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Midwest Weekly Highlights - July 18-24, 2013


Precipitation across the Midwest ranged from well above normal to well below normal (Figure 1).  The wettest areas were across the southern third of Missouri, along the Ohio and Wabash rivers, most of Ohio, and along the extreme northern extent of the region.  Totals ranged up to two or three times normal for the week.  In the western and central parts of the Midwest precipitation was well below normal with the driest areas from northwest Iowa to southern Minnesota where just a tenth of an inch fell (Figure 2). The US Drought Monitor (Figure 3) reflected the lack of rains with expanding areas of moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions.  Drought had shrunk last week to just a small area in northern Minnesota but northern Missouri returned to drought in areas that have been well below normal since the beginning of June.

Temperatures Cool During Week

The third week of July reversed the trend seen in the preceding week. Temperatures cooled during the week with a downward trend evident across the region. Temperatures ended up averaging close to normal (Figure 4) as the warmth early in the week was offset by cooler conditions later in the week. Comparing the temperatures on July 18th (Figure 5) with those on July 24th (Figure 6) shows the widespread cooling experienced across the region. Daily temperature records followed a similar pattern with some record highs early in the week and some record lows later in the week.


Crops were doing fairly well across the Midwest. Modified growing degree days were running behind normal in the western half of the region and ahead of normal in the east. Crop have been affected by late planting, conditions ranging from too dry to too wet, hail and wind damage, poor rooting, and pest problems in some locations. Despite these issues, the Midwest has escaped widespread issues like the 2012 drought and much of the corn and soybean crops are in good to excellent condition.

Percentage of Crop in Good or Excellent Condition
State Corn Soybeans Pasture
Illinois 65 72 75
Indiana 78 74 75
Iowa 55 56 51
Kentucky 87 84 80
Michigan 72 66 55
Minnesota 64 65 75
Missouri 46 46 50
Ohio 77 67 69
Wisconsin 62 65 59


Severe Weather

Scattered severe weather continued to affect the Midwest in the third week of July (Figure 7). Tornado reports came in from Minnesota (Mahnomen County) and Missouri (Greene County) on the 21st, Wisconsin (Eau Claire, Buffalo, and Trempealeau counties) on the 22nd, and Ohio (Carroll County) on the 23rd. The tornado in Minnesota was unusual because of the time of day (about 2 AM) and for the unusual strength (EF2) and path length (18 miles) for an overnight storm. Large hail (1.00" or greater) fell in the Midwest with at least one report on each day and numerous reports in Iowa on the 22nd (Figure 8) and Ohio on the 23rd (Figure 9). Each state had at least one report of large hail. Golf ball size hail (1.75") fell in seven states with Minnesota and Iowa topping out at 2.00" and Illinois (McHenry County) at 2.75". Wind damage was widespread especially in Iowa on the 22nd. Two sites (Buchanan and Story counties) reported wind gusts of 70 miles per hour.