WALLA WALLA -- The last full month of spring closed out on a cool, dry note.
May finished below the normal marks for both rainfall and temperature and in the case of rain, well-below. Precipitation totaled only .84 inches, which was 1.29 inches below average.
Despite plenty of cloudy days, the month had only six days with measurable rainfall, defined as .01 inch or greater. The heaviest downpour came on May 3 when .43 inches fell. On the other hand, there were 25 days with zero or trace amounts of precipitation.
Despite the dry weather, precipitation for the year remained above average with exactly 12 inches measured since New Years Day, a mark 1.36 inches above average. However, the total for the water year, which runs from October through September, remains below average with 15.59 inches measured so far, a mark 2.07 inches below normal.
In terms of temperature, the month averaged about 1 degree cooler than normal. The warmest day was 89 degrees on May 15 while the coldest night came on May 11 when the mercury fell to 32 degrees.
The strongest wind gust was 32 mph on May 22 as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport.
The coming month will usher in the official start of summer June 20. According to the federal Climate Prediction Center, the outlook calls for below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.
Normal highs for Walla Walla rise from 75 at the start of the month to 84 at the end of June. Normal lows rise from 52 to 57.
The normal rainfall for June is 1.28 inches based on a 30-year average.
Andy Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8318.