Cold Air Remains
Temperatures remained below normal for a second straight week across the Midwest
(Figure 1). Most of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky were 3-8°F below normal. Only a few areas in northern Minnesota and the U.P. of Michigan were above normal. Minimum temperatures were a major factor in the Ohio River Valley (Figure 2), with many areas 7-9°F below normal. Minimum temperatures were below freezing in the Upper Midwest and in the 30s to low 40s in the southern half of the region throughout the first half of the week. More than 130 daily low records were recorded
(Figure 3), with more than 110 recorded from minimum temperatures.
A very dry week was observed across most of the Midwest except in Missouri, southern Iowa and western Illinois (Figure 4). Less than half an inch of precipitation fell across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. In the wetter areas of Missouri, Iowa and Illinois, more than an inch fell. Some areas received more than two inches which was around 150 percent of normal
Drought Concerns Mounting
Precipitation deficits continue to mount across the Upper Midwest, leading to concerns of worsening drought. As of the May 11 U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 18 percent of the region was in drought with nearly a third of the region abnormally dry or in drought (Figure 6). Areas of severe drought spread in western Iowa, while most of northeastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin and Lower Michigan were in moderate drought.