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Midwest Weekly Highlights - January 11-17, 2021

Warm January Continues

Temperatures were very warm across the Midwest during the week (Figure 1).  In the Upper Midwest, average temperatures were 9-12°F above normal.  Some areas in northern Minnesota were more than 15°F above normal.  Minimum temperatures were a major contributor (Figure 2), with most of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin more than 18°F above normal.  However, temperatures were only slightly warmer than normal in the Ohio River Valley.  Southern Kentucky was the only spot in the region with temperatures near normal.  A total of more than 150 daily high temperature records were broken during the period (Figure 3).

Precipitation Limited to Upper Midwest Snow

Drier weather prevailed across the Midwest during the week, except in the Upper Midwest (Figure 4).  Snow and rain in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan had more than a quarter of an inch of precipitation, with some areas in western Iowa and southern Minnesota had more than half an inch.  Most of this precipitation fell as snow through the morning of January 15 (Figure 5).  Many areas had 3-5 inches in Iowa, western Wisconsin and southern and eastern Minnesota.  The system stalled over the region as it became detached from the jet stream, leaving lingering snow showers across the region on January 16 (Figure 6), January 17 (Figure 7). Areas in northern Iowa and Minnesota had more than twice the normal amount of precipitation during the period (Figure 8), compared to the Ohio River Valley where less than half the normal amount fell.  A total of 60 precipitation records (Figure 9) and more than 30 snowfall records (Figure 10) were broken during the week. Some small improvements in drought were observed in the January 19 U.S. Drought Monitor in western Iowa (Figure 11), but abnormal dryness increased across the region to a total of 43 percent.