NATIONAL WEATHER SUMMARY
1-7: In several other areas, including the upper Mississippi Valley, dry weather along with a late-week warm spell. Warmer than normal weather stretched from the Northwest into the upper Midwest. Weekly temperatures averaged more than 10F above normal in portions of the interior Northwest. On May 5-6, early-season heat pushed temperatures to 90F or higher in the far upper Midwest. In contrast, near to below normal temperatures covered the southeastern half of the nation. Specifically, weekly readings averaged as much as 5F below normal on the southeastern Plains and along the northern Atlantic Coast. On May 2, freezes were noted as far south as the central Plains. On May 2, low temperatures dipped to 20F in Limon, CO, and 29F in Goodland, KS. In contrast, warmth dominated the Northwest for much of the week. The month opened with daily record highs on May 1 in Astoria, OR (81F), and Hoquiam, WA (80F). Hoquiam posted another daily-record high (78F) on May 2.
Elsewhere on the 2nd, daily-record highs soared to 91F in The Dalles, OR, and 87F in Washington locations such as Olympia and Seattle. In Oregon, record-setting highs for May 3 reached 92F in Hermiston and 89F in Pendleton. During the second half of the week, warmth spread eastward across the nation’s northern tier. By May 5, daily-record highs surged to 93F in Grand Forks, ND, and 89F in International Falls, MN. The parade of records continued through May 6, when daily-record highs rose to 93F in Aberdeen, SD; 92F in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; and 89F in Wausau, WI. With a high of 92F on May 6, Duluth, MN, reported its earliest 90-degree reading on record (previously, 91F on May 14, 1932). Meanwhile, very cool air settled across the eastern U.S. Jacksonville, FL, logged a monthly record-tying low of 45F on May 6. The last time Jacksonville dipped to 45F in May was 24 years ago, on May 8, 1992. Elsewhere in Florida, daily-record lows for May 7 included
48F in Gainesville and 50F in Apalachicola.
8-14: A low pressure system moved across the northern Plains on Wednesday, while a ridge of high pressure lingered over the eastern Pacific. An area of low pressure shifted eastward across the northern Plains. This system ushered a mixture of rain and snow across the upper Intermountain West, while light to moderate rain affected the upper Midwest. A cool air mass trailed the aforementioned system over the north central portion of the country. Jackson, Wyo., recorded a morning low of 17 degrees.
High pressure kept conditions dry west of the Continental Divide. Temperatures rose into the 80s and 90s across a large portion of the Desert Southwest. Thermal, Calif., recorded a midday high of 89 degrees, while Needles, Calif., recorded a midday high of 89 degrees.
15-21: A low pressure system moved across the Great Basin on Tuesday, while a stormy weather pattern impacted the East Coast. A slow moving low pressure system shifted southward over the Great Basin and the Southwest. This system generated showers and isolated thunderstorms across southern California, southern Nevada and the Four Corners. High elevation snow also affected the Wasatch and the Rockies. Buckhorn Mountain, Colo., reported a midday total of 5.8 inches of snow. Pingree Park, Colo., reported a midday total of 3.0 inches of snow. Most areas across the Pacific Northwest and the upper Intermountain West experienced dry weather. Further to the east, strong thunderstorms and heavy rain fired up over the southern Plains. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for portions of western Texas. Heavy rain and strong thunderstorms also impacted the Deep South, the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic. Brookhaven, Miss., reported a midday total of 2.08 inches of rain. Slidell, La., reported a midday total of 2.01 inches of rain. A frontal system extended west southwestward from New England to the central Plains. Temperatures remained 10 to 20 degrees below normal from the central Plains to the central Appalachians. Freeze warnings were issued in central Michigan. Mount Washington, N.H., recorded a morning low of 19 degrees with a wind chill factor of -8 degrees. Light to moderate rain developed along and near this frontal boundary across the middle Mississippi Valley, the Midwest and the northern Mid-Atlantic. Most of the upper Midwest and the Northeast stayed clear of precipitation.
