Below Normal Precipitation and Snowfall Inching Southward
Unlike last week much of the region experienced below normal precipitation to end October (Figure 1). Last week the largest positive departures were in Minnesota, as much as 400-500% above normal. In contrast, to end October Minnesota was the most below normal with northern areas receiving no precipitation at all to end the month. The areas that received the most precipitation, which also received some of the least precipitation the week prior, resided in the southern and central portions of the region, primarily Missouri and Illinois (Figure 2). Totals in southwest Missouri reached as much as 4" to 5" while the rest of Missouri and Illinois received modest totals in the 2" to 3" range.
Snow continued its trek southward and made appearances in Iowa, northern Illinois, southern Michigan, Indiana and Ohio (Figure 3). The totals were nothing to write home about, as nearly all the reports were 2" or less, with northern Wisconsin being the exception at 3" to 4" reported on the morning of the 24th.
Continued Below Normal Temperatures
The entire region experienced below normal temperatures to end October (Figure 4). The portion of the region least below normal was southwest Missouri where temperatures were only 2°F to 4°F below normal. The rest of the region was 4°F to 7°F below normal with areas of Minnesota and Illinois as much as 8°F below normal. Neither minimum or maximum temperatures were the primary driver for the below normal temperatures for the entire region as each had bulls eyes in separate parts of the region. In the northwest part of the region, maximum temperatures were as much as 10°F to 12°F below normal while the rest of the region was 2°F to 5°F below normal (Figure 5). For the southern and central parts of the region, minimum temperatures were 6°F to 9°F below normal, with the bulls eyes residing in southern Illinois and northwest Indiana (Figure 6).
Drought Update - Not Much Change but Improvement Expected
The October 29th edition (released October 31st) of the U.S. Drought Monitor showed little change from the October 22nd edition (Figure 7). The lack of change should be of little surprise given the below normal precipitation in the areas of drought over the last 7-10 days of October. Iowa remains the state stricken with the most drought and most severe drought (D3 - Extreme Drought) while areas of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri remain in severe drought (D2). The drought outlook for November is a positive one for the western part of the region (Figure 8) as improvement and/or removal of drought is expected in Illinois, Missouri, and southeast Iowa.
Harvest Nearing Completion for Many Across Region
As of the November 4th USDA Crop Progress Report, corn and soybean harvest is nearing completion in the majority of the 9 state region (see table below). Favorable weather conditions over the last week plus allowed all states to close the gap on the 5-year harvest average or exceed the average. Given the near completion of harvest for corn and soybeans, the USDA did not issue a conditions report for either crop on their November 4th Crop Progress Report.
|Corn||% Harvested by November 3rd||Departure from 5-year Average||Soybeans||% Harvested by November 3rd||Departure from 5-year Average|