Citizen scientists in both the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project and Journey North reported seeing monarchs up to three weeks earlier than usual, farther north than usual, and in huge numbers. For example, Wendy Macziewski and I visited the University of Minnesota Arboretum on May 15, and saw hundreds of monarchs flying over the grounds. Usually we haven't even seen one monarch by that date. For reports of early and large monarch sightings, check out the Journey North website and compare MLMP state graphs from many years (check out both the timing of the first monarchs, and their numbers: http://www.mlmp.org/Results/StateList.aspx).
It looks that this is shaping up to be a good year for monarchs in our part of the country. So far, we've had plenty of rain, and a warm spring meant that the milkweed was ready for the monarchs when they arrived. Your data will really help us understand how monarchs respond to such an usual spring!
University of Minnesota Monarch Lab