Sunday, June 17, 2012

May 2012 Statewide Temperature Rankings

  • Climate Highlights — May
  • The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during May was 64.3 degrees F, which is 3.3 degrees F above average — the second warmest May on record
  • Warmer-than-average temperatures were present for all regions except the Northwest, with the largest departures from average across the Central Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. Twenty-six states had May temperatures ranking among their ten warmest.
  • Precipitation patterns across the contiguous U.S. were mixed during May. The Eastern Seaboard and Upper Midwest were wetter than average. North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Minnesota had May precipitation totals among their ten wettest. Dry conditions prevailed for the Mid-South, parts of the Southern Plains, and the Great Basin. Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nevada, and Utah had a top ten dry May.
  • Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall near Jacksonville, Florida on May 28th, bringing beneficial rainfall to parts of the drought-stricken Southeast. Beryl occurred on the heels of Tropical Storm Alberto, marking only the third time on record that two tropical cyclones reached tropical storm strength during May in the North Atlantic basin.
  • Ongoing drought, combined with windy conditions, created ideal wildfire conditions across the Southwest. The Whitewater-Baldy Fire complex in the Gila National Forest of western New Mexico grew out of control and charred over 210,000 acres by the beginning of June. The fire surpassed 2011’s Las Conchas Fire as the largest wildfire on record for the state.
  • According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, as of May 29th, 37.4 percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing drought conditions, a slight decrease from 38.2 percent at the beginning of May. Drought conditions improved across the coastal Southeast, the Southern Plains, Northeast, and Upper Midwest, while they deteriorated for parts of the Mid-South and Southwest.
  • A list of select May and spring temperature and precipitation records can be found here.

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