Temperatures Vary North to South
The Midwest was split during the first ten days of May, with below normal temperatures in the north and above normal temperatures in the south
(Figure 1). The range of departures from normal ranged from 5°F below normal to 5°F above normal for the period. Throughout the Midwest, temperatures warmed from the 1st of the month through the period. Daily records of record high maximum temperature (over 100) were spread across the southern end of the region while record low minimum temperatures were rare, with just a handful scattered across the Midwest.
For much of the Midwest, precipitation was below normal for the first ten days of May (Figure 2). Only the northern regions were above normal for the period. Totals ranged from under 0.05" in Missouri to over 2" in some northern areas
(Figure 3). Despite the drier than normal weather, the US Drought Monitor showed small improvements in the May 6 product (Figure 4). Drought was only depicted in the western most states and Severe Drought was limited to small areas in Iowa and Missouri.
Severe Weather Arrives with the Warming Temperatures
Severe weather reports came in from across the Midwest, with all nine states affected
(Figure 5). After starting the month with five days without severe weather, the next five days brought scattered reports across the region. Tornadoes were reported in Missouri and Minnesota on the 8th and again in Missouri on the 10th. Hail 1" or greater fell in all states except Kentucky. The largest reported hail with a diameter of 4.25" fell in Grundy County, Missouri on the 10th.
Planting Progresses in the South
With warm, dry weather, corn planting made big progress in the southern half of the Midwest. NASS statistics as of May 11th showed Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana ahead of the 5-year average, Iowa and Ohio near the average, and Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan behind the average for those states. Soybean planting was also underway with progress near or slightly behind the 5-year averages.