MAY RECAP: Big rain with an unexpected impact to temperatures
One specific piece of the month was inversely impacted to make the rain we did
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Flowers, gardens, and yards are green and healthy heading into the start of summer. After April absolutely soaked the Brazos Valley, May continued the trend as a blocking pattern set up over the Lower 48, ushering in rounds of downpours across Texas. A month of copious rainfall that led to times of localized flooding helped to completely erase any trace of drought conditions that lingered in Central and Southeast Texas. While rain typically helps to hold temperatures back at this time of the year, this month’s rainfall actually did the opposite and aided in a warmer-than-average month when it was all said and done.
The official reporting station Bryan-College Station is located at Easterwood Airport. Rainfall and temperature data used in this article were both recorded at this location. Per The National Weather Service: “Observations began on the campus of Texas A & M College in May 1882. The station was relocated to the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station main farm located seven miles southwest of the College Station Post Office in January 1954. This station closed April 30, 1958. Other rainfall and temperature observations were taken in Bryan at 2310 23rd Street from September 1, 1913 through March 31, 1947. A weather station was established at the College Station FAA Airport (originally referred to as Bryan CAA Airport) in August 1951.” Climate data has been kept at this site since then.
TEMPERATURE RECAP: WARMER-THAN-AVERAGE MONTH
By the end of the month, the average temperature in Bryan-College Station -- daytime highs and overnight lows considered -- ended at 77.6°. This average came in 1.2° above the 30-year average of 76.4°. Several rounds of rain in a month typically contribute to cooler temperatures between rain-cooled air and overcast skies. That was absolutely the case this month as well...when it came to afternoon highs. However, as the atmosphere held onto abundant moisture to create the downpours that were experienced with each round of active weather, overnight low temperatures were held above the average 22 out of 31 days this month. Significant overnight warmth is what led to May 2023 going down in the record books as a top 15 warmest ever on record for the Brazos Valley.
- AVERAGE HIGH: 85.5° | 0.8° below average for the month of May
- AVERAGE LOW: 68.5° | 2.1° above average for the month of May.
- 11TH WARMEST in Bryan-College Stations since records began at Easterwood Airport
- 15TH WARMEST in Bryan-College Station since records were first kept in the early 1880s
RAINFALL RECAP: WETTER-THAN-AVERAGE...WITH AN ASTERISK
Parts of the Brazos Valley collected over a foot of rain in the month of May. Areas in eastern Grimes, northwestern Montgomery, and Robertson Counties all encountered flooding and occasional road closures due to rapid runoff and heavy rain over a short couple of hours time. Generally, anywhere from 3.50″ to 12″ of rain fell across the area over the last 31 days.
While multiple heavy rain events impacted parts of Bryan-College Station this past month, a few of the higher total ones skirted by or missed Easterwood Airport altogether. The month will actually go down in record books as below-average, falling short of the expected rainfall by 0.93″. Coulter Field, on the northeast side of Bryan, managed to get closer to the expected 4.60″ of rain as the gauge there finished out the month at 4.45″. After the fifth wettest April of record, the official reporting site ended May with a year-to-date rainfall surplus of 1.74″.
Other climate sites did end the month with more telling above-average totals. Crockett (Houston County), however, ended May with a disappointing deficit of over two inches of rain. Technically, Brenham’s official gauge also recorded a deficit, but the reporting sensor was offline for two weeks after an early month storm passed through Washington County.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN JUNE
According to the Climate Prediction Center, June is expected to bring the Brazos Valley:
- near or slightly above average temperatures
- near or slightly above the average of four inches of rainfall
Average daytime highs warm from the low 90s to the mid-90s between June 1st and June 30th. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the month of June was 108° on the 17th of 1901. The wettest day ever experienced in Bryan-College Station since 1882 belongs to May 26, 1905, when 6.70″ of rain fell in a single day.
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