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Midwest Weekly Highlights - March 1-10, 2020

Warm Start to Spring

Temperatures were well above normal across the Midwest during the first ten days of March (Figure 1).  Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan were mostly 6-9°F, while Missouri and the Ohio River Valley were 3-6°F above normal.  Maximum temperatures were mild throughout the week, with one of the warmest days on March 8 (Figure 2).  Parts of Iowa, Missouri, and western Illinois were in the low 70s.  More than 90 combined daily high maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded during the period (Figure 3).

Pockets of Heavy Rain

Storms early and late in the period across the southern Midwest brought pockets of heavy rain to northern Missouri and the Ohio River Valley during the week (Figure 4).  Amounts over an inch fell in these areas, with some areas seeing more than 1.50 inches.  This was between 150-200 percent of normal (Figure 5).  Most of this precipitation fell through the mornings of March 2 (Figure 6) and March 3 (Figure 7) in the Ohio River Valley and through the morning of March 10 (Figure 8) in Missouri and the central Midwest.  Meanwhile, most of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin had little precipitation for the period.  Snowfall was also limited mostly the northern Minnesota and the U.P. of Michigan (Figure 9).

Drought-Free Period Continues

For the 18th consecutive week, the U.S. Drought Monitor was free of drought in the Midwest (Figure 10).  The streak of weeks without abnormally dry conditions also continued for the ninth consecutive week.  While drier conditions have been observed in areas such as southern Iowa and northern Missouri, low early spring water demand and fairly wet soils were still the norm.