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Midwest Weekly Highlights - June 8-14, 2021

Widespread Heat Remains

Warmer than normal temperatures were widespread for the second consecutive week across the Midwest (Figure 1).  The warmest areas were in the Upper Midwest, with most of southern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin 10-12°F above normal.  Meanwhile the southern half of the region was mostly 4-8°F above normal.  Maximum temperatures contributed the most to the warmth (Figure 2), with southern Minnesota 12-14°F above normal.  More than 475 daily high temperature records were reported across the Midwest (Figure 3).

Isolated Thunderstorms

Another very dry week was recorded across most of the Midwest (Figure 4).  Most of Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois and southern Wisconsin had less than an inch of rain during the period.  Some wetter areas were recorded in northern Wisconsin, eastern Kentucky and southeastern Ohio.  Some of these areas had more than twice the normal amount of rainfall (Figure 5).  However, most of Iowa, southern Minnesota, southern Wisconsin and northern Missouri had less than a quarter of the normal amount.

Widespread Severe Weather

After an unusually quiet May and first week of June, many isolated thunderstorms in the region turned severe in the Midwest during the week (Figure 6).  More than 300 reports of severe weather were relayed to National Weather Service offices, with more than 250 from strong winds.  In comparison, less than 270 severe weather reports were observed in the month of May.  Severe weather was reported on each day of the period.  On June 8, tornadoes were reported in extreme southwestern Indiana.  An injury was reported as a barn roof was torn off along with damage to buildings on a farm that led to flying debris near Patoka, IN (Gibson County).  One of the largest events was on June 11 in western Missouri.  Wind speeds were recorded as high as 90-mph near Mosby, MO (Clay County).  Several other 75-mph wind gusts were also reported.  The system moved eastward across the Ohio River Valley on June 12-13.  Strong winds were common across Kentucky, eastern Illinois, southern Indiana and southern Ohio.  Two children were injured on June 12 in Crofton, KY (Christian County) as a truck collided with a fallen tree.

Upper Midwest Drought Worsens

Continuing dry and hot weather increased drought severity in the Upper Midwest according to the June 15 U.S. Drought Monitor (Figure 7).  Severe Drought increased to more than 11 percent of the region, an increase of more than 80 percent from June 8.  Extreme drought was also introduced in several counties in extreme northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin.  Iowa saw the largest increase in severe drought, with severe drought coverage increasing by 300 percent from the previous week.  Drought covered more than 70 percent of Iowa, with more than 40 percent of the state in severe drought.  Impacts were being seen in agriculture as corn leaves were curling from heat and lack of precipitation.  In total, more than 25 million people in the Midwest were estimated to be in drought-affected areas.