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The weather in Texas this May will bring above average temperatures

May also marks the peak of the severe weather season throughout the Lone Star State. Texas averaged 315 severe hail reports and 40 tornado reports during the month, the highest such average of any month.

However, these are just the average values. As we look ahead to the month ahead, how hot and stormy can we expect this May to be? The long-term weather pattern is starting to emerge, and here's a preview of what you can expect over the next few weeks.

During the first or second week of May, long range models show a high chance of above average temperatures across Texas. However, if we look more than ten days into the future, the individual weather models become very inconsistent.

This is why meteorologists look into ensemble modeling. This is the process in which several models with different initial conditions are used and averaged together. The results are a “best estimate” of what weather we can expect next month.

In the temperature outlook for May this year, both the ECMWF and GEFS ensembles show slightly above average temperatures for the next 30 to 35 days. This doesn't mean that temperatures will be above average every day, but it is likely that the month will be quite warm overall.

The monthly outlook from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center agrees. According to their map, meteorologists are extremely confident that Houston will have temperatures near or above average in May, with only a small chance of below average temperatures.

It is very difficult to determine the amount of severe weather that will occur in Texas in May, but we can get a good idea by looking at model ensemble projections for precipitation amounts.

Unfortunately, the two groups disagree about how much rain parts of Texas will get in May. The ECMWF ensemble expects above-average precipitation for much of Central and East Texas, while near-average precipitation is forecast for South Texas.

However, the GEFS ensemble expects below-average precipitation for the southern half of the state, from San Antonio to Houston.

When we consider both ensembles, we can see that southeast Texas experiences near or slightly below average precipitation in May. While that might not sound too threatening, keep in mind that May is typically the stormiest month of the year in the state. Even if May's rainfall ends up being slightly below average, the city can still expect occasional heavy rains and severe storms over the next few weeks.

The Climate Prediction Center agrees. According to their monthly forecast, Houston has an “equal chance” of above or below average precipitation. The same goes for the Houston metropolitan area in southeast Texas. Elsewhere, parts of Central and North Texas will favor above-average precipitation, while far West Texas will favor below-average precipitation.

Anna Harden

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