MAY 2015


3-9: Shifting weather patterns brought warm, mostly dry weather to the eastern Plains, while showers boosted topsoil moisture in the upper Midwest. Weekly temperatures averaged 5 to 15F above normal in a broad area covering much of the Midwest, mid-South, and Northeast. At week’s end, a significant, late-season storm was underway across the nation’s mid-section, providing beneficial moisture. Indiana and Ohio. The warm, dry conditions extended into the Southeast, except along the southern Atlantic Coast.

The week began with lingering warmth across the Plains, where Hastings, NE, registered a daily-record high (91F) for May 3. Eventually, warmth shifted into the eastern half of the U.S., especially during the mid to late week period. Akron-Canton, OH, posted a trio of daily record highs (87, 88, and 88F) from May 7-9. Elsewhere in Ohio, consecutive daily record highs were established on May 7-8 in Youngstown (85 and 89F), Mansfield

(86 and 87F), and Zanesville (86F both days). Similarly, the week ended on May 8-9 with consecutive daily record highs in locations such as Rochester, NY (90 and 92F); Morgantown, WV (91 and 90F); and Cleveland, OH (89 and 88F). A few late week records were also set at several locations across the South, including Tallahassee, FL (95F on May 9), and Nashville, TN (90F on May 8). In contrast, a late week chill settled across the northern Plains, where Havre, MT, logged a daily record low (26F) for May 9.


10-16: Early coast-to-coast storminess reduced drought’s footprint across the nation’s mid-section but triggered lowland flooding from the southeastern Plains and the western Gulf Coast region into the mid-South. Weekly rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches or more were common from the upper Midwest to Texas. Totals in excess of 4 inches were widespread from southern Texas into the mid-South and southeastern Plains. In the upper Midwest, cool, rainy weather provided much-needed moisture. In fact, below normal temperatures dominated areas from California to the Plains and upper

Midwest. Early in the week, freezes were noted as far south as the central High Plains. Farther east, however, temperatures above 90F were commonly observed in the Southeast.

Elsewhere, broadly unsettled weather prevailed in the West, with the heaviest precipitation falling across the northern Intermountain region.

An early week chill across the High Plains led to daily record lows for May 10 in Livingston, MT (20F), and Denver, CO (27F). The following day, Worland, WY (24F), posted a record setting low for May 11. By May 12, freezes (and daily record lows) were reported as far south as McCook, NE (29 F), and Hill City, KS (31F). Frosty conditions also briefly affected parts of the Northeast, where Saranac Lake, NY, registered a daily record low (23F) on May 14. However, warmth in the eastern U.S. was prominent for much of the week. From May 8-

11, Morgantown, WV, posted four consecutive daily record highs (91, 90, 91, and 89F). Farther south, record setting highs included 95°F (on May 12) in Tampa, FL; 93F (on May 10) in Montgomery, AL; and 92F (on May 12) in Richmond, VA. Naples, FL, notched daily record highs of 92F on May 10 and 15. In contrast, the temperature on May 15 failed to reach the 70-degree mark in Yuma, AZ, where the high of 69F was accompanied by rainfall totaling 0.31 inch.


17-23…Mostly dry weather covered the Midwest into the eastern U.S., where diminishing soil moisture began to have some adverse effects on pastures and emerging summer crops. In contrast, beneficial rain dampened some of the hard-hit drought areas of the Far West, including parts of Oregon, Nevada, and northern California. The Western precipitation boosted topsoil moisture and eased irrigation requirements, but provided negligible relief from long-term, hydrological drought. Cool conditions dominated the country, with warmth confined to the Southeast and Northwest. Weekly temperatures averaged more than 10°F below normal in several locations across the central Plains, and averaged at least 5F below normal in a broad area stretching from southern California to the Plains and upper Midwest. From May 18-20, freezes were noted in parts of the northcentral U.S. However, the sub-freezing temperatures occurred outside the Corn Belt, or were mostly limited to areas where corn and soybeans had not yet emerged.

Cool conditions dominated the northern U.S., especially during the early- to mid-week period. On May 18, daily-record lows in Montana dipped to 27F in Havre and 30F in Miles City. The following day, record setting lows for May 19 included 25F in Bismarck, ND; 27F in Grand Forks, ND; and 29F in Pierre, SD. On May 20, daily record lows dipped below the 40-degree mark in locations such as Ft. Wayne, IN (36F), and Garden City, KS (39F). Hastings, NE, with an average temperature of 44.5F on May 19-20, reported its coldest consecutive days in May since May 28-29, 1915. Cold weather lingered across the Plains through May 21, when daily record lows fell to 30F in North Platte, NE, and 37F in Russell, KS. By May 22, cool air reached the mid-South, where daily records included 42F in both Jackson, TN, and Cape Girardeau, MO. Daily-record lows on May 23 included 26F in Alpena, MI, and 31°F in Glens Falls, NY. In contrast, warmth in the Southeast led to a handful of daily record highs, such as 96F (on May 21) in Apalachicola, FL, and 93F (on May 19) in St. Simons Island, GA.


24-30: Temperatures remained above normal (as Much as 10F above normal) in the

Northwest and gradually rebounded To near to above normal levels across The remainder of the western U.S. Chilly conditions (up to 5F below Normal) lingered on the Plains, but

Warm weather dominated areas from The Mississippi Valley to the East Coast. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10F above normal in many Northeastern Locations. Despite lingering cool conditions in the nation’s mid-section, and warmth in the East and Northwest, temperatures rarely Strayed into record setting territory. In Florida, Melbourne’s lows of 79F on May 25 and 26 were the highest May minimum temperatures on record in that location. Ft. Lauderdale, FL, also achieved a record high May minimum temperature—with a low of 80F on May 25. Elsewhere in Florida, Naples posted a Daily record high of 94F on May 25. Later, highs of 89F (on May 29) in Morgantown, WV, and 86F (on May 30) in Watertown, NY, were among a handful of Eastern daily record Highs. Farther west, however, a late-month surge of cool air led to scattered freezes in the north-central U.S. On May 30,

Grand Forks, ND, collected a daily record low of 29F.

Jim G. Munley, jr.

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