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NOAA: May was wettest month in 121 years

By Amy R. Connolly
NOAA: May was wettest month in 121 years
Image courtesy of NOAA

ASHEVILLE, N.C., June 9 (UPI) -- After torrential downpours that let to historic flooding in the nation's midsection, May will go down in the history books as the wettest month since record-keeping began 121 years ago, NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information said.

Rainfall across the contiguous United States averaged 4.36 inches in May, 1.45 inches more than the average, NOAA said. This beats the previous 1957 May record of 4.24 inches and the previous wettest month on record, October 2009, at 4.29 inches. Record-keeping began in 1895. For the spring season, the contiguous U.S. rainfall total was 9.33 inches, 1.39 inches above average and the 11th wettest on record, NOAA said.

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Texas and Oklahoma were socked in May with colossal rainfall totals, causing deadly and damaging flooding. Colorado also had a record-setting wet May, while Kansas, Louisiana and Utah all saw their second-wettest May. By contrast, other areas such as Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and South Carolina recorded a top 10 driest May.

"The majority of the precipitation fell in the southern Plains," Jake Crouch, a climate scientist with the information center, told USA Today. "This shows how a regional event can affect national statistics."

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Other notable weather details from NOAA's May 2015 climate report:

-- Alaska had its warmest May in 91 years of record-keeping at 44.9 degrees, 7.1 degrees above average.

-- Florida recorded its warmest spring, from March through May, with a temperature of 74.1 degrees, 4.6 degrees above average and 1.1 degrees warmer than the 2012 record.

-- Texas had its wettest year-to-date on record with 20.11 inches, 9.63 inches above average.

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