Midwest Weekly Highlights - May 25-31, 2009
Following a rare dry week, the rains returned with most of the region getting at least a half inch of rain (Figure 1). The driest region (less than a half inch) was a swath from northwest Iowa across central Minnesota, northwest Wisconsin, and into the western edge of upper Michigan that lies along and to the west of the drought region (Figure 2). Rain in central Wisconsin and southeast Minnesota overlapped the drought region bringing welcome moisture along the southeast edge of the drought area.
Heavy rains were scattered around the region with cooperative stations in 6 states reporting weekly totals in excess of 4.00". The cooperative station 2 miles west of Edwardsville, Illinois received 8.65" including 6.43" on May 26. Flash flooding occurred around St. Louis, Missouri and Port Clinton, Ohio due to localized heavy rains overwhelming storm sewers.
In the southeast midwest, temperatures were above normal with southern Ohio the warmest at 4°F above normal. The northern parts of the midwest experienced cooler than normal temperatures. Temperatures were more than 5°F below normal in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan (Figure 3). Many northern stations fell below freezing on May 30 or 31 (Figure 4). All nine states had at least one station record a temperature record during a week with a mix of high and low records.
Crop Planting Still Catching Up
Corn planting again made progress but less than the previous week. Illinois (82% complete) and Indiana (78%), particularly the southern half of the states, remained well behind schedule due to wet fields. Missouri (90%) and Kentucky (89%) were also behind but to a lesser extent.
Midwest river levels continued to drop. Only a handful of gauges on the Illinois river were at moderate or major flood stage and all were declining. Minor flooding was limited to Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri by the end of the week. However Peoria, Illinois continues to extend its record long flood, at 86 straight days above flood stage as of May 31.
May 25 was a quiet day with no severe weather reports in the region. Tornadoes were reported on May 27 in Ohio (Mercer County) and on May 30 in both Indiana (Tipton County) and Ohio (Clermont County and Clinton County). Large hail (1.00" to 1.75") was reported somewhere in the midwest on every day except May 25 and only Wisconsin went all week without large hail. The largest hail fell in Indiana, 1.75" (Marion County and Shelby County) and Ohio, 1.50" (Clermont County) on May 30. Reports of wind damage were also spread across the region peaking on May 30 with damage reports across 5 states. There were no injuries reported and most of the damage was limited to trees. Ohio was hardest hit with wind damage reports on 5 days (May 26-30).