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Accumulated Precipitation Average Temperature: Departure from Mean Daily Station Snowfall MODIS Satellite Image for 11-22-2015, UW-Madison Drought Monitor: Missouri

Midwest Weekly Highlights - November 15-21, 2015

Wet & Snowy Week

Wet weather was prevalent across the Midwest as multiple storms dropped heavy rain and snow (Figure 1).  Missouri was by far the wettest state, with more than three inches of precipitation over the period.  Illinois was also quite wet as precipitation amounts of one to three inches were common.  Most of Minnesota also had over an inch of precipitation, which was over five times the normal amount (Figure 2).  Missouri also had four to five times more than normal.  The eastern reaches of the region were drier, however.  Most of Ohio, northern Indiana and Michigan were below normal for the period (Figure 3).

Heavy snow also fell across the region as a snowstorm barreled eastward from Iowa through southern Michigan (Figure 4).  This was the first snowfall of the season for many, and was significantly more than the trace to four inches of snow normally seen in the central Midwest in November (Figure 5).  Despite the heavy snow to the south, the Twin Cities have yet to receive measurable snowfall this season.  The northern Great Lakes have also received well below normal autumn snowfall, with the western U.P. of Michigan 10 to 14 inches below normal (Figure 6).

Warm November Continues

Despite the first snowfall of the season, temperatures remained warm across the region (Figure 7).  Average temperatures ranged from the 40s across most of the region, while 30s were common across Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan (Figure 8).  Kentucky and Missouri were closer to normal at 2-4°F above normal, while Michigan and Ohio were 5-9°F above normal.  Average maximum temperatures in the 60s in eastern Ohio (Figure 9) led to departures of over 10°F above normal (Figure 10).  Average minimum temperatures in the mid-30s in Wisconsin (Figure 11) led to departures of 7-10°F above normal (Figure 12).  After the first three weeks of November, average temperatures across the entire region were above normal (Figure 13).

First Major Snowstorm of the Season

Heavy snow fell across the central Midwest during the first major snow storm of the season on November 20-22.  Iowa took the brunt of the storm on November 20 as the storm gained strength (Figure 14).  Snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour were reported.  The system then moved into southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois overnight into November 21.  Many stations in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois received more than 10 inches of snow (Figure 15).  The storm then dropped moderate snowfall in the 2-8 inch range across parts of northern Indiana and Lower Michigan through the morning of November 22 (Figure 16).  After the storm, satellite imagery showed a distinct cut off line where snow fell (Figure 17).  Read more on this storm from these local National Weather Service Offices:

Drought Vanishes in Missouri

Well above-normal precipitation in Missouri over the period eliminated moderate drought across the state in the November 17 Drought Monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center (Figure 18). Moderate drought covered 35 percent of the state just one week earlier.  Significant improvements were also made in the abnormally dry category, as only half of the state is now considered abnormally dry.  Only five percent of the Midwest was considered to be in moderate drought (Figure 19), compared to over 12 percent on November 10.  However, most of this improvement was made in Missouri.  Over 20 percent of Indiana remains in moderate drought, as well as over 15 percent of Michigan.