Memorial Day Climatology/Extremes
Grand Island, NE

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, has been observed on the final Monday of May since 1971, and thus ranges in date from May 25th-31st. Prior to 1971, Memorial Day was always observed on May 30th.  In South Central Nebraska, late May weather conditions vary from spring-like to summer-like, and severe thunderstorms pay a semi-regular visit during the Memorial Day Weekend.  The majority of Memorial Days across the local area feature high temperatures somewhere between the upper-60s and mid-80s, while morning lows usually dip between the upper-40s and low-60s.  However, in just the past 30 years, Memorial Day highs in Grand Island have ranged all the way from 56° to 101°! The tables below feature a wealth of Memorial Day weather and climate information focused specifically on Grand Island, where weather records date back 119 years to 1896. 

According to the entire period of record in Grand Island, the hottest Memorial Day was 103° in 1934, and the coolest daytime high was 54° in 1915.  As for low temperatures, the chilliest on record was 36° in 1947, and the mildest was 72° in 1934.  Only 11 of the 119 Memorial Days on record (9%) have featured high temperatures of 90° or warmer, most recently in 2000.  The most recent 100°+ Memorial Day was in 1989, and the most recent Memorial Day that failed to reach 60° was in 1997.

As for rainfall, the wettest Memorial Day on record was in 1935 with 2.97".  Measurable rain (0.01 inch or more) has been recorded in 46 of the 119 years, or 39% of the time.  This includes 4 of the past 6 years.  However, it has been 38 years now (1977) since 1" or more of rain has fallen at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport.  The last time severe thunderstorms directly affected the Grand Island area on Memorial Day was four years ago on May 30, 2011, when an evening squall line produced a peak gust of 74 mph at the airport, resulting in several reports of tree and structural damage across town. Two years ago on May 27, 2013, severe storms pounded parts of South Central Nebraska, including an EF2 tornado at Edgar in Clay County, but these storms avoided Grand Island.

** Last year in 2014, Memorial Day in Grand Island was mostly sunny with fairly light southerly breezes only averaging around 10 MPH with some slightly higher gusts mainly during the afternoon.  More notably, it was the warmest Memorial Day in 14 years (since 2000), with an afternoon high of 89°. Although there were a few spotty showers and thunderstorms within South Central Nebraska during the afternoon, none of them affected Grand Island. As a result, this ended a streak of three-consecutive Memorial Days with measurable rain at Central Nebraska Regional Airport.**

Grand Island NE Max Temperature Min Temperature Precipitation
30-Year Normals (1981-2010) 77° 54° 0.15
10-Year Averages (2005-2014) 79.6° 56.9° 0.08

 

Grand Island NE All-Time Records (Since 1896)
Hottest Memorial Day On Record (High Temp) 103° in 1934
Coolest Memorial Day On Record (High Temp) 54° in 1915
Coolest Low Temperature 36° in 1947
Warmest Low Temperature 72° in 1934
Wettest Memorial Day On Record 2.97" in 1935


Top 5 Hottest Highs Top 5 Coolest Lows Top 5 Rainiest
103° (1934) 36° (1947) 2.97" (1935)
101° (1989) 38° (1897) 1.73" (1951)
99° (1994) 39° (1927) 1.07" (1917)
98° (1913) 40° (1930) 1.04" (1948)
97° (2000) 41° (1898) 1.01" (1977)


The Last Time _____ Happened On Memorial Day?
Last 100+ degree day: 101° in 1989
Last 90+ degree day: 97° in 2000
Last time the high temp was 65 or cooler: 64° in 2005
Last time the low temp was 45 or cooler: 45° in 2010
Last time the low temp was 65 or warmer: 67° in 1989
Last time measurable precipitation (0.01 inch or more): 0.34" in 2013
Last time it rained at least 1 inch: 1.01" in 1977

In the past 30 years...

 - Since 1985, high temperatures on Memorial Day have ranged from 56° (1996) to 101° (1989)
 - Since 1985, low temperatures on Memorial Day have ranged from 42° (1992,1993) to 67° (1989)
 - Since 1985, the high on Memorial Day has reached 90° or higher only three times (1989, 1994, 2000)
 - Since 1985, the low temperature on Memorial Day has dipped below 45° only twice (1992, 1993)
 - Since 1985, measurable rain (0.01" or higher) has fallen 13 times (led by 0.65" in 1997)


Grand Island, Nebraska - 10 Year Summary
Memorial Day (2005-2014)

Date Max Temperature Min Temperature Precipitation Weather Conditions
5/30/2005 64° 48° Trace  
5/29/2006 87° 62° Trace  
5/28/2007 79° 63° 0.00  
5/26/2008 68° 55° Trace  
5/25/2009 83° 62° 0.04  
5/31/2010 79° 45° 0.00  
5/30/2011 87° 56° 0.34  evening severe storms
5/28/2012 81° 57° 0.03  sunny day, rain pre-dawn
5/27/2013 79° 60° 0.34 mostly cloudy, rain pre-7AM
5/26/2014 89° 61° 0.00 mostly sunny, south breeze
10-Year Averages 79.6° 56.9°  0.08  

 

Past 10-Years Memorial Day Summary: Grand Island, Nebraska (2005-2014)
 
Warmest high temperature: 89° in 2014
Coolest high temperature:   64° in 2005
 
Coolest low temperature:   45° in 2010
Warmest low temperature: 63° in 2007
 
Highest Rainfall: 0.34" in 2013/2011 (Measurable rain has fallen in 4 of past 6 years)

For more climate related information, check out the following websites:

 

This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.

 Last Updated/Finalized For 2015: 5/27/2014


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