15-21: Mostly dry weather prevailed from the upper Midwest into New England. However, cool and wet weather covered the Great Lakes. On May 14-15, freezes affected portions of the upper Midwest and the Great Lakes region. On May 16, lingering cold weather in the Ohio Valley and the Northeast led to some additional frost. Farther south, cool, showery weather prevailed in most areas from the central and southern Plains into the middle and southern Atlantic States. From the central Plains into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic States, weekly temperatures averaged as much as 10F below normal. Some of the heaviest rain, locally 4 inches or more, fell in the western Gulf Coast region and the southern Atlantic States. In contrast, a small area of the Southeast stretching southwestward from northern Alabama received little or no rain. Meanwhile, wet weather subsided across the central and southern Plains, following early to mid-week rainfall. On the northern Plains, several days of dry weather favored planting activities. The cool spell that arrived across the upper Midwest on May 14 spread into portions of the Great Lakes and Northeastern States on May 15-16. Record-setting minimum temperatures for the May 15 dipped to 27F in Eau Claire, WI; 28F in Mason City, IA; and 31F in Rockford, IL, and South Bend, IN. On May 16, lingering cold weather in the Ohio Valley and the Northeast led to daily-record lows in locations such as Binghamton, NY (30F); Cincinnati, OH (31F); Dubois, PA (31F); and Parkersburg, WV (32F). For the remainder of the week, low daytime temperatures in the central and eastern U.S. were the most significant anomaly. On May 16-17, high temperatures failed to top the 55-degree mark on consecutive days in Vichy-Rolla, MO (55 and 53F). With a high of 54F on May 17, Evansville, IN, reported its latest spring maximum temperature below the 55-degree mark. Across the southern Plains, maximum temperatures stayed below the 60-degree mark all day on May 18 in locations such as Roswell, NM (56F), and San Angelo, TX
(59F). Late-week temperatures quickly rebounded, however, in the central U.S. On May 21, highs soared to 93F in Roswell and 90F in San Angelo.
22-31: A frontal system drifted across the Plains on Monday, while a low pressure system affected the East Coast. A low pressure system moved northeastward over the upper Intermountain West and southern Canada. This system ushered a mixture of rain and snow across the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies and the northern high Plains. Flood warnings and flood advisories were issued in western Montana on Monday. A deep trough of low pressure over the western third of the country kept temperatures 5 to 15 degrees below normal from California to the northern high Plains. Bridgeport, Calif., recorded a morning low of 23 degrees. Big Piney, Wyo., recorded a morning low of 26 degrees. Meanwhile, a cold frontal boundary stretched southward across the northern Plains, the central Plains and the southern high Plains. Strong to severe thunderstorms developed along and ahead of this frontal boundary over the upper Mississippi Valley, the central Plains and the southern Plains. Flash flood warnings were issued for eastern Kansas and western Missouri. McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., reported a midday total of 3.24 inches of rain. Kansas City, Mo., reported a midday total of 2.42 inches of rain. Back east, an area of low pressure pushed northeastward across the northern Mid-Atlantic. This system produced showers and embedded thunderstorms over the central Appalachians and the Mid-Atlantic. Louisa, Va., reported a midday total of 1.00 inch of rain. Most of New England, the Midwest and the Deep South stayed clear of precipitation.
Multiple clusters of thunderstorms broke out across the Plains and the Mississippi Valley on Wednesday, while a ridge of high pressure focused over the Southeast. A deep trough of low pressure transitioned slowly across the Southwest. Temperatures remained 10 to 20 degrees below normal across the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and the Intermountain West. Grand Canyon, Ariz., recorded a morning low of 26 degrees. Big Bear City, Calif., also recorded a morning low of 26 degrees. Cool air, combined with daytime heating, triggered showers and isolated thunderstorms from the Sierra Nevada to the upper Intermountain West.
Just to the east, strong to severe thunderstorms fired up across portions of the central Plains, the northern Plains, the middle Mississippi Valley, the upper Mississippi Valley and the Tennessee Valley. Flood warnings were issued from the northern high Plains to the lower Mississippi Valley. Okmulgee, Okla., reported a midday total of 2.93 inches of rain. Siloam Springs, Ark., reported a midday total of 2.09 inches of rain. Most of the East Coast experienced dry weather on Wednesday due to a ridge of high pressure over the southern Mid-Atlantic. Temperatures rose into the 80s and 90s across the Deep South and the Southeast. Kingsville, Texas, recorded a midday high of 89 degrees with a heat index of 106 degrees. Alexandria, La., recorded a midday high of 88 degrees.
Temperatures rose 10 to 15 degrees above normal across the Great Lakes, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast on the 27th. This was a result of an onshore flow from the Gulf of Mexico. Toms River, N.J., recorded a midday high of 91 degrees. Out west, scattered showers and high elevation snow affected the Rockies and the Wasatch as a cold front shifted over the region. An onshore flow from the Pacific also brought light showers to western Washington and northwest Oregon. A ridge of high pressure over the eastern Pacific kept conditions warm and dry across the Southwest. Los Angeles, Calif., recorded a midday high of 73 degrees. Palm Springs, Calif., recorded a midday high of 88 degrees.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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