It’s the time of year where towering thunderheads are a common sight on the Plains. Storm activity was prevalent in May. Several rounds of severe storms impacted the southern Plains with tornadoes to even hail up to 4 inches (softball sized) reported near Snyder, Texas.
Heavy rain also led to flooding concerns for the eastern part of Texas in the first half of the month. This included 3.59 inches in Lufkin, according to observers. While rain was more hit or miss in some other areas of the plains, there were still some beneficial numbers noted including a weekly total of 1.63 inches in Dodge City, Kansas, for the week of May 9 to 15.
While drought concerns remain for parts of the Plains, the area included in drought conditions for the southern to central Plains isn’t nearly as expansive as it was at the beginning of spring.
May also included a range of temperatures with a stretch of unseasonably cool temperatures for the High Plains but also some record setting heat in some areas. The temperature in Del Rio, Texas, soared to 106 degrees Fahrenheit on May 9. Just a couple of days later, temperatures struggled to climb out of the 50s for some feeling much more like fall as Amarillo, Texas, had a high of 49 degrees and Goodland, Kansas, only reached a high of 46 degrees.
The transition to ENSO-Neutral we’ve been watching for months is now complete with La Niña in the rearview mirror. ENSO-Neutral conditions look to stick around through at least summer.
From Kansas into the northern Plains, above normal temperatures appear probable for the month of June. In terms of moisture the next month, the western portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska should generally see precipitation below the normal mark.
That trend for moisture will continue for those areas even into the next three months.
Warmer than average temperatures through August are forecast for most of the middle section of the country.
I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for July’s update.
Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.