May brought record-setting dry weather to mid-Michigan

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 8:20 AM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - The month of May certainly was dry. After the first week, it felt like we were always waiting to see more rain, but it never really came to our area. The dry conditions have actually been record-setting for our area as one of the driest Mays ever on record. Saginaw is now top-three with last month’s total, Flint is top-15.

Dry May rankings for Saginaw and Flint.
Dry May rankings for Saginaw and Flint.(WNEM)


Only 0.80″ of rain was picked up in Saginaw through the entire month. This ties the third place record which was set back in 1988. As it is a tie, 2023 will now take the third place spot with the 1988 total taking fourth place because 2023 is more recent. The only two years ahead of 2023 in the records are 1939 with 0.53″ and 1934 with 0.76″. Saginaw’s records go back to January 1912. Interestingly too, this is the first time Saginaw has had a top-20 driest May post-2000.

Saginaw reached 0.57″ of rain, or 71% of the month’s total rainfall, in the first seven days of May. After that first week, also excluding any “trace” amounts, the only other measurable rain for the month was on the 19th where 0.23″ was picked up. Take a look at the month below, it was very dry after May 7. After this dry month, Saginaw’s month-to-date rain deficit is 2.61″, increasing at a rate near 0.10″ to 0.11″ per day.

Saginaw rain calendar for May.
Saginaw rain calendar for May.(WNEM)


At Flint Bishop International Airport, only 1.08″ of rain was recorded throughout the entire month. This now puts Flint at it’s 11th driest May on record. This slots in between 10th place at 1.02″ in 1936 and 12th place at 1.25″ in 1961.

Flint picked up 0.64″, or 52% of the month’s total rainfall, also in the first seven days of the month. After May 7, only two other days in Flint officially recorded rain. Those were the 13th at 0.02″, then the 19th at 0.40″. Flint’s month-to-date rainfall deficit is officially 2.60″, that deficit increased at a rate of around 0.11″ to 0.12″ per day.

Flint rain calendar for May.
Flint rain calendar for May.(WNEM)

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