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February 8-14, 2024

  • Weekly Summary

February 8-14, 2024

Above-Normal Temperatures Persist

The second week of February was nearly as anomalous as the first. Average temperatures stayed in the 15-20°F range for Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (Figure 1). Elsewhere in the Midwest, average temperatures were generally 9-14°F above normal. Wisconsin had an average temperature of 32.6°F for the week, which was 16.4°F above normal, thus the largest departure across the region for the week. This was followed by Minnesota at 16°F above normal and Iowa at 14.8°F above normal. Missouri had the lowest departure, with an average temperature that was 12°F above normal for the week. Every state in the region averaged over 10°F above normal for the second week in a row.

Minimum temperatures were over 20°F above normal for all of Minnesota, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and most of Wisconsin (Figure 2). For most of the rest of the region, minimum temperatures were 10-15°F above normal. International Falls, Minnesota had a minimum temperature of 36°F on February 8, which was the warmest February minimum temperature since 2000 and the earliest in the calendar year since records began in 1895. In Houghton, Michigan, the minimum temperature reached 38°F on February 8 for the first time since 1950, the 4th time since records began in 1887, and the earliest in any calendar year since 1887. On February 9, as warmth moved east, Alpena, Michigan recorded a record high minimum temperature of 41°F, which was the second time the minimum temperature in Alpena remained above 40°F in February. It was also the second highest February minimum temperature since records began in 1916, second only to a 42°F observation in February 1994.

Over 800 record high temperatures were set across the region this week alone (Figure 3), which makes for over 1,000 total daily records for just the first two weeks of the month. Record high maximum temperatures were common, especially as anomalies were generally 8-14°F region-wide for the week (Figure 4). In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the temperature reached 59°F on February 8, the earliest in the calendar year since records began in 1892. Flint, Michigan had a temperature of 60°F or greater for two days in a row, February 8-9, for only the third time in February since records began in 1920.


Precipitation was plentiful for Kentucky and Minnesota, and just about nowhere else in between (Figure 5). A stretch of the region—pretty much directly in between I-70 and I-80—observed no precipitation for the week. Fort Wayne, Indiana recorded no precipitation for the month through February 14, which was the longest streak of zero precipitation in February since records began in 1897. Springfield, Illinois and Toledo, Ohio both set a similar record with no precipitation measured February 1-14, the longest February streak for each location since records began in 1879 and 1870, respectively.

On February 8, a robust system came through the Upper Midwest, bringing rounds of showers and thunderstorms to the Upper Midwest. Much of northern Minnesota saw over 200 percent of normal precipitation for the week, and much of it came in the form of rain with this system, with totals in the 0.50 inch range. A southerly track system is what brought significant rainfall to Kentucky on February 12, with some spots seeing over two inches in 24 hours.

There were negligible changes in drought conditions across the region this week. D0 conditions were removed from Kentucky, which is completely drought-free (Figure 6). Most of the lower Midwest has no drought, with the exception of central Missouri where D1 remains, although even there major improvements have been made. D3 conditions still exist in Iowa, with no changes since the prior week.

Wisconsin Tornadoes

The same robust low pressure system that brought rain to Minnesota also brought severe weather, notably in Wisconsin. Hail nearing the size of a quarter was reported in Waukesha County. A high end EF-2 tornado touched down near Evansville, Wisconsin, and was on the ground for 36 minutes. In total, the Evansville tornado was on the ground for 24.5 miles and has winds that peaked at 130 MPH. There was 1 injury from the driver of a car whose vehicle was pushed into a ditch.

The other tornado was an EF-1 which touched down just northwest of Jude, Wisconsin and stayed on the ground for 8.35 miles with winds of 110 MPH. These tornadoes were the first two tornadoes to touchdown in Wisconsin during the month of February since tornado records began in 1950. In addition to the Wisconsin tornadoes, two EF-1 tornadoes touched down on February 10 in Clark County, Indiana and Port Royal, Kentucky. Both tornadoes had winds of 90 MPH and caused some moderate building damage but no injuries or fatalities.

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