Record Warm May and Spring 2012 and very dry May 2012

MAY 2012
Tulsa, OK: 4th driest, 2nd warmest May on record
Fort Smith, AR: 3rd driest, tied for warmest May on record

Fayetteville, AR: driest May on record

SPRING 2012
Tulsa, OK: warmest Spring on record
Fort Smith, AR: warmest Spring on record
Fayetteville, AR: 3rd driest Spring on record

May 2012 was very dry across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.  Tulsa was in the running to have its driest May on record until a thunderstorm complex brought additional rain during the early morning hours of the 31st.  May 2012 ended up as the 4th driest on record in Tulsa.  Ft. Smith ended this May as the 3rd driest May on record.  Fayetteville had its driest May on record.  For May 2012, Ft. Smith tied as the warmest May on record, while Tulsa had its 2nd warmest May.  The lack of rain is primarily due to fewer storm systems moving across the Southern Plains than typically occurs during May.  May is normally the wettest month of the year across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.

Warmer than normal temperatures have persisted through the entire Spring this year (March, April, May), and both Tulsa and Fort Smith recorded the warmest Spring on record.  In fact, Spring 2012 smashed the previous record by several degrees!  Due to high rainfall totals in March 2012, Spring 2012 ended near to a little below normal at Tulsa and Ft. Smith.  Despite the low precipitation totals in May, Spring 2012 will not fall into the top 10 driest Springs on record at either Tulsa or Fort Smith.  However, Fayetteville has only received a little over half of the normal Spring rainfall and ended up as the 3rd driest Springs on record.  So, does having the warmest Spring on record mean the summer will be really hot too?  Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information!

Impacts:  Extended periods of warm and windy conditions cause an increase in evapotranspiration, which can then lead to drought conditions if storm systems do not bring replenishing rains.  Hopefully the weather pattern will change and bring additional precipitation to the region before the summer heat sets in. 

 

Jump to: Rainfall Statistics Temperature Statistics
     
Other Links of Interest
Tulsa 7-day Forecast Local Drought Information Local Climate Information
Fort Smith 7-day Forecast Decision Support Daily Data for a Month
Past Months Climate Summaries Tulsa Weather Record Book Fort Smith Weather Record Book

Tulsa climate graph Fort Smith Climate Graph

 Rainfall Statistics for May and Spring

Tulsa rainfall total May 2012:

1.18"

Normal Tulsa May Rainfall: 5.87"
  Top 10 Driest Mays (records began in 1888)
1 1897 0.80"
2 1924 1.06"
3 1988 1.17"
4 2012 1.18"
5 1945 1.33"
6 2005 1.61"
7 1906 1.62"
8 1997 1.66"
9 1932 1.68"
10 1962, 1921 1.69"

Ft. Smith rainfall total through May 2012:

1.15"

Normal Ft. Smith May Rainfall: 5.47"
    Top 10 Driest Mays (records began in 1883)
1 1886 0.38"
2 1970 0.79"
3 2012 1.15"
4 1921 1.18"
5 1988 1.26"
6 1962 1.37"
7 1925 1.44"
8 1911 1.56"
9 1951 1.58"
10 1997 1.62"

Fayetteville rainfall total through May 2012:

1.05"

