Saturday, September 15, 2012
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Warmest year to date for the Midwest, near normal August

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[September 15, 2012]  CHAMPAIGN -- August brought relief to much of the Midwest region in the form of near-normal temperatures and much-needed rainfall. No state in the nine-state Midwest region ranked in the top 40 warmest Augusts on record, according to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center at the Illinois State Water Survey. Records date back to 1895.

While August was not an extraordinarily warm month, the June through August summer season was above average in all nine states of the region. All states ranked in the top 35 of their respective records, with Kentucky, at 34th, and Indiana, tied for 22nd, being the lone states outside of their respective top 20 warmest. Iowa, which tied for 10th, and Wisconsin, tied for eighth, were the states with top 10 summers, while the region as a whole tied for eighth.

Even with the cooler August across the region, year-to-date average temperatures in all states still ranked first or tied for first in the records for the period of January through August. The Midwest region finished with a value of 55.4 degrees, beating out the previous record of 54.2 degrees in 1921.

Statewide values for the January-August period were 58.9 degrees in Illinois, topping the previous record of 58.3 in 1921; 58.2 degrees in Indiana, compared with 57.8 in 1921; 55.6 degrees in Iowa, compared with 54.6 in 1987; 50.8 degrees in Michigan, edging out the 50.7 in 1921; 49.3 degrees in Minnesota, compared with 49.1 in 1987; 62 degrees in Missouri, beating the 59.9 in 1921; 56.9 degrees in Ohio, compared with 56.1 in 1921; and 50.7 degrees in Wisconsin, topping the 49.5 in 1987. Kentucky tied the record of 61.2 degrees with 1921.

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The summer was not record-breaking in many respects, but the unseasonably warm year-to-date temperatures have been. Another way to look at the unseasonably warm temperatures is the number of days with a maximum temperature greater than 90 degrees. Across the region, many cities experienced two to three times the normal number of days with temperatures 90 degrees or greater, such as Indianapolis, Ind., with 51 days greater than or equal to 90 degrees, which is 38 days more than normal. The table below highlights select cities across the region.

The region and all nine states have a chance to break their annual temperature record this year. In Missouri, normal temperatures over the last four months of the year will be enough to set a new annual record. The region and the remaining states would need to average above-normal temperatures, typically by a degree or two, over the remaining months of 2012 to break their annual records.

[Text from file received from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center]

[Table copied from file received from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center]

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