Midwest Weekly Highlights - October 15-21, 2012
Near to Above Normal Precipitation
A large portion of the Midwest received near to above normal precipitation during the third week of October
(Figure 1). Locations surrounding Lake Michigan and western Minnesota received precipitation that was 200% to 400% above normal. These regions received 1" to 3" of precipitation throughout the week (Figure 2). As a result of the high precipitation in these regions, several daily precipitation records were set. Despite the above average precipitation in some areas, there were a few pockets of below normal precipitation, mainly in Missouri, eastern Kentucky and Ohio, and parts of the northern Midwest. In contrast to the first half of the month, there was no snowfall reported during the week
Near Normal Temperatures
Average temperatures were near to above normal throughout the region (Figure 4). Portions of northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and Upper Michigan experienced the greatest departures of 3°F to 6°F above normal. Much of the central Midwest was within a degree or two of normal, and a small portion of eastern Kentucky experienced temperatures that were 2°F to 3°F below normal. The progression of the first fall freeze continued throughout the week, with several stations reporting their first 32°F freeze (Figure 5) and others their first 28°F freeze
(Figure 6) between October 11th-20th. There were a handful of daily temperature records set during the week, both record highs and lows.
Drought Update and Harvest Progress
The latest release of the US Drought Monitor shows that nearly 65% of the region is still experiencing drought to some magnitude, while almost 85% of the Midwest is abnormally dry (Figure 7). Portions of Minnesota, Iowa, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and parts of Missouri are experiencing the highest levels of drought in the region.
A few relatively dry days throughout the week allowed for harvest to progress throughout the Midwest. There are now 5 states reporting above 90% of the corn crop harvested (Missouri - 97%; Minnesota - 96%; Kentucky - 94%; Iowa - 93%; Illinois - 92%). Ohio and Michigan report the least amount of corn harvested (50% and 48%, respectively), but these states are still beyond the 5-year average for this time of year. The harvesting of soybeans is similar. Minnesota has reported 100% of the soybean crop is harvested, with Iowa (96%) and Wisconsin (94%) not far behind. Indiana and Ohio are the only states behind the 5-year average for harvesting soybeans, but just barely.