Anecdotally, you could have probably guessed that May 2015 was going down on record as a pretty wet month. Now that the data is in, NOAA has tallied the official results. Turns out May was wet – not only the wettest May ever, in fact, but the wettest month ever on record, period.
The map below shows precipitation across the U.S. for May 2015 compared to normal levels. Wetter-than-normal areas are shaded green, and drier-than-normal areas are shaded brown.
Areas that received mega doses of precipitation included Arizona, Southern California, Northern Utah and parts of Oklahoma and Texas, where precipitation levels exceeded 500% of average. Across most of the country’s midsection, rainfall totals were 200% to 300% above average.
Fifteen states in total from the Great Basin to the Mississippi River had precipitation totals “much above average,” according to NOAA. The agency also reports that “heavy precipitation in May essentially ended the multi-year drought that has plagued the Southern Plains since 2011.”
Not everyone got soaked, however. The driest places in the U.S. in May included California and North Carolina, and much of the Eastern Seaboard stretching from Georgia to New England were far below average. No states saw record dryness in May.
The U.S. drought footprint now lays across 24.6% of the country, which is the smallest percentage since February 2011. For more spring weather highlights from NOAA, visit http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201505.