Average Temperature Departure Accumulated Precip (in) Drought Monitor Midwest corn crop conditions

Midwest Overview - July 2012

The Warmest July in Decades

July was above normal all across the Midwest. Temperatures averaged 2°F to 8°F above normal (Figure 1). Maximum temperatures averaged in the 80s in the northern and eastern parts of the region and in the 90s in the rest of the region (Figure 2). Maximum temperatures averaged 7°F to 10°F above normal in much of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and southern Wisconsin (Figure 3). Daily counts of record high temperatures topped 100 on 15 of the 31 days in July with a monthly total in excess of 3000 (Figure 4).

Preliminary statewide numbers for July rank all nine states in the region among the five warmest on record (1895 to 2012). In each case, it has been the warmest July in decades. Missouri had a warmer July in 1980 and Michigan in 1955 but all the other states recorded the warmest July since 1936 or earlier.

Preliminary 2012 Temperature (°F)
Record Temperature (°F)
Warmest July Since
81.8 (2nd)
83.1 (1936)
80.5 (3rd)
80.9 (1936)
79.7 (3rd)
82.7 (1936)
80.5 (tied 2nd)
73.4 (4th)
76.1 (1921)
74.9 (2nd)
76.2 (1936)
83.8 (tied 5th)
85.8 (1934)
77.9 (2nd)
78.3 (1934)
74.8 (tied 3rd)
75.4 (1921)


Rains Miss Much of the Drought Area

Rainfall totals varied widely in July. Kentucky and Michigan reported above normal statewide totals, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio had statewide totals slightly below normal, and Indiana fell about 1.5" short of normal. Missouri, 1.58", had its 7th driest July and driest since 1970. Illinois, 1.46", had its 4th driest July and driest since 1936. Iowa, 1.21", had its 3rd driest July and driest since 1975.

Rainfall totals (Figure 5) were less than 1.00" over significant parts of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois and ranged to more than 10" in Kentucky (10.51" at a Kentucky Mesonet site in Nicholas County). The driest stations were in Iowa where only a trace fell at two stations in the western half of the state (Audubon in Audubon County and Atlantic in Cass County). Departures from normal 2" to 4" over an area extending from central Indiana on the east and from southwest Minnesota to southwest Missouri on the west (Figure 6). Drought conditions spread and intensified over large parts of the Midwest during July (Figure 7). Drought conditions expanded from less than half the region to more than 70% during July. Severe drought area more than tripled from 15% to 55% while areas in extreme or exceptional drought (the worst two categories of drought) grew from just over 5% of the region to more than 36%.

Crop conditions continued to deteriorate during July. Large portions of the Midwest corn (Figure 8) and bean (Figure 9) crops were in drought areas as of July 31st. As of July 28th, conditions were reported as very poor or poor for over 40% of the corn in each state except Minnesota (Figure 10). Beans were slightly better but still reported over 30% of the crop in very poor or poor condition in all states except Minnesota (Figure 11).

The Illinois State Climatologist Office also contributed to this report.
The Iowa Climatology Bureau also contributed to this report.
The Kentucky Climate Center also contributed to this report.
The Minnesota State Climatology Office also contributed to this report.
The Missouri Climate Center also contributed to this report.

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