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Midwest Weekly Highlights - June 24-30, 2013

Rainy End to June

The last week of June was a rainy one for much of the Midwest. At least 1" fell across a large portion of the central Midwest, with the highest totals of 4" to 5" falling in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and southern Indiana (Figure 1). Less precipitation, ranging from only 0.01" to 0.2", fell in portions of western Minnesota, southwest Missouri, and northwest Michigan. These totals were anywhere from only 5% to 25% of normal in the areas with lower precipitation, to 400% to 750% of normal in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan, southern Indiana, and northern Kentucky (Figure 2). There just under 150 daily precipitation records set throughout the week, with 11 of those setting monthly records as well and one station in Ohio set their all-time precipitation record.

The recent wet pattern has almost completely alleviated drought concerns across the region. A small portion of northern Minnesota remains in moderate drought (D1), but the remainder of the Midwest is drought free, meaning that only about 1% of the region is in drought (Figure 3). The last time only 1% of the region was affected by drought was almost two years ago in late July 2011.

Near to Slightly Above Normal Temperatures

Average temperatures were near to just slightly above normal during the last week of June (Figure 4). The greatest departures of 5°F to 6°F were in northern Minnesota and Upper Michigan. Average temperatures were within 1°F of normal across northern Missouri, much of Iowa and Illinois, and western Indiana. Even though a majority of the region was near normal in terms of average temperature, much of the Midwest experienced minimum temperatures that were at least 3°F above normal, with the highest departures of 8°F to 9°F above normal in Michigan and eastern Ohio (Figure 5). On the other hand, maximum temperatures were 1°F to 3°F below normal in the central Midwest, extending down to Kentucky (Figure 6). The near normal temperatures brought only a handful of daily temperature records throughout the week, a majority of which were record high minimum temperatures.

Severe Weather

The last week of June was active in terms of severe weather, with severe weather reported on every day of the week and in all nine Midwest states, with reports concentrated in the central Midwest (Figure 7). The most active days came early in the week, from June 24th to 27th. Strong, severe storms tracked across the central Midwest on June 24th and 25th, which brought high winds, tornadoes, and large hail to the region. There were 9 tornado reports on the 24th in Iowa and Illinois and very strong wind reports as well. The highest wind reports were 100 mph in Walton, Illinois (Lee County) and 85 mph in Mendota, Illinois (La Salle County). To read more information on the damaging storm in Chicago, read the WGN Chicago Weather Blog. The severe storms continued to move east on the 25th, carrying strong winds on the order of 50 to 60 mph to Indiana and Ohio.

Growing Season Update

As of June 30th, much of the eastern Midwest is slightly ahead in the number of modified growing degree days (MGDD) since May 1st, however the western Midwest is slighly behind (Figure 8). The eastern Midwest is anywhere from 30 to 120 days above normal in terms of MGDD while portions of the western Midwest are 30 to 120 days below normal. Modified growing degree days are typically used to monitor the development of corn. A majority of the corn (Figure 9) and soybean (Figure 10) crops are either in good or excellent condition in all nine Midwest states.