May Wettest Month on Record


With devastating floods around the United States, the month of May has been recorded as the wettest on record for the contiguous U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


The May precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 4.36 inches, 1.45 inches above average. This was the wettest month on record, and the wettest month of any month in the 121 years of record keeping.

Wetter than average conditions were widespread across the central United States. 15 states from the Great Basin to the Mississippi River had precipitation totals that were much above average.


Although this is the case, there was still some dryness across the USA. Above average temperatures were present in the East where 15 states were much warmer than average. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island were each record warm. Seven states from the Southeast to New England had May precipitation totals that were much below average. No state was record dry.

After a five year drought in Oklahoma and Texas, they had their wettest month of any month on record with precipitation totals more than twice the long-term average. Texas was record wet for spring. Colorado had its rainiest May on record. Arkansas, Nebraska and Utah had their second wettest month on record.


The heavy rains in the central U.S. were accompanied by severe weather with over 400 tornado reports, the most since April 2011, which resulted in fatalities and widespread property damage.


This record beats the previous record of October 2009, which had been the wettest month in U.S. records with 4.29 inches.


For the spring season, the contiguous U.S. precipitation total was 9.33 inches, 1.39 inches above average and the 11th wettest on record.


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