Midwest Overview - February 2013
February Precipitation totals ranged from less than 50% of normal in parts of Kentucky and less than 75% of normal in southwest Iowa to more than 200% of normal in northwest Minnesota and on either side of Lake Michigan (Figure 1). Above normal precipitation was recorded from Missouri north to Minnesota and northeast to Michigan. Near normal precipitation totals were recorded across Indiana and northern Ohio. More than 750 daily precipitation records were tied or set during the month.
Snow totals for February were two to six times normal from Missouri northeast to Lake Michigan and also in Minnesota (Figure 2). Several winter storm systems in February tracked from Missouri to the northeast. Snow totals for the month in Missouri of 20" to 25" were numerous. Lake-effect snows south of Lake Superior and east of Lake Michigan contributed to snow fall totals of 3 to 5 feet in some locations
(Figure 3). Bloomingdale, Michigan
(Van Buren County) recorded 61.9" in February, more than tripling its February normal.
Slightly Below Normal Temperatures
Temperatures in February ranged from near normal to a few degrees below normal (Figure 4). Departures from normal were the largest in the upper Midwest where readings averaged up to 4°F below normal. Very few daily temperature records were set during the month with the largest number being record high maximum temperatures on the 7th and 8th and record low maximum temperatures on the 20th and 21st. There were less than two dozen minimum temperature records. Temperatures were well below normal to start the month
(Figure 5), warmed to well above normal through mid February (Figure 6), and then dropped back to below normal for the last half of the month
December through February precipitation totals were mostly above normal in the region (Figure 8). Western Iowa received less than normal precipitation while parts of northwest Minnesota and a swath from southern Wisconsin eastward across lower Michigan received 150% to 200% of normal. Winter snow compared to normal was highly variable
(Figure 9). Kentucky, northern Indiana, and northern and central Illinois were below normal while northern Missouri, southern Wisconsin, northwest Minnesota, and a narrow band north of the Ohio River were above normal for the season. Drought areas, mainly in the western half of the Midwest (Figure 10), received good precipitation totals but saw only slight improvements in drought status. With frozen soils, much of the moisture will runoff into lakes and rivers leaving little to recharge of dry soils.
December through February temperatures were slightly above normal across most of the region
(Figure 11). Minnesota had some areas with slightly below normal temperatures but most of the other eight states were 1°F to 3°F above normal for the season. A very warm December (Figure 12) and a warm January
(Figure 13) were only slightly offset by the cooler temperatures in February (Figure 4).