The Month of May
May has been a month of ups and downs across the lower 48 states. There have been some big warmups and big cool downs. Big rain and big snow has been reported in many areas so far this month and will a little more than a week to go, there is likely more variability likely for rest of the month.
The graphic below shows temperatures so far this month. May has been a patchwork of warm and cold. Warm patches have been most notable in the southeast and in the Northern Plains. May has been colder than normal in the Desert Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, New England and across the Central Plains and Central and Southern Rockies.
In regards to precipitation so far, May has been a wet month for many. The graphic below shows precipitation across the lower 48 states from May 1 to May 22. Most of the nation has enjoyed adequate precipitation so far this month, however, dry areas persist in the southeastern states and a few spots in the Northern Plains.
Precipitation has been above normal in many areas of the Central Plains and Rockies which have alleviated some dry conditions that developed this winter, especially in eastern Colorado and portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska.
As of last week, 85% of the lower 48 states was drought free, which is a higher percentage than normal.
Looking ahead, the trend of cooler temperatures that have developed in many areas this month will continue into June. The graphic below is a temperature forecast for the next 45 days. Blue areas represent temperatures that are expected to be below normal. Yellow and orange areas are expected to be warmer than normal.