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

Midwest Weekly Highlights - May 1-7, 2019

Wet to the South

Areas across the southern Midwest, especially Missouri, were wet during the first week of May (Figure 1).  Most of Missouri received more than 3 inches of precipitation.  Areas in Illinois, Kentucky and southern Lower Michigan also had more than two inches.  Most of these areas had more than twice the normal amount, with southwestern Missouri having more than four times the normal amount (Figure 2).  Cooler temperatures along the northern reaches of the region led to snowfall in northern Minnesota and the U.P. of Michigan (Figure 3).  Big Bay, MI (Marquette County) received 6.0 inches of snow during the week.

Divided Temperatures

Colder temperatures to the north and warmer temperatures in the Ohio River Valley divided the Midwest for the week (Figure 4).  Most of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, northern Illinois and Michigan were 2-4°F below normal, with northern Minnesota 4-7°F below normal.  Kentucky, southern Indiana and Michigan were on the opposite end of the spectrum at 2-5°F above normal, with some areas of eastern Ohio and Kentucky up to 7°F above normal.

Planting Delays Worsen

Another week of wet weather in the southern Midwest delayed planting of corn in Missouri and Illinois (Figure 5).  Little to no progress was made according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service in either state or across the Ohio River Valley in the week ending on May 5.  Illinois was 56 percent behind the five year average, while Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Minnesota were all 25 percent or more below the five-year average.  Colder and wetter conditions in the Upper Midwest have also kept winter wheat, oats and barley progress well behind schedule.  The planting of sugarbeets in Minnesota was also 49 percent behind the five year average, and 37 percent behind in Michigan.  Soil moisture remained very high across the region (Figure 6), while the U.S. Drought Monitor for the region remained free of abnormally dry or drought conditions for the 11th consecutive week (Figure 7).

Major Flooding Continues

The Mississippi River was in major flood stage along the entirety of the western Illinois border at points during the week (Figure 8).  After record crests in the Quad Cities early in the period (Figure 9, Rock Island County), more crests occurred along the river, including at Grafton, IL (Figure 10, Jersey County).  Heavy rain in Illinois also contributed to major flooding along the Illinois River, where crests neared records (Figure 11).  Three flooding fatalities were reported in Missouri as two kayakers overturned in flooded water and a camper who refused to leave was washed away.  A two-year old also died when his mother drove past a high water sign.