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Weatherwatch: May, June 2008

Downpours challenged many of the nation’s farmers this month, while cool, stormy weather often kept spring revelers indoors or well bundled. Cool conditions were especially prevalent in the north-central United States, although rainfall provided drought relief on the northern High Plains. Elsewhere across the nation’s mid-section, wet weather on the east-central and southeastern Plains contrasted with chronic drought on the High Plains from eastern Colorado and western Kansas southward. Meanwhile, spotty rains kept the southeastern drought at bay—at least temporarily—despite underlying long-term rainfall deficits. Elsewhere, rapidly fluctuating conditions affected the West, where unusually heavy precipitation followed a mid-month heat wave. Western water-supply prospects for the spring and summer runoff season remained mostly favorable, except in California and the Great Basin.

Monthly temperatures averaged 2 to 6°F below normal across the nation’s northern tier from the northern Plains into the Northeast. Readings averaged 2 to 4°F below normal in the Southwest but were 2 to 4°F above normal in the south-central United States, including much of Texas. Elsewhere, near-normal temperatures prevailed in the Southeast, while the mid-May heat wave boosted monthly readings slightly above normal in the
Pacific Northwest.

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