AUSTIN (KXAN) – Before April has even wrapped up as the first wetter-than-normal month since November, we’re looking ahead to May.

What’s normal for May in Austin?

  • Average High: 86.9º
    • May 1 Average High: 83º
    • May 31 Average High: 91º
  • Average Low: 66.8º
    • May 1 Average Low: 63º
    • May 30 Average Low: 71º
  • Average Rain: 5.04″ (Wettest month on average)

May is typically the wettest and stormiest month of the year in Central Texas and it’s usually our wettest month by a lot. No other month of the year averages more than four inches in a month and May averages a little more than five!

May 2023 forecast

The Climate Prediction Center released its preliminary forecast for May and our odds are good for near-average rainfall in May. Near-average would mean wet, as May is our wettest month, but it would not indicate above-average rain that would help to chip away at our rainfall deficit.

May 2023 Rainfall Forecast (CPC)
May 2023 Rainfall Forecast (CPC)

Still, with December-March having below-normal rainfall in Central Texas, even normal rain would be a welcome change. Thankfully, April ended our stretch of drier months.

While rainfall may end up near average in May, we look to be heading for another warmer-than-normal month. That pattern has been going on since November of 2022.

May temperature forecast (CPC)
May temperature forecast (CPC)

It’s too early to say whether this April will end up being cooler or warmer than normal. For now the average mean temperature this month is 1º cooler than a normal April, but we still have a week left.

Severe weather in May

Part of the reason May is our wettest month in Central Texas is that it’s also our most active month for severe weather and flash flooding.

Early to mid-May, based on climatology, is the peak severe weather season here in Central Texas.

Mid-May Severe Weather Probabilities based on climatology (SPC)
Mid-May Severe Weather Probabilities based on climatology (SPC)

While the definition for severe weather includes large hail, damaging winds or tornadoes, we know that flash flooding is a real concern here in Central Texas.

Heatmap of deadly flooding (NOAA)
Heatmap of deadly flooding (NOAA)

Central Texas has the highest concentration of deadly flooding reports from 2006-2020.

It’s critical if you see a flooded street that you “turn around, don’t drown.” And in any severe weather being inside a sturdy structure is the best place to be.

Make sure you have a way to stay informed about severe weather possibilities including downloading the KXAN Weather App and stay with the First Warning Weather Team as we take you through potentially active weeks ahead.