The above graphic really says it all. We were warm, and we were dry this May. Our average high this month was five degrees above the normal and the average low was right around normal. Our total rainfall was over an inch shy of the normal mark for May. (Statistically speaking, May actually happens to be the wetter month compared to April. But this time around, things were different. )
This was not, by any means, the driest May that we have ever had…but still it is worth noting. Out of 75 years of observations, May of 2014 broke down to being the 18th driest May in recorded history at KTRI. This next statistic may shock you, because I know it shocked me! This May, we only had 11 days where at least a trace of rain fell at KTRI. (Wait for it…) There are only five years in the past 75, where there have been less rainfall days at the airport. WHAT?!
By now, some of you may be saying, "But Chris, I'm almost positive it rained at my house more than 2.20 inches and on more than eleven days this May."
Here's my response to that: Welcome to spring, where there's often scattered showers and the airports don't matter.
So, about that whole "April showers bring May flowers (and Mayflowers bring pilgrims)," thing…
First off, our model data isn't strong enough to forecast pilgrim arrivals, but we're working on ironing out those details ;).
All joking aside, April is drier than May! Shocking, right?! Based on the 75 year data that I keep bringing up, the average monthly rainfall during the month of April is 3.34 inches. The average monthly rainfall for May is 3.67 inches.
So why were we drier than April this year? There have been many years where this has happened, but it's still worth looking into why this year's May has been so dry.
Can this all be driven back to the forecasted El Nino in the eastern Pacific? Usually, an El Nino promotes warmer and drier summers. Even though May doesn't technically fall into summer, could this still be one of the reasons why rain seemed to escape us more times than not? If that's the case, the Atlantic tropical season would likely be less active, as forecast by folks at NC State, Colorado State, and NOAA.
Will the rain deficit continue to grow?
Folks at the Climate Prediction Center released their monthly outlook for June, which features some encouraging news. While these outlooks can't be taken literally, they also shouldn't be taken with a grain of salt.
Source: Climate Prediction Center
According to this outlook, June should feature an above normal amount of precipitation. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen. As always, stay tuned for updates from your StormTrack 5 meteorologists.
---Meteorologist Chris Michaels---
Facebook: Chris Michaels WCYB