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Midwest Weekly Highlights - March 15-21, 2021

Temperatures Remain Warm

Warmer than normal temperatures remained common across the Midwest during the week (Figure 1). Average temperatures were 5-10°F above normal in northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan. In Iowa, Lower Michigan, Indiana, Ohio temperatures were 1-3°F above normal, while most of Kentucky was 3-5°F above normal. Most of Missouri and Illinois were near normal, however.

Heavy Rain in the Southern Midwest

Storms across the southern Midwest led to downpours of rain in Missouri, Illinois and central Indiana during the week (Figure 2). More than 3 inches of rain fell in central Missouri through southwestern Illinois with locally heavier amounts. Two major storm systems traversed the region during the week, with the heaviest rain falling in these areas through the mornings of March 15 (Figure 3) and March 18 (Figure 4). Heavy rain also continued across the Ohio River Valley on March 19 (Figure 5). Some of the heaviest totals for the week in the region included 4.58 inches in Poplar Bluff, MO (Butler County), 4.45 inches in Valley City, MO (Johnson County) and 4.62 inches near Perry, IL (Pike County). In the areas with the heaviest rainfall, more than five times the normal amount fell (Figure 6). A total of more than 150 daily precipitaton records were broken across the region (Figure 7). Meanwhile, drier conditions were reported in the Upper Midwest. Most of northern Minnesota and the U.P. of Michigan had little to no precipitation for the week.

Upper Midwest Snow

Snowfall was also reported in the Upper Midwest from March 15-17 (Figure 8). Most of this snow fell through the mornings of March 15 (Figure 9) and March 16 (Figure 10) in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Amounts over 6 inches were reported, with locally heavier amounts. Some of the heaviest amounts included 11.0 inches in Brownton, MN (McLeod County), 8.5 inches in Owatonna, MN (Steele County) and 9.0 inches in Charles City, IA (Floyd County). While snowfall is not uncommon in these areas in March, these amounts represented more than three times the normal amount. More than 65 daily snowfall records were broken (Figure 11).