May 2022 was the hottest May in San Antonio on record

Records date back to 1885

May 2022 was the hottest may on record for San Antonio. Records date back to 1885 (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

If you thought this past month was a scorcher, you’d be correct! In fact, May 2022 will go down in the record books as the hottest May that San Antonio has experienced since detailed record-keeping began 137 years ago.

Just how hot?

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Official weather information, including temperature, has been collected from the weather station at the San Antonio International Airport since 1942. Before that, records were kept at the San Antonio Weather Bureau Offices in downtown San Antonio and Fort Sam Houston.

The average temperature -- the average of the daily lows and highs -- for May 2022 was 83.0°. That’s 6.6 degrees above average! Just about every single day was hot, with only four days being cooler than average.

And it wasn’t just the average temperature that was hot! In fact, the daily high temperature for May 2022 averaged out to 94.8° -- the hottest on record.

May 2022 was more than a degree hotter than May 1996 (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Several record highs broken

Over the course of the month, eight record highs were either tied or broken:

Saturday, May 7101°100° (1998)
Monday, May 997° (Tie)97° (2008, 1967)
Saturday, May 1497° (Tie)97° (2003, 1995)
Sunday, May 1598°96° (2003)
Monday, May 1697° (Tie)97° (2013, 2003)
Tuesday, May 17100°97° (2013, 2003)
Wednesday, May 18101°98° (2018)
Saturday, May 21101°98° (1939)

Dry, too!

May is typically our rainiest month in San Antonio, with over 4 inches of rain usually recorded. Unfortunately, this year, only 0.86″ of rain fell at the San Antonio International Airport. That makes May 2022 the 10th driest on record.

Lack of rain in San Antonio (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Worsening drought

May and June are usually rainy months, and the lack of rainfall will likely lead to worsening drought. Not good news when you consider parts of the San Antonio metro area are under Extreme and Exceptional Drought.

The drought monitor as of May 31st, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

What does this mean for summer?

Often, by the time we’re entering June, soils are somewhat saturated from healthy May rains. With dry soils, the atmosphere will more easily warm. This could mean a hotter June, July, and August where we could potentially have more triple-digit days than average.

Last year, we hit 100 degrees for the first time in September. This year, we have already had five triple-digit days in May alone.

Why so hot?!

The primary reason for our unusually hot May is because La Niña conditions are ongoing. La Niña is a climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean, which usually results in warmer, drier weather for South Central Texas.

That being said, climate change causes Texas temperatures to average about two degrees warmer than in the 20th century, thus giving May 2022 the “edge” ahead.

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About the Author

Sarah Spivey is a San Antonio native who grew up watching KSAT. She has been a proud member of the KSAT Weather Authority Team since 2017. Sarah is a Clark High School and Texas A&M University graduate. She previously worked at KTEN News. When Sarah is not busy forecasting, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and cat, and playing music.

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