May 2012 is going down in the record books as one of the wettest Mays on record for some places in central and northeast Minnesota. One of the highest May 2012 monthly rainfall totals found in the state so far is 11.29 inches at Forest Lake. Chanhassen isn't too far behind at 11.19 inches. Pipestone has 10.54 inches so far for May.
As of May 29, May 2012 is the second wettest May on record for both the Twin Cities and St. Cloud, and the sixth wettest in Duluth. The May records for all three cities are: 10.33 inches in May 1906 for the Twin Cities, 9.68 inches in May 1912 for St. Cloud and 7.99 in May 1879 for Duluth.
The Twin Cities International Airport has 9.34 inches so far in May 2012. Not only is this the second wettest May back to 1871, it is the eighth wettest month on record for any month of the year. The record for the wettest month of the year in the Twin Cities is 17.90 inches in July 1987. Normal May precipitation for the Twin Cities is 3.36 inches.
Not every site in Minnesota has seen the abundant rainfall. Precipitation totals in northwest Minnesota for May are below normal. For instance, Crookston in Northwest Minnesota has seen only 1.38 inches of rainfall for the month which is 1.29 inches below normal.
Normal precipitation for May in Minnesota ranges from around two inches in the far northwest, to around three-and-a-half inches in the southeast.
The rain has eased the drought situation across central and south central Minnesota, as well as the arrowhead. Where the heavy rains fell, rivers were on the increase and during the month of May the level of Lake Minnetonka rose about 1 foot. Basswood Lake along the Canadian border in Lake County rose four inches during the third week in May.
Rivers are on the rise as well, with some reaching minor flood stage, such as the South Fork Crow River near Mayer. The St. Croix River at Stillwater rose seven feet from May 24 to May 29.