Widespread Below Normal Precipitation
A majority of the Midwest experienced below normal precipitation during the second week of October (Figure 1), with much of the region not receiving any measurable precipitation (Figure 2). Areas with no precipitation included portions of all nine states, with the largest areas along the Mississippi River in Illinois and Iowa, in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Kentucky. Most of the precipitation during the week fell in Minnesota, southern Missouri, western Michigan, and eastern Ohio. The highest weekly totals were 0.75" to 1" and fell in southwest Missouri and northwest Minnesota. However, with the exception of northwest Minnesota, the areas that did receive precipitation were still below the normal accumulation for the second week of October.
Above Normal Temperatures Continue
Above normal average temperatures continued into the second week of October for the Midwest
(Figure 3). Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and Upper Michigan had the highest departures of 7°F to 10°F above normal. Temperatures were closer to normal further south in the region, with temperatures within a degree of normal in southern Missouri, southern Illinois, portions of Kentucky, and southern Ohio.
Growing Season Update
Harvest of corn and soybeans continues across the Midwest region. Crop reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are not currently available due to the partial government shutdown. However, according to a recent Reuters poll, analysts estimate that the U.S. corn harvest was about 31% complete as of October 13th and the soybean harvest was 45% complete. The concern about frost continues as temperatures are forecasted to approach freezing in the northern Corn Belt, but most corn and soybean plants are already mature enough that frost would do little damage. However, late-developing crops could experience some yield or quality losses.
As the Midwest moves further along in the autumn season, beautiful fall colors are progressing across the region. In the northern states, locations across Minnesota (Figure 4), Wisconsin, and Michigan (Figure 5) are currently experiencing peak color and in some locations in these states, colors are already past their peak. More information on fall colors is available from the U.S. Forest Service.