A Break from Frigid Cold
Following a frigid cold snap earlier in January, the second week of the month brought above normal temperatures across the Midwest. Temperatures ranged from 7°F to 9°F above normal in the western and eastern edges of the region to about 4°F above normal in western Kentucky
(Figure 1). The daily temperature records followed a similar change, going from hundreds of record lows in the first ten days of the month to dozens of record highs in week two (Figure 2).
Widely Ranging Precipitation Totals
Unlike temperature, the precipitation totals ranged from well below normal to several times normal in the second week of January. Western Iowa, southwest Minnesota, and northwest Missouri were the driest areas picking up less than a tenth of an inch
(Figure 3). Totals of more than 1.50 inches were recorded in Kentucky for the week. When viewed as a percentage of normal precipitation (Figure 4), dry areas included the western Midwest and a swath from southern Illinois to the southern shore of Lake Erie. Above normal precipitation was recorded from southeast Missouri north into much of Wisconsin and northern Michigan as well as eastward through Kentucky and southern Ohio. Totals in central Wisconsin were three or four times normal. Snowfall totals in Wisconsin and northern Michigan topped 6 inches for many locations with totals over a foot common in Upper Michigan and the northern parts of the lower peninsula of Michigan
(Figure 5). Snow depth measurements at the end of the week showed areas with significant snow cover across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan (Figure 6). Totals of one to 2 feet extended across the northern parts of those three states with depths dropping off to just an inch or two extending southward into the neighboring states. Many daily precipitation records were set on the 11th in Missouri and Illinois with daily snowfall records most common across the northern half of the Midwest on the latter days in the week. Drought conditions
(Figure 7) remained steady largely due to frozen soils, which hold existing moisture and prevent recharge.