Feeling the Warmth
An unseasonably warm pattern took shape to start November, as many areas in the region neared record high temperatures. Average temperatures were largely in the 50s across the region, with northern parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and the U.P. of Michigan in the mid-to-upper 40s
(Figure 1). This was above normal for the entire region. Missouri and southern Illinois were only 3-6°F above normal, while the rest of the region was 9-12°F above normal (Figure 2). Isolated pockets of 12-15°F above normal were also found in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. The warmth was felt most in the maximum temperatures, where most of the region had average max temperatures in the 60s
(Figure 3). Maximum temperatures in the 70s were seen as far north as northern Lower Michigan during a couple of days, including November 4 (observation the morning of November 5), where most of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky were in the upper 70s (Figure 4). Maximum temperature records were tied or broken at Indianapolis (76°F), Cleveland (76°F), Traverse City (71°F) and Detroit (74°F). Most of Iowa, Michigan and northern Ohio’s maximum temperatures were 12-15°F above normal during the week
(Figure 5). While maximum temperatures in Kentucky were only 2-5°F above normal, minimum temperatures averaged 9-13°F above normal (Figure 6), leading to average temperatures of 8-11°F above normal.
Varying Amounts of Precipitation
Precipitation varied across the Midwest to start the month of November. Southern Missouri and the Ohio River Valley received over one inch of precipitation during the period, while most of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and northern Minnesota had one-half inch to an inch
(Figure 7). Southern Minnesota through northern Missouri was much drier, with two-tenths of an inch or less. Departures from normal were small, however, with only northwest Missouri more than one-half inch below normal, and only southern Missouri over an inch above normal (Figure 8). Southern Missouri and northern Minnesota were the only two areas where more than twice-the-normal amount of precipitation fell over the period, while less than one-quarter of the normal amount fell across southern Minnesota through northern Missouri, and in central Indiana through northern Ohio
Drought Area Decreases Slightly
After the release of the October 27 drought monitor, a soaking rain fell, decreasing drought area in the Midwest by three percent in the latest drought monitor through November 3 (Figure 10). Nearly 13 percent of the region is still in moderate drought, as the region continues to stay out of severe or extreme drought and the winter months start to come into focus. The biggest improvements were in Indiana, where drought area decreased over 17.5 percent from the previous period (Figure 11). Kentucky also improved — as now less than two percent of the state is in moderate drought, down from over 12.5 percent. While drought was not affecting Ohio, abnormal dryness decreased by over 35 percent in the state.