Normal Fayetteville May Rainfall: 5.91"
  Top 10 Driest Mays (records began in 1950)
1 2012 1.05"
2 1977 1.24"
3 1988 1.65"
4 2004 2.25"
5 1951 2.28"
6 1962 2.31"
7 1970 2.55"
8 1969 2.78"
9 2008 3.24"
10 2005 3.33"
 Official rainfall is measured at Tulsa International Airport  Official rainfall is measured at Ft. Smith Regional Airport  Official rainfall is measured at Fayetteville Drake Field Airport
Tulsa Spring (Mar-Apr-May) 2012 rainfall total: 11.04"
Normal Tulsa Spring Rainfall: 12.95"
  Top 10 Driest Springs (records began in 1888)
1 1932 4.29"
2 1911 5.31"
3 1934 5.53"
4 1996 5.61"
5 1936 5.61"
6 2005 5.63"
7 1951 6.08"
8 1969 6.79"
9 1904 6.92"
10 1901 7.22"
Ft. Smith Spring (Mar-Apr-May) 2012 rainfall total: 12.20"
Normal Ft. Smith Spring Rainfall: 13.62"
    Top 10 Driest Springs (records began in 1883)
1 1936 3.44"
2 1951 6.11"
3 1972 6.23"
4 1962 6.29"
5 1917 6.69"
6 1932 7.07"
7 1925 7.30"
8 1941 7.33"
9 1926 7.52"
10 1969 7.66"
Fayetteville Spring (Mar-Apr-May) 2012 rainfall total: 7.90"
Normal Fayetteville Spring Rainfall: 14.53"
  Top 10 Driest Springs (records began in 1950)
1 1963 7.59"
2 1951 7.80"
3 2012 7.90"
4 2007 8.27"
5 2005 8.88"
6 1977 9.05"
7 1962 9.29"
8 2001 9.40"
9 1971 10.11"
10 1965 11.11"

 

May 2012 rainfall totals 30-day percent of normal precipitation
May Rainfall Total May Rainall Percent of Normal

 Temperature Statistics for May and Spring

Tulsa average temperature May 2012:

74.3°

Normal Tulsa May Temperature: 69.3°F
  Top 10 Warmest Mays (records began in 1905)
1 1962 75.3°
2 2012 74.3°
3 1987 74.1°
4 1991 73.7°
5 1936 73.1°
6 1998 72.9°
7 1996 72.9°
8 1982 72.9°
9 1956 72.9°
10 1977, 1965 72.6°

Ft. Smith average temperature May 2012:

75.8°

Normal Ft. Smith May Temperature: 69.9°F
    Top 10 Warmest Mays (records began in 1883)
1 2012 75.8°
1 1962 75.8°
3 1987 74.1°
4 1896 74.0°
5 1956 73.8°
6 1902 73.7°
7 1899 73.7°
8 1998 73.5°
9 1941 73.5°
10 1991 73.4°
 Official temperature is measured at Tulsa International Airport  Official temperature is measured at Ft. Smith Regional Airport
Tulsa Spring (Mar-Apr-May) 2012 Average Temperature: 67.2°
Normal Tulsa Spring Temperature: 60.4°F
  Top 10 Warmest Springs (records began in 1905)
1 2012 67.2°
2 1936 64.9°
3 1925 64.6°
4 2006 64.2°
5 1991 64.2°
6 1977 64.0°
7 1963 63.7°
8 1938 63.2°
9 1921 63.2°
10 2007 63.1°
Ft. Smith Spring (Mar-Apr-May) 2012 Average Temperature: 69.0°
Normal Ft. Smith Spring Temperature: 61.4°F
    Top 10 Warmest Springs (records began in 1883)
1 2012 69.0°
2 2006 64.7°
3 1938 64.6°
4 1921 64.2°
5 1925 64.1°
6 2004 63.9°
7 1991 63.9°
8 1936 63.9°
9 1967 63.8°
10 1908 63.8°

 Normals reference the 1981-2010 normal period.

Does a really hot Spring mean Summer will be hot too?
Tulsa, Oklahoma (107 years)
10 Warmest Springs

Following Summer
Rank         Days 100°F+

1)     1936 3rd Hottest         65
2)     1925 6th Hottest         47
3)     2006 17th Hottest       23
4)     1991     22nd Hottest      11
5)     1977 24th Hottest         8
6)     1963 14th Hottest       20
7)     1938 37th Coolest        0
8)     1921 45th Hottest       15
9)     2007 50th Hottest         6
10)   1974 22nd Coolest      6
Fort Smith, AR (130 years)
10 Warmest Springs

 Following Summer
Rank         Days 100°F+

 1)     2006  20th Hottest         23
 2)     1938  17th Hottest           7
 3)     1921  42nd Hottest         3
 4)     1925  19th Hottest         14
 5)     1936  3rd Hottest           46
 6)     1991  65th Hottest           3
 7)     2004  9th Coolest            0
 8)     1967  14th Coolest         0
 9)     1908  24th Coolest         0
 10)   1918  10th Hottest        18

 Updated: June 1, 2012


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