MAY, 2015 WETTEST IN U.S. HISTORY
April showers, as the saying goes, bring May flowers. Apparently, in Earth's new climate regime, we are a month behind – at least for 2015. According to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, May was the wettest month on record in the lower 48 states. According to NOAA, May’s average precipitation total was 4.36 inches – 1.45 inches above average. In short, this was the wettest May on record, and the wettest month of any month since instrument record-keeping began in 1895. For the spring season, the contiguous U.S. precipitation total was 9.33 inches, 1.39 inches above average, and the 11th wettest on record. Two states — Oklahoma and Texas — blew away their enduring records for the wettest month, as flooding inundated areas from Lubbock to Oklahoma City, killing about three dozen people. Climate science studies have shown that extreme precipitation events, such as what Texas, Oklahoma and parts of adjacent states saw in May, are becoming more likely to occur due to a warmer, more moist atmosphere. While these states were drenched with record rainfall, severe drought continued in California and drought conditions crept into the Northeast U.S. as well. The heavy rains erased the longstanding Southern Plains drought, leading to the smallest drought footprint in the lower 48 states since February 2011, a NOAA report said. In fact, parts of Oklahoma went from "exceptional" drought conditions, which is the worst on the Drought Monitor's scale, to no drought at all in just a four week timespan.