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Midwest Weekly Highlights - August 25-31, 2019

Cool End to Summer

Meteorological summer ended with a cool last week across the Midwest (Figure 1).  Average temperatures were 2-5°F below normal, with the coolest areas in Iowa, Minnesota and northern Missouri.  Maximum temperatures were even cooler, with portions of Missouri and Minnesota more than 8°F below normal (Figure 2).  More than 60 daily low maximum temperature records were broken across the region (Figure 3).

Wetter to the South

Storms were mostly confined to the southern third of the Midwest during the week (Figure 4).  While many areas received an inch of precipitation or more, most of Missouri and Kentucky had more than 1.50 inches.  This was more than twice the normal amount (Figure 5).  Moderate to heavy precipitation also feel in northern Minnesota, extreme eastern Wisconsin and the eastern U.P. of Michigan.  More than 60 daily precipitation records were broken regionwide (Figure 6).  Meanwhile, drier weather was observed across southern Minnesota, Iowa and western Wisconsin.   Most of Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin had less than half the normal amount for the period.

Severe Weather

Strong winds, hail and several tornadoes were reported during the week (Figure 7).  Most of these reports occurred in Missouri on August 26, as strong winds impacted the southern half of the state (Figure 8).  Several small tornadoes were reported in Minnesota and Indiana on August 26 as well, including an EF-1 tornado near Miaca, MN (Mille Lacs County).  Large 2.5-inch diameter hail was reported near Reeman, MI (Newaygo County) on August 29 and near Sullivan, MO (Franklin County) on August 30.

Drought Introduced in Michigan

Continued dry weather in in northern Lower Michigan and the eastern U.P. of Michigan led to the introduction of moderate drought in the August 29 U.S. Drought Monitor (Figure 9).  Cited impacts included drying of soils and concerns over forage and annual crop yields in the fall season.  While drought area remained fairly similar in eastern Iowa and parts of Illinois, rainfall led to the elimination of drought in north-central Kentucky.  Abnormally dry and drought coverage remained like the previous week overall as a result.