May a soaker of a month in Walla Walla

How wet was it? The third-wettest on record, just shy of 1962 but far behind 1991's mega-rains.

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WALLA WALLA -- There was no springing into summer last month.

Thanks to copious rainfall, May finished as the third-wettest one record. The month also served up thunderstorms, wind and a pounding hailstorm on its last day.

The only thing May didn't deliver was heat. According to the National Weather Service, high temperatures were 6 degrees below normal, with the warmest day, May 14, reaching 82 degrees, the same day the heaviest 24-hour rainfall occurred with 1.37 inches. The coolest night of the month was May 1, when the mercury dropped to 37 degrees.

The May 14 thunderstorm, along with 14 more days of measurable precipitation, resulted in 4.07 inches of rainfall during the month, a mark 2.12 inches above normal. The rainfall boosted the total for the year to 11.96 inches, which is 1.76 inches above normal. Since October, the water year precipitation has been 19.26 inches, which is 1.93 inches above normal.

The highest wind gust was 56 mph, which also occurred during the May 14 thunderstorm.

The outlook for June from the federal Climate Prediction Center calls once again for below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. Normal highs for Walla Walla rise from about 78 degrees at the start of the month to about 83 degrees at the end. Rainfall, based on a 30-year average, is 1.15 inches, almost all of which fell last week.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

Predictions and outcomes

Each month the federal Climate Prediction Center issues a temperature and precipitation outlook for the Walla Walla area. Here's what's been predicted since the start of this year and how things actually turned out:

JANUARY

Outlook: Near-normal temperatures, near-normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Warmer than normal temps and below-normal precipitation.

FEBRUARY

Outlook: Below-normal temperatures, above-normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Slightly colder than normal, but below-normal precipitation.

MARCH

Outlook: Below-normal temperatures, above-normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Slightly warmer than normal, but above-normal precipitation.

APRIL

Outlook: Below-normal temperatures, above-normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Much colder than normal and above-normal precipitation.

MAY

Outlook: Below-normal temperatures, above-normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Colder than normal and (way) above-normal precipitation.

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