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Midwest Weekly Highlights - June 1-7, 2021

Extreme Heat in the Upper Midwest

Temperatures were very hot for early June in the Upper Midwest (Figure 1).  Temperatures for the week were 8-12°F above normal in Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Michigan.  Some areas of southwestern Minnesota were more than 15°F above normal.  Maximum temperatures were even hotter, with areas in central Minnesota more than 18°F above normal (Figure 2).  Maximum temperatures in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin were warmer than areas further south in Missouri and the Ohio River Valley (Figure 3).  Temperatures averaged in the 90s across most of Minnesota during the week.  More than 570 daily high temperature records were broken across the region (Figure 4), mainly in the Upper Midwest.

Rain Limited to the Ohio River Valley

Precipitation was limited in the Midwest to the Ohio River Valley and southern Missouri for the week (Figure 5).  Most of these areas received more than an inch of rain, with parts of western Kentucky, southern Indiana and southeastern Missouri receiving more than two inches.  Most of this rain fell from a slow-moving storm that dropped precipitation from June 1-4.  In the wetter areas, more than twice the normal amount of precipitation fell (Figure 6), with some areas receiving up to 4 times the normal in southeastern Missouri.  However, very few daily precipitation records were broken as amounts were spread out across the four-day period (Figure 7).  Meanwhile, much drier conditions were observed across the Upper Midwest.  Except for light showers and thunderstorms in northeastern Wisconsin, amounts were less than half an inch across a large portion of Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, northern Missouri and most of Illinois.  A large portion of Iowa received no rain during the week.

Severe Drought Area Increases

Drought concerns worsened across the Upper Midwest as another week with minimal rainfall and extreme heat impacted soils and streams (Figure 8). Areas in severe drought more than doubled according to the June 8 U.S. Drought Monitor.  Most of this expansion occurred across central Lower Michigan.  Moderate drought also expanded in northern Iowa.

Central Minnesota Strong Winds

The only severe weather event during the first week of June impacted west-central Minnesota on June 7 (Figure 9).  Gusts reached as high as 77 mph near Wolverton, MN (Wilkin County), while trees and powerlines were downed.  Pontoon boats were also flipped in lakes.