Midwest Weekly Highlights - February 15-21, 2013
Dry Start to the Week, Snowy End for Some
Prior to the widespread snowfall that came through on the 21st, the region was below average on the week (Figure 1). Note that the majority of observations are taken in the morning, and therefore did not catch the snowfall event on the 21st. Taking into account the snowfall event from the afternoon/evening of the 21st, the southwest part of the region then saw above average precipitation for the week (Figure 2). Snowfall totals for the 21st (observations from the morning of the 22nd) were as high as 12" in parts of Missouri , 5"-8" in Iowa, Wisconsin and southern Minnesota, tapering off to 2"-4" through western and central Illinois (Figure 3). A handful of precipitation records were set through the week, with the majority occurring on the 19th and a number of snowfall records were broken in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and western Illinois from snowfall on the 21st. The highest one day precipitation totals were seen in Kentucky where several stations received over an inch of rain.
Below Average Week for All
Unlike last week, which was above average, this week saw the entire region experience below average temperatures (Figure 4). Most areas were 4°F to 8°F below normal on the week, while large areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin were 10°F to 14°F below normal. For the week, the entire states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan saw average maximum temperatures below freezing (Figure 5) and large parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin had average minimum temperatures that did not break zero on the week (Figure 6). Since the region was well below normal temperature for the week, no high maximum temperature records were set, but a number of low maximum records were, predominantly in Iowa, and Minnesota on the 20th.
Snow and Ice Causes Travel Delays and Accidents Across Midwest on the 21st-22nd
The snowstorm on the 21st that tracked across much of the western portion of the region caused travel headaches for many. Among the many impacts, the storm cancelled hundreds of flights in St. Louis, and shut down the Kansas City International Airport for nearly 18 hours as crews worked to keep up with snow removal as Kansas City received 12+ inches of snow. Many flights across the region, from Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois saw delays due to snow and ice, with delays continuing into the 22nd. Accidents in the metropolitan areas of Kansas City and St. Louis easily numbered into the hundreds, with the majority being minor. No deaths had been reported in Kansas City or St. Louis, however one death was reported in Eagan, MN by Minnesota State Patrol.