A high-latitude atmospheric blocking pattern led to cool, showery weather in much of the country—and kept anomalous warmth mainly confined to parts of the nation's northern tier. Some of the most persistent rain fell across the Plains, limiting outdoor activities but providing some of the best spring growing conditions in six years. Specifically, the United States Department of Agriculture rated nearly two-thirds (66%) of the nation's pastures in good or excellent condition at the end of May—the best since 2010. Meanwhile, drier conditions eventually developed across the lower Great Lakes region, following an extended period of cool, damp weather.
Farther south, developing drought across the interior Southeast contrasted with wet weather in the western Gulf Coast region and the middle and southern Atlantic states. In fact, torrential rainfall induced some mid- to late-month flooding along and near the Texas coast.
Weatherwise Contributing Editor BRAD RIPPEY is the U.S. Editor of the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin of the Joint Agriculture NOAA Weather Facility.
Weatherwise Contributing Editor JEFFREY B. HALVERSON is Professor of Geography at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.