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Midwest Weekly Highlights - March 1-7, 2018


Temperatures were above normal across the entire Midwest (Figure 1).  Only small portions of northeastern Ohio and extreme eastern Kentucky were near normal.  Indiana, Missouri, Illinois and Iowa were all 4-7°F above normal.  Western Wisconsin and northern Minnesota were even warmer at 7-9°F above normal.  Several dozen daily temperature records were broken (Figure 2), with most of them being high minimum temperature records.

Wet and Snowy

Moderate amounts of precipitation were common across the central Midwest and Minnesota this week (Figure 3).  Areas in Illinois, northeaster Indiana, southern Lower Michigan and northern Ohio had more than an inch of precipitation for the period.  In many cases, this was more than twice the normal amount (Figure 4).  Most of the precipitation in Minnesota fell as snow, as most of the state received upwards of five inches (Figure 5).  Wisconsin and Lower Michigan also received 3-5 inches during the period.  Dozens of daily precipitation (Figure 6) and snowfall (Figure 7) records were broken.

March 5-7 Winter Storm

Heavy snowfall was widespread during March 5 through the morning of March 6 in Minesota, northern Iowa and Wisconsin (Figure 8).  Amounts of 4-6 inches were common, with isolated reports of more than eight inches.  Four to six inches also fell across parts of Michigan and northeastern Wisconsin through the morning of March 7 (Figure 9).  Some of the heaviest totals for the storm included 12.6 inches in Canby, MN (Yellow Medicine County) and 11.0 inches in Dawson, MN (Lac qui Parle County).  A woman in Adair County, IA lost control of her vehicle on a snowy road and died in a head-on collision on March 6.  Winds also reached 25-35 mph across Iowa and southern Minnesota, with isolated winds of more than 40 mph on March 5 (Figure 10).

Flood Waters Receding

After heavy rain during the third and fourth week of February brought moderate to major flooding to the Midwest, drier conditions allowed rivers and streams to slowly recede (Figure 11).  Moderate flooding along the Wabash and White rivers in Indiana and Rock River in Illinois receded below flood stage in most areas by the end of the period.  Moderate flooding continued along sections of the Illinois River and the Kankakee River in Indiana.  Moderate to major flooding remained along the Ohio River.  The Ohio River gauge at Cairo, IL (Alexander County) was in major flood stage for the entire period (Figure 12).