Forget April - May had all the showers

Debbie Johnson
Senior Writer
University of Missouri Cooperative Media Group

June 8, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. - No surprise, Missouri had a lot of rain in May.

"May was very wet for all of Missouri, especially in western parts of the state where many locations saw more than 10 inches of rain," said Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension's Commercial Agriculture Program.

The average precipitation total for all of Missouri was just under 7.5 inches, which Guinan said is nearly 3 inches above normal. Preliminary data indicate that May 2015 will rank as the 13th wettest on record, and records go back 120 years.

"It will go down as the wettest May since 2002. So, we haven't seen a wetter May in more than a decade," Guinan said.

With all that rain, surely it's safe to say that we don't have to worry about drought?

"Well, it's never safe to say that, because in Missouri things can change very quickly from wet to dry or dry to wet," Guinan said. "However, the National Drought Mitigation Center says all drought has been removed from the Show-Me State."

As to the temperature, May in Missouri averaged slightly above normal, Guinan said, which continued a spring trend.

"Overall temperatures averaged just under a degree above normal. Above-average temperatures have been the trend this spring. March was above normal, April and so was May," Guinan said.

Now that spring is coming to a close, summer is nearly here. Guinan said this wet May could be a bellwether month.

"When you look at the top 20 wettest Mays on record and then look at what happened that following summer, there is definitely an indication that summers following a very wet May tend to be cooler and wetter than normal," Guinan said.

Guinan's prediction is in line with the Climate Prediction Center, which is calling for cooler temperatures and above-average precipitation for this summer.

Source: Pat Guinan, 573-882-5908