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Memorial Day Weather History/Extremes
Grand Island, NE

 

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, has been observed on the final Monday of May since 1971, and thus ranges in date from May 25th-31st (prior to 1971, Memorial Day was always observed May 30th).  In South Central Nebraska, late May weather conditions vary from spring-to-summer-like, and thunderstorms (sometimes severe) pay a semi-regular visit. The majority of Memorial Days across the local area feature high temperatures somewhere between the upper-60s and upper-80s, while morning lows usually dip between the mid-40s and low-60s.  However, in just the past 30 years, Memorial Day highs in Grand Island have ranged all the way from 56° to 99°! This story features a wealth of Memorial Day weather and climate information focused specifically on Grand Island, where weather records date back 126 years to 1896. 

Temperatures: According to the entire period of record, the hottest Memorial Day in Grand Island was 103° in 1934, and the coolest daytime high was 54° in 1915. As for low temperatures, the chilliest on record was 36° in 1947, and the mildest was 72° in 1934. Only 11 of the 126 Memorial Days on record (9%) have featured high temperatures of 90° or warmer (most recently in 2000). The most recent 100°+ Memorial Day was in 1989, and the most recent Memorial Day that failed to reach 60° was in 1997.

Rainfall: The wettest Memorial Day on record was 1935 with 2.97". Measurable rain (0.01 inch or more) has been recorded in 51 of the 126 years, or 40% of the time.  However, in recent years a somewhat-rainier trend has transpired, as 7 of the past 10 holidays have featured rain at some point during the calendar day.  The 1.60" that fell two years ago in 2020 was the first 1"-or-more Memorial Day rain in 43 years (since 1977). 

The last time SEVERE thunderstorms directly affected the Grand Island area on Memorial Day was 11 years ago on May 30, 2011, when an evening squall line produced a peak gust of 74 mph at the airport, resulting in several reports of tree and structural damage across town. Three years ago (May 27, 2019) featured a somewhat "close call" for Grand Island, as an evening severe storm dropped hail up to ping pong ball size in Kearney, but remained to the west of G.I.

 

** MEMORIAL DAY 2021 RECAP **: Although slightly-cooler-than-average (with an afternoon high of 73° and a morning low of 52°), Memorial Day 2021 (May 31) was actually considerably-nicer than the cloudy/seasonably-chilly holiday the year before in 2020. In fact, Memorial Day 2021 was completely dry throughout, breaking a streak of three-consecutive holidays with rain at some point during the calendar day. Skies clouded up quite a bit in the morning, but these clouds scattered out as the day went on, ultimately yielding a fair amount of sun. Adding to the pleasantness were unusually-light winds by late-May standards, averaging no more than 5-10 MPH the vast majority of the day. 
 

Grand Island NE Max Temperature Min Temperature Rainfall
30-Year Normals (1991-2020) 78° 56° 0.17"
10-Year Averages (2012-2021) 78.9° 57.4° 0.34"

 

 

Grand Island All-Time Memorial Day Records (Since 1896)
Hottest Memorial Day On Record (High Temp) 103° in 1934
Coolest Memorial Day On Record (High Temp) 54° in 1915
Coolest Low Temperature 36° in 1947
Warmest Low Temperature 72° in 1934
Wettest Memorial Day On Record 2.97" in 1935
 

 

Top 5 Hottest Highs Top 5 Coolest Lows Top 5 Wettest
103° (1934) 36° (1947) 2.97" (1935)
101° (1989) 38° (1897) 1.73" (1951)
99° (1994) 39° (1927) 1.60" (2020)
98° (1913) 40° (1930) 1.07" (1917)
97° (2000) 41° (1898) 1.04" (1948)
 

 

The Last Time _____ Happened On Memorial Day in Grand Island?
Last time 100+ degrees: 101° in 1989
Last time 90+ degrees:     97° in 2000
Last time high temp 65° or cooler:  64° in 2020
Last time low temp 45° or cooler:   45° in 2010
Last time low temp 65° or warmer: 65° in 2018
Last time measurable rain fell (0.01" or more): 1.60" in 2020 (mostly pre-sunrise)
Last time it rained at least 1":                         1.60" in 2020 (first time in 43 years!)


 In the past 30 years...

 - Since 1992, high temperatures on Memorial Day have ranged from 56° (1996) to 99° (1994)
 - Since 1992, low temperatures on Memorial Day have ranged from 42° (1992,1993) to 65° (2018)
 - Since 1992, the high on Memorial Day has reached 90° or higher only twice (1994, 2000)
 - Since 1992, the low temperature on Memorial Day has dipped below 45° only twice (1992, 1993)
 - Since 1992, measurable rain (0.01" or more) has fallen 15 times (led by 1.60" in 2020)



Grand Island, Nebraska - Most Recent 10 Years
Memorial Day (2012-2021)

Date Max Temperature Min Temperature Precipitation Weather Conditions
5/28/2012 81° 57° 0.03"  sunny day, rain pre-dawn
5/27/2013 79° 60° 0.34" mostly cloudy, rain pre-7AM
5/26/2014 89° 61° 0.00" mostly sunny, south breeze
5/25/2015 76° 55° 0.02" partly cloudy, rain 7-9 PM
5/30/2016 85° 59° 0.15" sunny day, storm at 11 PM
5/29/2017 76° 51° 0.00" sunny day, breezy from NW
5/28/2018 89° 65° 0.42" PM storms (mainly 3-5 PM)
5/27/2019 77° 59° 0.84" most rain/storms in early AM
5/25/2020 64° 55° 1.60" 3rd-wettest on record!
5/31/2021 73° 52° 0.00" cloudy start/sunnier finish...light winds
5/30/2022        
10-Year Averages 78.9° 57.4°  0.34  

 

 

Past 10 Memorial Day Extremes: Grand Island, NE (2012-2021)
 
Warmest high temperature: 89° in 2018/2014
Coolest high temperature:   64° in 2020 (coolest Memorial Day since 2005) 
 
Coolest low temperature:   51° in 2017
Warmest low temperature: 65° in 2018
 
Highest Rainfall: 1.60" in 2020  (Measurable rain has fallen 7 of the past 10 years)


For more climate related information, check out the following websites:

 

 



This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.

 
Last finalized For 2022: 6/3/2021