Summer on the Doorstep in the West
After a very cool April over most of the nation, temperatures have really turned around during the month of May. The chart below shows temperatures relative to average since May 1. Notice all the orange and red areas which represent above normal temperatures. Very warm temperatures in the Southern Plans and into the Corn Belt have warmed soil temperatures but have also caused some dry areas to develop in portions of the Southern Plains and western Corn Belt. Only Florida and California have had a cool May so far.
As we head into June we are expecting the warmest temperatures in the western states and the western/south plains. Conversely, it may be cooler than normal for the eastern Corn Belt, Ohio Valley and many areas of the East Coast and Southeast.
Precipitation for the past 90 days has favored the northern and western areas of the USA.
Notice the graphic below which shows precipitation relative to normal since February. The green and blue areas are the most moist, white areas near normal and the gray/red/brown areas show dryness.
There is a fair amount of green and blue over the far west as well as the Central and Northern Rockies. The Desert Southwest, Southern Rockies and the Southern Plains remain much drier than normal.
The dryness in the Southern Plains and Southern Rockies will help build early summer heat that will expand north and eastward in the coming weeks getting summer started.