Wicked Weather: Midwest Jumps From Coldest April To Hottest May On Record

“After an incredibly chilly April, May rebounded significantly, featuring record heat late in the month across the Midwest and while not official yet, May could go down as the warmest May on record nationally thanks to this late-month heat surge.

A plethora or heat records were broken this past weekend, including Minneapolis, MN soaring to 100°F. This broke the record daily record for May 28 and reaching 100°F for only the second time in recorded history. This intense heat has since abated, but more above normal temperatures are expected into early June across a majority of the Plains and Midwest,” explained Ed Vallee, head meteorologist at Vallee Weather Consulting.

“April featured record-breaking cold, particularly across the Upper Midwest, compared to normal. May has rebounded significantly with record heat this past weekend in the Midwest, and above normal temperatures across a majority of the country,” Vallee added.

According to the weather desk of Radiant Solutions, “Memorial Day weekend felt more like the peak of summer for many in the Central US.” Here are some peak highs from earlier this week:

  • Chicago set record highs of 97 and 95 degrees Sunday and Monday, only the second time it has endured back-to-back 95 degree days in May on record.

  • Milwaukee and Toledo established record highs for May of 95 degrees (Sunday) and 98 degrees (Monday), respectively.

  • Omaha and Green Bay, Wis., set record highs on four straight days Friday to Monday.

  • Des Moines set record highs on three straight days Saturday to Monday, including its earliest 99-degree reading on record Sunday.

  • Muskegon, Mich., hit 96 degrees Tuesday, a monthly record.

Jonathan Erdman, a Weather Channel Meteorologist, said over 1,900 daily heat records were tied or broken across the United States in late May.

During the course of May, above average temperatures covered almost the entire Continental United States.

Last week, a preliminary analysis showed that a drought developing in the Southwest could be on par with the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s.

“The epicenter of this drought is where the states of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico all come together, but it is also devastating areas of north Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as well. Portions of seven states are already at the highest level of drought on the scale that scientists use, and summer won’t even start for about another two months.

If we don’t start seeing some significant rainfall, it won’t be too long before massive dust storms start devastating the entire region. The mainstream media is finally beginning to wake up and start reporting on this crisis, and some reporters are choosing to make a direct comparison between this drought and the Dust Bowl conditions during the Great Depression.”

Victor Murphy, a National Weather Service Climate Service Program Manager, said, “the avg. monthly temp for the CONUS for May is 64.6F, thru 5/28. NCEI shows the all-time CONUS record being 64.71F in May 1934. With blast furnace temps across much of CONUS next 2 days, the Dust Bowl era record should fall.”