Wet May 2004

May 2004 Precipitation Map

In eight of the ten months from July 2003 through April 2004, precipitation totals in Minnesota fell short of historical averages. In May 2004, with an abruptness common to Minnesota’s climate, precipitation patterns changed significantly across most of the state. The May 2004 statewide area averaged precipitation total for Minnesota was 5.78 inches (preliminary), the fifth wettest May of the 114 year modern record. For many locations in northwestern and southern Minnesota, precipitation totals for the month topped seven inches (see map at right). Precipitation totals in some southeastern Minnesota communities exceeded ten inches.

Precipitation totals across large sections of northwestern and southern Minnesota were three or more inches above normal for May 2004 (see map at lower left). Positive precipitation departures topped six inches in some areas, essentially nullifying the precipitation deficits built up over the previous ten months.

When compared with other May rainfall totals in the historical database, May 2004 totals were at or near all-time record high values in some places. (see map at lower right). May 2004 rainfall totals ranked at or above the 95th percentile in many counties. A ranking at the 95th percentile indicates that May rainfall totals are higher than May 2004 values in only five out of one hundred years.

May 2004 Precipitation Departure Map May 2004 Precipitation Ranking Map
While the May 2004 rains were tremendously beneficial to many areas of the state. The longer-term dry spell continues in some areas. A ranking map shows that rainfall totals in portions of north central and west central Minnesota were below the 20th percentile for the 11-month period from July 2003 through May 2004.

SCOLIN5.GIF (2527 bytes)

- Return to the Climate Journal

URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/wet_may_2004.htm
Last modified: June 8, 2004