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The Merry Month of May

May is named for the Roman goddess Maia, who ruled over the growth of plants.
Indeed, farmers and gardeners in most of the country try to complete planting by this month. Old-timers get suspicious if the weather in May is too balmy: “A snowstorm in May is worth a wagonload of hay,” they counsel.

The Almanac’s long-term weather forecasts predict a cooler-than-normal spring in the Northeast, in Minnesota, in the Desert Southwest, and along much of the Pacific coast, and a warmer-than-normal one elsewhere.

Rainfall will be above normal from California northeastward to the Upper Midwest and near or below normal in other regions. See YOUR long-range forecast.

See our Seasonal Ideas for May: gardening tips, recipes, folklore, and more.

May 5—Cinco de Mayo
“The Fifth of May” celebrates the victory by the Mexicans over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Today, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans celebrate the outcome of the battle with parades, festivals, and music.
See more.

Here are some of our favorite Mexican dishes:
Empanadas are a tasty appetizer, small lunch, or snack.

Chicken Fajitas or Shrimp Fajitas are an easy, tasty dish wrapped in warm tortillas.

Guacamole with chips is so simple and pleases a crowd!

Hebe’s here, May is here!
The air is fresh and sunny;
And the miser-bees are busy
Hoarding golden honey!

–Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)

Jud’s Journal

Welcome to our new series by Judson Hale, editor in chief of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
In this video, hear a rather humorous story about how our small gift shop got started in the bathroom!
Watch video.

Great Almanac Giveaway

Check out this month’s prize:

Trio — A stereo CD radio with AM/FM tuner built right in! With amazing room-filling sound, it is perfect for any room in your house or office.

Free Country Calendar with order!*

Any General Store order placed now through May 13th (Midnight ET) will receive a free 2010 Country Calendar!

You still have spring, summer, fall, and winter to enjoy captivating full-color photographs, holiday lore, and quirky quotes and facts that capture the appeal of country living.

Plus, discover the best days for fishing, planting, setting eggs, and more.

*Valid while supplies last. Excludes digital and basket product orders.

Unusual May Weather Events

May 4, 1961
Missoula, Montana, had 6.5 inches of snow.

May 5, 1995
A supercell thunderstorm blasted Tarrant County, Texas, with hail, 80 mph winds, and torrential rains, which caused flash flooding in Fort Worth.

May 6, 1989
A cold wave brought morning lows of 17 degrees F to Bismarck, North Dakota.

May 7, 1987
Sacramento, California, had a temperature of 105 degrees F.

May 8, 1989
Asheville, North Carolina, saw a temperature of 26 degrees F.

May 9, 1977
Boston got its first May snow in 107 years.

May 11, 1934
A strong, 2-day, dust storm removed massive amounts of topsoil from the Great Plains in one of the worst weather events of the Dust Bowl era.

Find weather history for your location.

Or, to see if a May storm is approaching, check out the Almanac’s forecasts on the weather page.