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Dangerous Fire Weather Threat Continues in Southern California; Winter Weather from the Mid-Mississippi Valley to the Mid-Atlantic

Critical fire weather conditions continue for portions of Southern California. Conditions should improve somewhat by Thursday, and at least an elevated fire weather threat is expected to continue. A storm system is expected to bring heavy rain with a river/flash flooding threat to the Southeast, and accumulating snow and ice from the Mid-Mississippi Valley to the interior Mid-Atlantic. Read More >

Overview/Narrative:

(BE SURE TO CLICK THE VARIOUS TABS BELOW FOR A VARIETY OF MAY 2018 CLIMATE INFORMATION!)

Recap of May 2018 Weather for the 30-county NWS Hastings Coverage Area: 

May 2018 Precipitation


- Rainfall: For most of the area, there were no glaring precipitation deficits or surpluses during May, meaning that many places were "relatively near-normal", featuring totals somewhere between 2.50-5.50".  However, technically speaking, roughly 60% of the area observed at least slightly below normal rainfall, and 40% of the area checked in at least slightly above normal. Per dozens of NWS/CoCoRaHS observers, a few of the highest (above normal) May totals featured: 8.93" at Phillipsburg KS and also southwest of Wood River, 8.62" west of Elyria, 7.48" at Beloit KS and 6.98" ten miles west-northwest of Stockton KS (please note: these pockets of highest totals were clearly exceptions versus the area as a whole). On the drier side of the spectrum, a few of the lowest amounts included: 1.50" at Red Cloud, 1.66" east-southeast of Clay Center, 1.78 east of Ohiowa, 1.79 south of Shickely and 1.93" at Harvard. Interestingly, the NWS observer at Smith Center KS reported the EIGHTH-consecutive month of below normal precipitation (and 11th out of the last 12 months)! 

As for one day/24-hour rainfall totals, the highest official amounts included: 4.50" near Hunter KS (reported on the morning of the 2nd) and 4.25" at Phillipsburg KS (reported on the morning of the 29th). On the evening of the 1st, an unofficial personal weather station measured 5.18" roughly four miles southeast of Tipton, KS. 

- FloodingAlthough no major/widespread flooding occurred during the month, there were two notable, fairly narrow swaths of heavy rain of 3-5+" that caused mainly minor/short-term flooding issues. First, much of southern Mitchell County KS was drenched with 3-5" on the evening of the 1st, affecting areas mainly near and east of Tipton and Hunter. Then, late in the month, Memorial Day the 28th featured a corridor of 4-6" that fell in a southwest-northeast swath across Phillips County KS into northwestern Rooks County. This promoted minor flooding along Bow Creek. In addition, even heavier rain that fell upstream over Graham County (outside the NWS Hastings area) caused fairly significant flooding along the South Fork Solomon River in far western Rooks County, upstream of where it enters Webster Reservoir. 

Temperatures: What a difference a month makes! After enduring one of the coldest months of April on record, a dramatic warm-up occurred in May, resulting in one of the Top 5-to-10 warmest on record for much of the area!  For most of the 30-county area, the month as a whole averaged 4-6º above normal. At Grand Island and Hastings airports, this was the 3rd and 6th-warmest May on record, respectively, and was the warmest since 1977. Probably more strikingly, the contrast between such a cold April and warm May was the largest on record at both Grand Island and Hastings, with May averaging nearly 24º warmer! As would typically be expected, the early part of the month was overall-cooler than the latter part. As for monthly extremes per official NWS observers/stations, many of the hottest readings occurred on the 26th, featuring 101º at Hebron airport and 100º at several sites, including: Grand Island airport, Smith Center KS, Red Cloud, Osceola and near York. On the much-cooler side of things, the lowest overnight lows occurred early in the month (date in parentheses), consisting of the following: 37º at Edison (5th); 38º at Lexington airport (4th), Holdrege (5th) and Gothenburg (1st); and 39º at Loup City (5th) and Beaver City (5th). 

Severe Thunderstorms/High Wind Events:  May was a "fairly average" month overall in terms of  severe thunderstorms. In addition to several fairly minor/localized events, the primary two more significant/widespread events of the month were as follows:

1) The afternoon/evening of May 1st (click here for full web story): Several severe storms developed mainly near and east of the Highway 281 corridor, primarily producing large hail up to 2" in diameter. However, there were also four confirmed EF-0 tornadoes, one each in Hall, Hamilton, Thayer and Mitchell counties. Fortunately, impacts were minimal from all four, but one struck the south edge of Doniphan, destroying an outbuilding and causing minor damage to a few nearby homes.
2) The late night of May 10th into the early morning of the 11th: A complex of severe storms swept from west-to-east across the majority of the Nebraska coverage area, resulting in numerous reports of 60-70+ MPH winds, and as high as 80+ MPH according to a few unofficial weather stations in Kearney County. 



2018 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2018 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)
(for the 2018 tables, data for the previous month usually gets updated by around the 15th of the current month)

2017 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2017 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)

Archived Precipitation Tables And Monthly Climate Stories
 

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