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Midwest Weekly Highlights - April 1-9, 2021

Widespread Warmth Continues

After a very warm March, temperatures were well above normal for most of the Midwest during the period (Figure 1).  Most of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan were 8-12°F above normal, with areas in the northern Ohio River Valley 3-5°F above normal.  Warmer than normal temperatures seemed unlikely just three days into the period as record low maximum and minimum temperature were broken throughout the region (Figure 2).  Minimum temperatures were below freezing for a large portion of the region on the mornings of April 1 (Figure 3), April 2 (Figure 4) and April 3 (Figure 5).  However, exceptional warmth counteracted this cold spell during the remainder of the period.  More than 600 daily high maximum and high minimum temperatures were broken combined from the warmth (Figure 6).

Rainy in Minnesota

Precipitation amounts were low across most of the Midwest during the period apart from Minnesota (Figure 7).  Most of the state received more than an inch of precipitation during the period, with some areas in central Minnesota receiving upwards of 2 inches.  This was more than twice the normal amount for the period (Figure 8).  Most of this rain occurred through the mornings of April 7 (Figure 9), April 8 (Figure 10) and April 9 (Figure 11) as a slow-moving storm system stalled over the Upper Midwest.  Some of the heaviest amounts included 4.02 inches near Collegeville (Stearns County) and 3.85 inches near Ortonville (Big Stone County).  More than 100 daily precipitation records were broken across the western Midwest during the period (Figure 12).  Meanwhile, conditions were dry across the Ohio River Valley during the period.  Most of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and eastern Illinois received less than half the normal amount.

Scattered Severe Weather

Severe weather was scattered across the region on several days during the period (Figure 13).  Large hail was reported to the west of the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area on April 5.  Many reports of 1-inch to 1.75-inch hail occurred with high winds in some cases.  Scattered strong winds were reported across Missouri and western Illinois on April 7, leading to toppled trees and downed power lines.  A brief tornado was also reported in eastern Iowa.  Scattered hail and strong winds impacted southern Ohio and southern Missouri on April 8 and April 9, to end the period.