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Accumulated Precip (in) Daily Snowfall (in) Average Temp Departure Oct 1-15 Average Temp Departure Oct 16-31 Drought Monitor

Midwest Overview - October 2013

October Precipitation Near to Above Normal

Monthly precipitation was near normal to slightly above normal for a majority of the Midwest during October (Figure 1). Above normal precipitation (125% to 300% of normal) occurred across the upper Midwest in Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and northern Michigan, as well as in the Ohio River Valley and western edges of the region. Precipitation was near normal in much of the central Midwest, with smaller portions of below normal precipitation (25%-75% of normal) scattered throughout the region. Monthly totals ranged from only 0.5" in northern Minnesota to 6" to 8" in southwest Missouri and northern Michigan (Figure 2). The first week of the month was particularly wet with widespread areas receiving 200% to 500% of normal precipitation (Figure 3).

The first snow of the season fell in northern parts of the Midwest in the latter half of the month. Areas with reported snowfall during October include portions of the upper Midwest, as well as areas downwind of the Great Lakes due to light lake-effect snow and also in northern and eastern Iowa, northwest Illinois, and even southwest Indiana (Figure 4).

Transition from Unseasonably Warm to Unseasonably Cool Temperatures

Temperatures averaged close to normal in October across the Midwest (Figure 5). Western portions of the region were slightly cool for this time of year but were still within 1°F to 3°F of normal. On the other hand, portions of Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky were 1°F to 3°F above normal. Looking at October temperatures throughout the month gives a very different picture, with above normal conditions in the first half of October across the region (Figure 6) followed by well below normal temperatures for the latter half of the month also region wide (Figure 7). With the seasonal transition to cooler temperatures added to the transition in October 2013, temperatures saw a drop of about 15°F when comparing the first and last half of the month.

Slight Improvement in Drought Conditions

The percentage of the Midwest in drought dropped slightly in October (Figure 8). At the beginning of the month, just over 30% of the region was in drought with over 11% in severe drought (D2). In the last U.S. Drought Monitor on October 29th, those percentages fell to just over 24% and under 9%. The greatest improvement occurred in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where there was a reduction in the amount of area impacted by severe drought (D2).

Growing Season Update

Despite some wet areas throughout the month, much of the corn and soybean crops were harvested in October. By the end of the month, a majority of the nine states were near their 5-year average for completion of harvest. Due to the wetter weather this fall, Kentucky remains the farthest behind with only 83% of corn harvested (10% lower than the 5-year average) and 51% of soybeans harvested (25% lower than the 5-year average).

The Indiana State Climate Office also contributed to this report.
The Iowa Climatology Bureau also contributed to this report.
The Missouri Climate Center also contributed to this report.