National Overview - May 2006


NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.

Maps and Graphics:


May Most Recent 3 Months Most Recent 6 Months
Most Recent 12 Months Annual Summary for 2005 US Percent Area Very Wet/Dry/Warm/Cold

It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages. Graphics based on final data are available on the Climate Monitoring Products page.


For graphics covering periods other than those mentioned above or for tables of national, regional, and statewide data from 1895-present, for May, last 3 months or other periods, please go to the Climate At A Glance page.
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National Overview:

May:

  • May temperatures were above normal for the contiguous United States. Nationally, it was the fifth warmest May in the 1895-2006 record. The southwest, from Texas to California was much above average. Near to below normal temperatures covered much of the U.S. east of the Mississippi, except the Northeast, which experienced above normal temperatures for the month. For information on temperature records during the month, please go to NCDC's Extremes page.

  • Precipitation was below average for the contiguous U.S. with dryness occurring primarily in the West-Central Plains and Rocky Mountain regions, while the northern Midwest and the Northeast experienced above to much above normal precipitation in May. Record rainfall resulted in extensive flooding in New England between 10-15 May. Significant drought continued in the Southern Plains and Desert Southwest, with exceptional drought persisting in southernmost Texas. For more information on drought during May, please visit the U.S. Drought page.

  • Tornado producing thunderstorms claimed three lives on 9 May in Collin Co., TX, just northeast of Dallas. Twenty-six homes were damaged and 10 injuries also were reported.

  • Tropical Storm Aletta led off the Eastern North Pacific 2006 Tropical Cyclone Season. Aletta formed on 27 May and dissipated on the 30th, reaching maximum sustained winds of 40 kts. For statistics on the Eastern North Pacific storm season, please see NCDC's 2006 Northeast Pacific Tropical Cyclone page. The Atlantic season begins on 01 June.
For additional details, see the Monthly Highlights section. For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe go to NCDC's Global Hazards page.
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Monthly and Seasonal Highlights:


National:

For tables of national, regional, and statewide data from 1895-present, for May, last 3 months or other periods, please go to the Climate At A Glance page.
  • May 2006 was the fifth warmest May in the 1895 to present record. The preliminary nationally averaged temperature was 63.7°F (17.6°C), which was 2.7°F (1.5°C) above the 1901-2000 (20th century) mean.

  • May 2006 had below average precipitation, nationally, ranking 17th driest in the 1895-2006 record. An average 2.33 inches (59 mm) fell over the contiguous U.S. in May, 0.54 inches (14 mm) below the 1901-2000 average.

  • Boreal spring (Mar-May) temperature was much above average and ranked as the 3rd warmest such period in the 1895-to-present record. The preliminary nationally averaged temperature for February-April was 54.7°F (12.6°C) which was 2.9°F (1.6°C) above the 1901-2000 mean.

  • March-May had below average precipitation, ranking it as the 31st driest spring in the last 112 years. The 7.11 inches (181 mm) average March-May precipitation for the nation was 0.6 inches (15 mm) below the 1901-2000 average.

  • The June 2005 - May 2006 temperature was also much above average and, based upon preliminary data, ranked as the warmest such period in the 1895-2006 record. The preliminary nationally averaged temperature was 55.2°F (12.9°C) which was 2.4°F (1.3°C) above the 20th century mean.

  • Precipitation was near average for May-April, ranking 41st driest for the last 12 months based on a record of 111 such periods. Nationally averaged total precipitation was 28.68 inches (728 mm), or 0.47 inch (12 mm) below the 1901-2000 average.

Regional and Statewide:
  • May 2006 temperatures ranked much above normal for the Southwestern tier and below normal for 4 Eastern states. The remainder of the west and northeastern U.S. was above normal, while the remainder of the eastern U.S. was near normal.

  • April was much drier than average for Nebraska and Iowa and much wetter than average for Michigan and for much of New England.

  • Boreal spring (March - May) temperatures were above to much-above average for all contiguous US states, except California, which was near average. Four states in the Southern Plains experienced record warmth for this period.

  • March - May was drier to much-drier than average for the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as the eastern Rocky Mountain region and Maine. Wetter-than-average spring conditions previaled in parts of New England, the northern Midwest, and the western Rocky Mountains. California had much-above normal precipitation.

  • June 2005 - May 2006 was warmer or much warmer than average for all of the contiguous U.S., with record warmth for 10 states.

  • The last 12 months had a mixed precipitation pattern across the country. There were 7 states that were much wetter than average, including record wettness for New Hampshire, and there were 5 states across the southern US that were much drier than average.


    See NCDC's Monthly Extremes web-page for weather and climate records for the month of May.

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It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages. Graphics based on final data are available on the Climate Monitoring Products page.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: National Overview for May 2006, published online June 2006, retrieved on July 31, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2006/5.