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Midwest Weekly Highlights - January 15-21, 2018

Below-Normal Precipitation

Almost the entire Midwest received below-normal precipitation during the week (Figure 1).  Most of the region had less than half an inch (Figure 2).  Only small areas of northwestern Minnesota, southern Missouri and around Green Bay had near-normal precipitation.  The entire region received measurable snowfall during the period, however (Figure 3).  The heaviest snowfall fell in the U.P. of Michigan and western Kentucky, where more than five inches fell.  Most of the Ohio River Valley and southern Missouri had more than twice the normal amount of snowfall (Figure 4).

Warm North, Cold South

A north to south divide in temperatures was observed during the period (Figure 5).  Minnesota, Wisconsin and most of Michigan was 2°F above normal.  Areas in northern Minnesota were 8-12°F above normal.  Meanwhile, southern Iowa, Missouri, southern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky were 2°F or more below normal.  Areas in the western Ohio River Valley were 6-9°F below normal.  Several dozen daily low (Figure 6) and daily high (Figure 7) temperature records were broken across the region.  Temperatures early in the week were cold, with minimum temperatures on the morning of January 15 in the single digits above zero or below zero (Figure 8).  By the morning of January 21, most of the region was in the 20s and 30s (Figure 9).

Abnormally Dry in Southern Wisconsin

Very dry conditions in the past few months led to the addition of abnormally dry conditions in southern Wisconsin and parts of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois in the January 16 U.S. Drought Monitor (Figure 10).  Nearly one-fourth of Wisconsin was considered abnormally dry compared to less than one percent the previous week (Figure 11).  Southern Wisconsin received less than half the normal amount of precipitation since November 1, 2017 (Figure 12).