Midwest Climate Watch Go to MRCC Home Page
Image Description Image Description Image Description Image Description  

Midwest Weekly Highlights - April 22-30, 2019

Cold for Most

Temperatures were colder than normal across most of the Midwest except for Kentucky and southern Missouri (Figure 1).  Most of Iowa, northern Illinois, northern Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin were 2-4°F below normal.  Most of this cold came from maximum temperatures that were much colder than normal (Figure 2).  More than 100 daily low maximum and minimum temperature records were broken from the cold (Figure 3).  Meanwhile average temperatures in southern Missouri and Kentucky were 1-3 degrees above normal.  Maximum temperatures once again played a large part at 2-4°F above normal.

More Wet Weather

Another week of wetter weather impacted the Midwest with continued flooding and delayed planting (Figure 4).  More than an inch of precipitation fell across most of the southern Midwest, as well as southern Wisconsin, southern Minnesota and the U.P. of Michigan.  Amounts over 2 inches were also common in eastern Iowa, northern Illinois, northern Indiana and northwestern Ohio. Many of these areas had more than twice the normal amount (Figure 5).  More than 100 daily precipitation records were broken across the Midwest from heavy rainfall (Figure 6).  The U.S. Drought Monitor for April 30 remained free of abnormally dry conditions and drought for a record 9th consecutive week as the region remained wet (Figure 7).

April 27-28 Snowstorm

A late April snowstorm brought 2-6 inches of snow to areas of southern Minnesota, northern Iowa, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois where snowfall amounts this high are rare for late April (Figure 8).  Amounts included 5.0 inches in Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County), 5.5 inches in Beloit, WI (Rock County) and 4.9 inches near Lakefield, MN (Jackson County).  Temperatures hovered in the low 30s throughout the day, however, and warmer temperatures through the morning of April 29 melted most of the snowfall (Figure 9).

Major Flooding Ramps Up Along Mississippi River

Heavy rain in the Upper Mississippi River Valley during the week exacerbated issues with major flooding in Iowa and Illinois (Figure 10).  Heavy rains through the mornings of April 29 (Figure 11), April 30 (Figure 12) and May 1 (Figure 13) increased the extent of major flooding along the Mississippi River from Dubuque, IA (Figure 14) to north of St. Louis, MO (Figure 15).  The worst of the flooding occurred in the Quad Cities, IA/IL (Figure 16).  A record crest at Rock Island, IL (Rock Island County) was recorded on May 2, breaking a record from the flooding of 1993.  Portions of downtown Davenport, IA were flooded as a major levee failed.  Buildings near the riverfront were quickly abandoned as waters rose quickly.  Elsewhere in the region, heavy rain in Missouri and Illinois led to minor and moderate flooding.  Crests were expected to occur during the first week of May.

Planting Season Delays Continue in Illinois

While weather in Missouri and Kentucky was suitable for farmers to get into their fields before heavy rain at the end of the period, Illinois farmers remained unable to plant.  Corn planting according to the NASS Crop Progress report for the week ending April 28 showed only 9 percent of the state had corn planting.  The five year average was 43%.  Progress remained minimal in Ohio and Indiana as well with corn.  Planting of oats and sugar beets in Minnesota was also hindered to around 30 percent below the five-year average.