight Improvement in Drought Status

Drought status saw slight improvements during the week (Figure 7). Changes were small and most widespread in Missouri where extreme drought ended and severe drought was halved. Despite the improvement, 96% of the state remained in drought. All of Iowa and 96% of Minnesota also remained in drought while Wisconsin (54%) and Illinois (32%) had lesser areas in drought. Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky had 10% or less in drought and Michigan had less than 0.1% in drought.

Late Season Minnesota Tornadoes

Three EF0 tornadoes touched down in Minnesota (Dakota and Washington counties) on the 10th (Figure 8). Damage to trees, power lines, and a few roofs were reported but no injuries. It was just the 4th time in Minnesota history, and the first since 2000, that tornadoes were confirmed in November. This was also the 2nd latest date for Minnesota tornadoes with only November 16, 1931 occurring later in the year. Also on the 10th, strong winds were reported in Minnesota (Dakota, Ramsey, and Washington counties) and hail greater than 1" in diameter fell in Illinois (Will County) .

The Minnesota State Climatology Office also contributed to this report.

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