Midwest Weekly Highlights -December 1-10, 2012
Widespread Areas of Rain in the South and East, Snow in the North
Much of the southern and eastern portions of the Midwest region had a wet start to December, with some areas receiving more than twice normal precipitation (Figure 1). The greatest totals during the week were seen in northern Kentucky and southern Ohio where totals exceeded 3" (Figure 2). At the northern end of the region, snow was prevalent. Widespread areas of 1" or greater snowfall were seen in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan (Figure 3). The greatest snowfall totals were seen in southern Minnesota, with totals of 12" of snow or greater. Daily precipitation records were set across many portions of the region, with the greatest one day total records in Kentucky, where a number of stations saw close to 3" of rain on the 10th. Drought conditions remained fairly unchanged as the drought stricken areas received little to no precipitation during the week
Above Average Temperatures Kick Off December
While November ended with widespread below normal temperatures, December started with well-above normal temperatures across the majority of the region (Figure 5). Average temperatures ranging from 8-14°F above normal were common across the region, with portions of Minnesota and Michigan being the exception, where average temperatures ranged from 2-8°F above normal. The only area near-normal was extreme northern Minnesota. Daily temperature records were set in all states in the Midwest, with all of them being record high minimum and maximum temperatures. Records fell with the most abandon on the 3rd and 4th of the month when maximum and minimum temperatures were at least 10-25°F above normal across nearly the entire region (Figure 6)(Figure 7).
Winter Storm Hits Minneapolis-St. Paul Hard
A winter storm hit southern Minnesota, including the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, on the 8th-10th resulting in snowfall totals in excess of 10" in many of the surrounding areas (Figure 8). The official reporting location for Minneapolis-St. Paul, The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, recorded its third greatest one day snowfall total for December on record with 10.5". Trailing only December 28th, 1982 with 12.0" and December 11th, 2010 with 16.3". Local snowfall totals reached as much as 16-17" in area neighborhoods. The winter conditions resulted in excess of 600 crashes, counting only those that were reported, and at least one fatality as of the morning of the 10th.