Finger on the Weather

A gray, wet May for Wichita

Wichita State students make their way across campus during last week’s rain. (May 26, 2016)
Wichita State students make their way across campus during last week’s rain. (May 26, 2016) The Wichita Eagle

It wasn’t your imagination: May was a mighty gray, rainy month in the Wichita area.

At least a trace of precipitation fell on 19 of the month’s 31 days – including eight of the last nine days in May, National Weather Service records show. And at least .01 of an inch was recorded on 12 days.

Only one rain topped 1.5 inches, though, which means the cumulative total wasn’t as high as many residents might expect. May’s final rainfall figure in Wichita was 7.06 inches. While that was 2.49 inches above normal, it barely cracked the Top 20 in wettest Mays in Wichita, checking in at 19th.

Streets in Wichita neighborhoods turned into rivers after a line of thunderstorms moved slowly through the area. (Video by Brian Corn/The Wichita Eagle)

Last May was even wetter in Wichita, with 11.77 inches falling. The wettest May of them all to date was in 2008, when 13.14 was recorded.

Topeka had a similar experience as Wichita, logging plenty of rainy days that delivered consistently modest amounts. Rain fell on 16 of 31 days in Topeka, adding up to 8.82 inches. That was more than 4 inches above normal, but last year was even wetter – with 9.43 inches.

7.06 Wichita’s rainfall in May

Western Kansas was considerably drier in May, records show. Both the Dodge City and Goodland branches of the weather services recorded below normal rainfall totals for the month.

Goodland, in fact, received 1.96 inches, nearly an inch below its normal May rainfall.

An Eagle photographer got caught in the downpour that hit Wichita Friday afternoon. ( Video by Fernando Salazar)