May 2011 Review

 

DFW Temps - May 2011                    Waco Temps - May 2011

  

Spring is a transition season, and May had all the markings of a strikingly swift transition from winter to summer.  The month began with heavy rain and some of the coldest daytime temperatures ever recorded during the month of May.  The mercury topped out in the 50s across much of North and Central Texas on May 2.  McKinney could only muster a blustery high temperature of 49°F.

Temperatures took several days to climb above normal, at which point Waco set record highs on consecutive days.  The heat and humidity set the stage for severe weather on May 11.  Winds gusted over 50 mph along the leading edge of a squall line when it blew through the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  The event brought another dousing of much needed rainfall.

Another week of below normal temperatures followed before a week of stormy weather provided more rainfall.  The stormy week was highlighted by a significant severe weather outbreak.  Tornadoes, damaging wind, and very large hail impacted Dallas/Fort Worth and surrounding areas.  More information of the May 24 event can be found here.

The month ended with well above normal temperatures.  Waco recorded two more record highs, including the city's first 100-degree day of the year on May 28.  This was the 7th earliest occurrence of triple digits.  Breckenridge reached 108°F on May 27 and 109°F the following day.

Precipitation totals for the month varied widely.  Above normal totals from Dallas/Fort Worth to Sherman/Denison and Paris were sufficient to end the drought, but intense drought conditions persist elsewhere.

 

May 2011 Precipitation

May 2011 Precipitation Totals

 

May 2011 Precipitation
Location Precipitation Normal Departure
DFW Airport 7.95 5.15 +2.80
Waco 2.14 4.46 -2.32
Dallas Love Field 6.31 5.30 +1.01
Fort Worth Meacham 5.27    
Dallas Executive 3.78    
Fort Worth Alliance 5.87    
Arlington 5.01 5.34 -0.33
Denton 5.90 5.41 +0.49
McKinney 5.21 5.68 -0.47
Terrell 6.44 5.22 +1.22
Corsicana 2.75 4.95 -2.20
Mineral Wells 2.89 4.59 -1.70

 

Portions of Central Texas saw abundant May rainfall, but Waco was one of the locations that missed out on much of the heavy rain during the month.  Waco recorded its 4th driest spring on record, a total very similar to the memorable heat wave of 1998.

Waco
Driest Springs (March-May)
Rank Precipitation Year
1 3.48 1925
2 4.08 1972
3 4.15 1961
4 4.16 2011
5 4.18 1971
6 4.25 1998
7 4.74 1960
8 4.86 1996
9
(tie)
4.92 1959
4.92 1937

  

Drought and warmer than normal temperatures typically go hand in hand.
For both Dallas/Fort Worth and Waco, 2011 ranks among the warmest springs on record.

 

 

Dallas/Fort Worth - Spring Temperatures

Highest Maximum
Rank Temperature Year
1 81.4 2006
2 80.5 1972
3
(tie)
79.9 1967
79.9 1963
5 79.6 1925
6 79.4 2011
7
(tie)
79.2 2008
79.2 1955
9 78.7 1956
10 78.6 1974
Highest Average
Rank Temperature Year
1 70.7 2006
2 69.3 1925
3 68.8 1963
4 68.6 1967
5
(tie)
68.3 2011
68.3 1972
7
(tie)
68.2 2008
68.2 1974
9 68.0 1955
10 67.7 2000
Highest Minimum
Rank Temperature Year
1 59.9 2006
2 59.0 1925
3 58.0 2007
4 57.8 2004
5
(tie)
57.7 1974
57.7 1963
7
(tie)
57.6 1927
57.6 1908
9 57.5 2000
10
(tie)
57.2 1985
57.2 1967
12
(tie)
57.1 2011
57.1 2008

Waco - Spring Temperatures

Highest Maximum
Rank Temperature Year
1
(tie)
84.1 1925
84.1 1902
3 82.8 2011
4 81.7 2006
5 81.6 1963
6 81.4 1967
7 81.2 1904
8 81.1 1933
9 81.0 1972
10 80.6 1905
Highest Average
Rank Temperature Year
1 72.8 1925
2 71.2 1902
3 70.8 1967
4 70.6 1933
5
(tie)
70.4 2006
70.4 1963
70.4 1927
8 70.1 2011
9 69.8 1929
10
(tie)
69.7 1974
69.7 1905

 

 

 

Even where there was abundant rainfall during May, long term precipitation deficits remain.  Drought conditions persist across much of North and Central Texas.  Many areas have seen less than half of normal precipitation since the beginning of October.  Near Hearne, 8-month shortfalls are near 20 inches.

 

8-Month Precipitation (October 1, 2010 - May 31, 2011)
Location Precipitation Normal Departure % of Normal
DFW Airport 17.71 24.93 -7.22 71
Waco 12.49 23.30 -10.81 54
Dallas Love Field 18.23 25.88 -7.65 70
Fort Worth Meacham 13.25      
Dallas Executive 15.53      
Fort Worth Alliance 14.27      
Arlington 16.87 26.47 -9.60 64
Denton 16.51 26.36 -9.85 63
McKinney 18.28 29.23 -10.95 63
Terrell 21.55 30.31 -8.76 71
Corsicana 17.05 28.51 -11.46 60
Mineral Wells 8.71 21.15 -12.44 41

 

8-Month Precipitation Deficits (October 2010 - May 2011)

8-Month Precipitation Deficits (Oct 2010 - May 2011)

 

 

U.S. Drought Monitor - May 31, 2011

 


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