May could end as third driest on record

Thursday, May 31, 2012 | 5:22 p.m. CDT; updated 8:04 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 31, 2012

COLUMBIA — The promise of much-needed rain in the Columbia area evaporated overnight, and May is shaping up to become the third driest on record.

As of Thursday afternoon, a total of 1.31 inches of rain has fallen in May, making it the third driest since record-keeping began, said Mark Fuchs, meteorologist and hydrologist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

There was a 40 percent chance for showers for the remainder of Thursday, but no widespread rain was expected before midnight.

The only other years to receive less rain in May were 1901 with 0.35 inches and 1911 with 1.27 inches. This May was 3.52 inches below the average rainfall of 4.83 inches.

"The National Weather Service seemed quite optimistic about the possibilities of rain, and things did look good for a while, but then things sort of fell apart," Anthony Lupo, MU professor of atmospheric science, said on Thursday. "Boy, oh boy. I was hoping we'd get some."

Most of the beneficial rains from the system that moved through Missouri on Wednesday night and Thursday morning fell west and south of Missouri. National Weather Service Doppler radar showed a swath where no rain fell along and south of Interstate 70 from west of Sedalia to east of Columbia.

The rain "went to the south and didn’t give us much and things died before they got here," Lupo said. "And that seems to be a consistent pattern over the last month, so it's not helping us any in our quest to relieve this drought."

Supervising Editor is John Schneller.

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