May / Spring
For information on local temperature and precipitation records
during the month of May, please visit NCDC's Extremes page.
- For the contiguous U.S., the average temperature for May was
63.14°F (17.30°C), which was 2.08°F (1.16°C)
above the 20th century mean (based on preliminary data) and the
11th warmest May on record.
- For the spring (March-May), the average temperature for the
contiguous U.S. was 54.38°F (12.43°C), which was
2.49°F (1.38°C) above the 20th century mean (based on
preliminary data) and the 5th warmest spring on record.
- The warmth during the spring was widespread: Wyoming and
Missouri both had their third warmest spring, Illinois and Nevada
had their fourth warmest spring, and the Central and West North
Central regions were 5th warmest on record for spring.
- The majority of the contiguous U.S. was warmer than average in
May, with only two states cooler than average for the month (Texas
and South Carolina).
- For May, the average precipitation for the contiguous U.S. was
2.65 in (67.31 mm), which was 0.22 in (5.67 mm) below the 20th
century mean (based on preliminary data) and the 42nd driest on
- May was unusually dry in a number of areas: Georgia was driest
for the month, Ohio and Alabama had their 3rd driest, and the
Southeast region also had its 3rd driest May. Parts of the
Southwest and High Plains were wetter than average in May, with
Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota all much
wetter-than-average for the month.
- The average precipitation for the contiguous U.S. for spring
was 6.91 in (175.51 mm), which was 0.80 in (20.24 mm) below the
20th century mean and the 23rd driest on record.
- Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia had their driest
spring on record. On the regional scale, the central third of the
U.S. was wetter or much wetter-than-average, while the Southeast
region was driest on record for the spring.
- The dry conditions across the Southeast exacerbated wildfire
activity in May, which continued to be focused across Florida and
southern Georgia. Severe-to-extreme drought conditions were felt
across the Southeast, with extreme drought spreading across parts
of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and North
Carolina. Please see the 2007 Fire
Season page for more information.
- The past six months (Dec-May) were the driest on record for the
- For the past 12 months, the Western region (California and
Nevada) had its driest June - May on record. The abnormally dry
conditions have led to severe-to-extreme drought from the southern
California coast to Arizona and north along the Sierra Nevada
Mountains in the Great Basin. Additional information on drought
conditions is available here.
For additional details, see the Monthly and
Seasonal Highlights section below and visit the May Climate Summary page. For details and
graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe
please visit NCDC's Global Hazards
- Across the United States, extreme drought conditions were
observed in areas of Wyoming, as well as northern Minnesota and
throughout much of the Desert Southwest and the Southeast region.
For more information on drought during May, please visit the
U.S. Drought page.
- El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are in a
neutral state. Sea-surface temperatures (SST) anomalies remain
near-zero in the central equatorial Pacific and below average
across the eastern equatorial Pacific in May. Current forecasts
indicate that a transition from ENSO-neutral conditions to La
Niña could occur over the next 1-3 months. For additional
information on ENSO conditions, please visit the NCDC ENSO Monitoring page and the
NOAA ENSO Advisory.