Very warm, dry May continues; Memorial Day weekend looks beautiful

Most of Minnesota is running behind for May rainfall

midwest percent normal precip
Percent of normal May precipitation across the Midwest
Midwest Regional Climate Center

In a reversal of March and April, May has been dry and quite a bit warmer than normal. That pattern continues through this Memorial Day weekend into May’s final days.

Dry, warmer-than-normal May for most

After a cold, wet first half of spring, May has been quite the opposite. Temperatures are averaging 3 to 5 degrees above normal statewide with the exception of the North Shore.

T anom Midwest
May temperature anomalies (difference from normal) across the Midwest
Midwest Regional Climate Center

It’s also been a pretty dry May with many areas seeing only about half of normal precipitation. About the only part of the state seeing normal or a surplus of precipitation are the areas around the Minnesota River that received torrential rains earlier in the month.

MN precip anom
30-day precipitation anomalies (difference from normal) across Minnesota
WeatherBELL Analytics

While drought isn’t present anywhere in Minnesota, the areas considered abnormally dry expanded from 26 to 30 percent in the latest drought monitor.

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MN drought
Latest Minnesota drought monitor
National Drought Mitigation Center

Not too far to our south, drought is quite prevalent from eastern Nebraska through much of Kansas into Oklahoma.

NTL drought
National drought monitor focused on the Plains
National Drought Mitigation Center

Most of our medium to long-range models forecast those rain deficits expanding north into southern Minnesota through June, so buckle up. We may need to be watering our fields and gardens.

long range models
Forecast precipitation anomalies from long-range models through June
WeatherBELL Analytics

Beautiful Memorial Day weekend

We’ll have a gorgeous holiday weekend with sunshine and dry weather for most of the state. By Sunday and Memorial Day there will be the chance of a few showers or thunderstorms in northwestern Minnesota only.

holiday weekend NWS
Forecast for the Memorial Weekend for central Minnesota
National Weather Service

The center of our dominating upper-level, high-pressure ridge will shift east some. That will allow at least the chance of some spotty thunder to move across Minnesota Tuesday into Wednesday and Thursday.

precip next week 7a
Forecast precipitation 7 p.m. Sunday through 7 p.m. Thursday
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, via Pivotal Weather