Midwest Weekly Highlights - August 8-14, 2012
Relief from the Heat
For the first time this summer, the Midwest experienced widespread below normal average temperatures during the second week of August (Figure 1), bringing some relief to the region after a summer of unseasonably warm temperatures. Average temperatures ranged from 1°F to 7°F below normal across the region, with the largest departures of -5°F to -7°F in the northern Midwest. The below normal temperatures resulted from average temperatures that ranged from 75°F to 80°F in the southern Midwest to 55°F to 60°F in the northern Midwest (Figure 2). There were over 170 daily temperature records set during the week, with the majority being record low minimum and maximum temperatures.
Precipitation Plentiful in East
Much of the eastern Midwest and parts of the northern Midwest experienced significant rainfall throughout the second week of August
(Figure 3). The greatest rainfall totals were in Michigan, where a good portion of the state received 2" to 5" of rainfall throughout the week. Parts of Indiana, northern Ohio, and central Wisconsin also received 1.5" to 2" of precipitation. Other parts of the region did not receive as much precipitation. Many locations in the western Midwest received only 0.2" or less throughout the week. Overall, a majority of the western Midwest received below normal precipitation while much of the eastern Midwest received above normal precipitation (Figure 4). There were just over 150 daily precipitation records set throughout the week.
As a result of rainfall throughout the week, there was some improvement in parts of the Midwest on the latest release of the US Drought Monitor
(Figure 5). Michigan, northern Indiana, and parts of Ohio saw the most improvement throughout the week. Unfortunately the highest level of drought, exceptional drought (D4), expanded in Missouri. With the expansion in Missouri, the total area in the Midwest categorized as exceptional drought is now 8.17%, which is just over a 2% increase from last week. Overall, about 66.5% of the region is still experiencing some level of drought.
Except for the first two days, the second week of August was fairly quiet in terms of severe weather. On the 8th and 9th, high wind and hail were reported across the southern six states in the region and a waterspout made landfall near Duluth, Minnesota (St. Louis County) (Figure 6). Some of these reports on the 9th included large hail measuring at least 2" in Indiana, with the largest being 2.75" reported in Morocco, Indiana (Newton County).