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Average Temperature: Departure from Mean Miminum Temperature: 24-hour period Accumulated Precipitation Daily Station Snowfall  

Midwest Weekly Highlights - January 15-21, 2016

Cold Week

Bitter cold air invaded the Midwest for a second consecutive week and most of region had below-normal temperatures (Figure 1).  Average temperatures were 8-15°F below normal across the western half of the region, with Kentucky 5-8°F below normal.  Indiana, Ohio and Michigan were closer to normal at 2-5°F below normal.  The bitter cold included below-normal minimum temperatures that were below zero on multiple days (Figure 2).  Through the morning of January 18, minimum temperatures of -20°F and below were common, with below zero temperatures reaching into northern Missouri, Illinois and Indiana (Figure 3).  Similar minimum temperatures were observed through the next morning on January 19 (Figure 4).  However, some of the biggest departures from normal were from maximum temperatures.  Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and western Illinois had maximum temperatures 10-16°F below normal for the period (Figure 5).

Drier, But Snowy

Very few areas had near- to above-normal precipitation as a drier pattern took over (Figure 6).  Most of the region had less than a half-inch of precipitation for the period, with parts of southern Minnesota, northeast Iowa and southern Wisconsin completely dry (Figure 7).  Only a few areas in Kentucky and the U.P. of Michigan had over a half-inch of precipitation.  A large portion of the region had less than half the normal amount of precipitation (Figure 8).

However, above-normal snowfall was common across the southern half of the region thanks to a winter storm on January 19 through the morning of January 20 (Figure 9).  Snowfall amounts of 2-4 inches were common with some higher amounts up to 5 inches.  This snowfall was more than twice the normal amount for the period in most cases (Figure 10).  Lake-effect snow was also common during the week in the U.P. of Michigan and in western Lower Michigan.  Snowfall amounts over 10 inches were common with totals over 20 inches in some areas (Figure 11).

Flooding Nears End on Illinois River

River levels continued to recede along the Illinois River after river experienced major flooding in late December and early January (Figure 12).  Only two gauges, Havana (Figure 13) and Beardstown (Figure 14) were still in moderate flooding as of January 21.  Minor flooding continued downstream of Beardstown through the mouth of the river at the Mississippi River.  Forecasts showed that the river would continue to recede for the rest of January, ending traditional flooding concerns for the region.  However, recent cold temperatures have increased the chances for ice jam flooding, which has resulted in moderate flooding on the Kankakee River in Will County, IL (Figure 15).