Recent rains have done little to alleviate a drought covering more than half of Missouri. May is usually one of the wettest months, but St. Louis and Springfield parched many yards as dry weather dominated.
* The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports May was the 15th-driest on record. Precipitation data go back 140 years. The average temperature for St. Louis from Jan. 1 to May 31 was 64.8 degrees. That mark smashed the old record by more than three degrees.
* The last time it was this hot for the first five months was in 1991. That was when the average temperature set the previous record of 61.5 degrees.
* Average precipitation is still a half an inch above normal. St. Louis usually gets 4.7 inches in May but only got 1.7 inches this year.
* June's average precipitation in St. Louis is 4.3 inches. In July, it's 4.1 inches, with only 3 inches on average in August and 3.1 inches in September.
* St. Louis averages around 40 inches of precipitation per year.
* The St. Louis area is still 4.2 inches ahead on precipitation over the past year.
* The U.S. Drought Monitor shows dry weather patterns are affecting more than just St. Louis. The Bootheel region in southeast Missouri is suffering through a "severe" drought that covers all or part of six counties. Last year, the area saw record floods.
* Normal precipitation in Springfield amounts to 5.1 inches in May, but only 3.44 inches fell this year.
* Springfield was nearly 5 degrees above normal for May, with an average temperature of 69.6 degrees.
* May would have been drier had 1.63 inches of rain not fallen May 31 in Springfield.
William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.