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Midwest Weekly Highlights - October 1-10, 2017

Very Wet

Heavy rain from a slow-moving system drenched a large portion of the Midwest (Figure 1).  More than two inches of rain fell across southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin, western Iowa, Kentucky, and portions of Missouri, central Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.  Locally higher amounts up to seven inches were also reported.  Some of the heaviest totals in Iowa included 7.01 inches in Logan (Harrison County), 6.87 inches near Clarinda (Page County) and 6.52 inches in Sioux City (Woodbury County).  Southern Minnesota and western Iowa received three to five times the normal amount for the period (Figure 2).  Central Illinois, southern Indiana, Kentucky and most of Ohio and Wisconsin had more than twice the normal amount.  Some of the wettest days included through the morning of October 7 (Figure 3), October 8 (Figure 4) and October 9 (Figure 5).  More than 350 daily precipitation records were broken or tied in total (Figure 6).  More than 100 were broken on October 7 alone (Figure 7).

Warm Weather Continues

Temperatures remained above normal during the first week of October (Figure 8).  Eastern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Lower Michigan were 7-10°F above normal.  Wisconsin and Kentucky were 4-7°F above normal.  Southwestern and north-central Minnesota were the only areas where temperatures were near normal.  Minimum temperatures were a large factor, as most of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana had minimum temperatures 10-13°F above normal (Figure 9).  More than 200 daily high minimum temperature records were broken during the period (Figure 10).

Drought Decreases from Heavy Rain

Heavy rain in Iowa decreased drought coverage in the state according to the October 10 Drought Monitor (Figure 11).  More than three inches fell across the western half of the state and eliminated abnormally dry and drought conditions, while improving extreme and severe drought in south-central portions of the state.  However, drier conditions in southeastern Iowa led to the expansion of moderate drought.  In total, drought coverage decreased more than ten percent to about 24 percent of the state.  Elsewhere, abnormally dry conditions were removed from portions of Missouri, central Illinois, and extreme western Kentucky.  More than 9 million people were estimated to be living in drought-affected areas.