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NCDC Releases May 2014 U.S. Climate Report

May 2014 U.S. Divisional Average Temperature Ranks Map

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during spring was 51.1°F, 0.2°F above the 20th century average, ranking near the middle among all springs in the 120-year period of record. For May, the contiguous U.S. temperature was 61.2°F, 1.0°F above the 20th century average, tying as the 32nd warmest May on record. Both the East and West coasts were warmer than average during May, while much of the central U.S. had near-average temperatures.

The spring national precipitation total was 8.01 inches, which was slightly above the 20th century average. Dryness in the central U.S. was balanced by wetter than average conditions in the Northwest, Midwest, and along the East Coast. The May national precipitation total of 2.76 inches was 0.15 inch below average, with drought conditions intensifying in parts of the Central and Southern Plains. Drought continued its stranglehold in the West.

This monthly summary from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, the business sector, academia, and the public to support informed decision making.

Major Climate Events NOAA is Closely Monitoring

  • Persisting and intensifying drought in parts of the West and the Central and Southern Plains. Long- and short-term dryness will continue to increase wildfire risk and impact water resources and agriculture. More information is available from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
  • Probability of El Niño increases later this year. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, there is a 70 percent chance of El Niño conditions developing this summer, increasing to an 80 percent chance by autumn and winter. El Niño conditions could have significant impacts on temperature and precipitation patterns across the U.S. More information is available from the Climate Prediction Center.
  • The North Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, the 2014 North Atlantic hurricane season is forecasted to be near-normal or below-normal in terms of the number of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes. The last North Atlantic hurricane season with a below-average number of named storms was in 2009. More information is available from the Climate Prediction Center and NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

Additional Information