Accumulated Precipitation Percentage
U.S. Warnings and Watches
Average Temperature Departure
Snow Depth

Midwest Weekly Highlights - December 18-24, 2012

Precipitation Totals Top Normal In Most of Midwest

With precipitation totals ranging from nothing in parts of Minnesota to more than 2" in many southeast Wisconsin locations (Figure 1), both above and below normal totals were experienced during the third week of December (Figure 2). Most of the region was above normal with southern Wisconsin ranging from 3 to 5 times normal for the week (Figure 3). To the northwest and south there were drier than normal areas which received well below normal amounts. Much of the precipitation fell in the form of snow on the 20th and 21st as a blizzard (Figure 4) swept from Iowa into southern Wisconsin before the system moved through northern Michigan and into Canada. Snowfall totals topped a foot from central Iowa to southern Wisconsin with weekly totals of nearly two feet in some Wisconsin locations (Figure 5). More than 200 daily snowfall and precipitation records were set during the week, with dozens in both Iowa and Wisconsin.

Temperatures Mostly Above Normal

Temperatures for the week were mostly above normal with some near normal or slightly below normal values in parts of Minnesota and Iowa (Figure 6). The warmest readings, 5°F to 7°F above normal extended from southern Missouri and western Kentucky north to lower Michigan. Just a handful of daily temperature records were set, all record highs. Temperatures were well above normal to start the week and cooled later in the week.

Blizzard Impacts

In addition to the fresh snow cover (Figure 7), the heavy wet snow of the blizzard brought treacherous driving conditions to the region. Numerous accidents were reported, schools and state agencies were closed, and power outages were widespread along the path of the storm. However, drifting was less of a problem due to the heavy, wet snow. Southern Wisconsin had snowfall totals approaching two feet in some locations.

The Iowa Climatology Bureau also contributed to this report.

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