Record Breaking Precipitation in May
Four observing stations in Alaska reported record precipitation totals this May, with two record high totals and two record low totals. Fairbanks and Nome both reported the wettest May on record this year. The total amount in Fairbanks was 2.01 inches and all fell in the form of rain. This was a quarter of an inch higher than the previous record of 1.75 inches set in 1944. Lawns in the area looked more like it was late July than May. Normally the station receives just over half an inch for the month. Nome also had record setting precipitation of 2.95 inches for the month, four times the normal total. This breaks the previous record set in 1998 of 2.78 inches.
Conditions in the southeast were quite dry for May, as opposed to the interior. Juneau and Yakutat set precipitation records for the driest May out of the historical observations. Precipitation in Juneau was less than one-quarter the normal 3.48 inches at only 0.83 inches, the driest in 58 years. The previous record of 1.45 inches was set in 1942. Yakutat reported only 2.52 inches of precipitation, 25% of the normal 9.78 inches. This broke the previous record low of 2.73 inches in 1960.
Precipitation conditions state-wide were much above normal for most of Alaska, from the area north of the Alaska Range up to the Central Arctic Coast. However, the southeast panhandle remained dry in a season when precipitation is normally light, compared to conditions in autumn.
Top 5 Wettest Top 5 Driest
Fairbanks
Nome
Juneau
Yakutat
Precipitation (in)
Year
Precipitation (in)
Year
Precipitation (in)
Year
Precipitation (in)
Year
2.01
2004
2.95
2004
0.83
2004
2.52
2004
1.75
1944
2.78
1998
1.45
1942
2.73
1960
1.65
1955
2.32
1996
1.52
1960
2.82
1951
1.61
1977
2.26
1918
1.56
1977
3.18
1996/2002
1.50
1988
2.02
1989
1.66
1974
3.30
1948
Data courtesy of the National Weather Service.
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