Lubbock ends May above normal on rainfall; yearly total also above normal for now

Local News

A vehicle drives through flood waters at 98th Street and Indiana Avenue in Lubbock on May 31, 2021.
(Nexstar Media Group/ Staff)

LUBBOCK, Texas — After months of persistent drought, the South Plains and the Rolling Plains picked up a surplus of beneficial rainfall during the month of May.

A severe thunderstorm moves into the Lubbock metro area on the evening of May 24, 2021. (Photo from the Tower Camera)

Most of the precipitation fell over the last few weeks due to frequent rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms.

According to climate data released early Tuesday morning by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Lubbock, the Hub City ended May above normal on rainfall and was currently above normal for 2021.

Data showed 5.87 inches of rainfall fell during the month at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LPSIA). On average, 2.96 inches falls during the month. The city ended May at 3.17 inches above normal.

Since January 1, a total of 9.61 inches had fallen at the airport. The average total from January 1 – May 31 is 6.42 inches. As of Tuesday, the Hub City was 3.19 inches above normal for 2021.

Measurable precipitation was recorded on 11 of May’s 31 days at LPSIA.

Data from NOAA’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service showed measurable rain fell in every single county across the South Plains and Rolling Plains during the month. Some locations picked more than others, especially areas off the Caprock.

May 2021 Precipitation
(Source: NOAA/NWS/Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service)

The most recent rainfall event occurred over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, with the bulk of the precipitation falling on Friday, Sunday and Monday.

Data from the Texas Tech University National Wind Institute’s West Texas Mesonet showed rainfall amounts from around one-half inch to over four inches in some spots.

Flash flooding was reported across the region as well.

The U.S. Drought Monitor will be updated on Thursday. The most recent report last week showed the South Plains region ranged from abnormally dry to exceptional drought.

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