May 2011 was much drier than normal over the east and south, while the northwest had near normal precipitation. Temperatures were close to normal statewide with averages just above normal across the east and below normal at central and western locations, including Albuquerque. Severe weather, normally fairly common in May, did not develop until very late in the month.
May began more like February as snow and cold air engulfed New Mexico. The storm also brought strong winds to the state. The weather quieted down from the 2nd through 7th. Chilly temperatures on the mornings of the 2nd and 3rd set record lows at a few locations. Temperatures warmed to mostly above normal though from the 4th through 7th and winds relaxed for a few days. The wind machine cranked back up again on the 8th through 10th with widespread critical fire weather conditions. While the strong winds continued in the east on the 11th, much cooler air along with rain and snow showers arrived in New Mexico, compliments of a slow-moving, potent storm system. Winds eased across the east and temperatures warmed over the west on the 12th and 13th while remaining cool in the east. A weak disturbance triggered a few showers on the 14th over the northern mountains and northeast. Dry and mild weather was the story for the 15th and 16th. A slow moving and unusually strong mid May storm delivered some much needed rain to the western and northern areas of the state from late on the 18th through the 20th. Wind and fire weather were the main concerns on the 21st, 24th and 25th. A few thunderstorms developed on the 24th near the Colorado border. More of the same from the 26th through 30th with wind and fire weather concerns. But a pattern change began on the last day of the month, as high pressure began to build in from the east. Winds relaxed and moisture increased from the southeast, resulting in thunderstorm development over the southeast and east central plains. Severe thunderstorms producing large hail were active in the southeast corner of the state on the 31st.