Midwest Weekly Highlights - June 17-23, 2012
Heavy Rains in the North, Dry in the South
The northern portion of the region once again received the majority of the rain (Figure 1). Many daily precipitation records were set in the early part of the week in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Rain totals were greatest in Crow Wing, Aitkin, Carlton and southern St. Louis counties in Minnesota with totals in the neighborhood of 9.00", much of that occurring on the 19th (Figure 2). While rain was prevalent in Minnesota and Wisconsin, it was much more scattered in western Missouri, Iowa, and Ohio. The greatest precipitation deficits for the week were seen in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and eastern Missouri, where little to no rain fell (Figure 3).
Above Average Temperatures for the Region
Nearly the entire region had mean temperatures above normal
(Figure 4). The only areas at or below normal last week were central and northwest Minnesota. The remainder of the region was 2°F to 4°F above normal with the largest departures in southeast Wisconsin and through northern Ohio where temperatures were 6°F to 8°F above normal. Many daily temperature records were set across the northern portion of the region with the majority being record high minimum temperatures and a few being record high maximum temperatures.
Severe Weather in the North
As one might expect with wet conditions in the northern part of the region and dry in the southern, severe weather was most prevalent in north (Figure 5). The majority of the reports were for hail and wind damage with no injuries reported for the tornadoes in Michigan and Minnesota. Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky had zero reports of severe weather for the week.
Flooding in Duluth, Minnesota and a Fatal Washout in Wisconsin
Heavy rains in and around Duluth (southeast St. Louis County) on the 19th and 20th resulted in historic flooding for the city. Total two day rainfall amounts reached 10" in places and stressed already saturated grounds in the area (Figure 6). Local sources report that no injuries or deaths resulted from the severe flooding. For more information on the Duluth floods and the heavy rainfall, check out the write up from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group.
In Wisconsin, the same system that brought heavy rain and floods to Duluth washed out a section of County Rd M in Clark County the evening of the 20th. The washout resulted in a 50 foot wide and 12 to 15 foot deep missing section of road. Three people died as a result of driving into the washout.
No Relief, Drought Worsens
With little to no precipitation in much of the southern part of the region, drought continued to expand and worsen. The June 19th version of the U.S. Drought Monitor showed drought expanding to nearly include the entire states of Ohio and Kentucky (Figure 7). Drought continued to worsen in the southern two-thirds of the region with areas of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kentucky that were already entrenched in severe drought now experiencing extreme drought. The National Drought Mitigation Center forecast for the growing season anticipates drought conditions to persist through much of the southern part of the region with development likely in western Iowa (Figure 8).