Wet May 2004
In eight of the ten months from July 2003 through April 2004, precipitation totals in
Minnesota fell short of historical averages. In May 2004, with an abruptness common to
Minnesota’s climate, precipitation patterns changed significantly across most of the state.
The May 2004 statewide area averaged precipitation total for Minnesota was 5.78 inches (preliminary),
the fifth wettest May of the 114 year modern record. For many locations in
northwestern and southern Minnesota, precipitation totals for the month topped seven inches
(see map at right). Precipitation totals in some
southeastern Minnesota communities exceeded ten inches.
Precipitation totals across large sections of northwestern and southern Minnesota were
three or more inches above normal for May 2004 (see map at
lower left). Positive precipitation departures topped six inches in
some areas, essentially nullifying the precipitation deficits built up over the previous
When compared with other May rainfall totals in the historical database, May 2004
totals were at or near all-time record high values in some places.
(see map at lower right). May 2004 rainfall totals ranked at
or above the 95th percentile in many counties. A ranking at the 95th percentile indicates
that May rainfall totals are higher than May 2004 values in only five out of one hundred