The Kansas Ag-Climate Update is a joint effort between our climate and extension specialists. Every month the update includes a brief summary of that month, agronomic impacts, relevant maps and graphs, 1-month temperature, and precipitation outlooks, monthly extremes, and notable highlights.
May 2023: Strong El Niño is coming and it could be significant
The average temperature for May was 65.8°F, or 1.9°F above normal. This ranked as the 29th warmest May out of 129 years of records, dating back to 1895. All divisions were above normal, with anomalies ranging from +1.1°F (south central) to +2.9°F (north central).
The average precipitation for May was 3.58”, which was 0.63” below normal. This ranked as the 65th driest May on record. The three western climate divisions all finished the month above normal. Northwest Kansas was the wettest division (5.08”), where it was the 18th wettest May on record.
When combined with April’s precipitation, the growing season to date ranks in the top 20 driest in four divisions: north-central, central, south-central, and southeast. Departures from normal in these areas range from 2.2 to 3.1 inches. Northwest and southwest Kansas are the only two divisions above normal since April 1st.
Figure 1. Departures from normal temperature (°F) and precipitation (inches) for May 2023.
View the entire May 2023 Ag-Climate Update, including the accompanying maps and graphics (not shown in this eUpdate article), at http://climate.k-state.edu/ag/updates/
Xiaomao Lin, State Climatologist
Matthew Sittel, Assistant State Climatologist