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Midwest Weekly Highlights - March 22-31, 2014

Rain for Some, Snow for Others, and Severe Weather

The end of March wasn't an extremely wet one, but it did result in precipitation for most of the region (Figure 1). Even though most of the region saw precipitation, the majority were well below average for the week(Figure 2). Parts of northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio, and southern Missouri were as much as 1" below normal, while parts of the northern and southeastern parts of the region were up to 0.5" above normal. Across the northern parts of the region the precipitation fell as snow, with areas of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan receiving as much as 12" of snow (Figure 3). Not to be outdone by the snow, the region also experienced a bit of severe weather, including tornadoes in Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri (Figure 4). 

Cool End to March

For the second week in a row, and to end March, average temperatures across the region were below normal (Figure 5). The northern portion of the region was the most below normal, including temperatures as much as 18°F below normal in extreme northern Minnesota. The entire region saw temperatures at least 6°F below normal, with western Missouri and southeastern Ohio closest to normal. With temperatures well below normal, average temperatures near freezing dipped down into central Iowa, northern Illinois, northern Indiana, and central Ohio (Figure 6). Extreme northern parts of Michigan and portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan remain the only areas in the region with average maximum temperatures below freezing (Figure 7).

Drought Update  

Currently, 59.43% of the region is experiencing no drought or abnormal dryness, a decrease of roughly 5% from last week (Figure 8). The areas experiencing drought (D1-D4) remained virtually the same at 13.53% (13.52% last week). The largest areas of concern remained in souther Minnesota and much of Iowa as widespread areas are listed in D1 or D2 drought.