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May 2015

Cold, Raw Days of Late May

Grayday.newyork

 

A few weeks ago I published a post about warm weather in May.  Most of us are delighted to get an early start to summer, with days that have temperatures in the 80s and 90s, especially because they aren't usually accompanied by the humidity levels common in mid-summer.  Of course, most Mays have a few cool days in store to remind us that we're still transitioning from spring to summer (May 2015, warmest on record, was an exception).  And raw days in the latter part of May are especially cruel, with summer so close at hand.  This post focuses on these late, cold days.

 

Two dates that stand out on the list below are May 26, 1967 and May 27, 1961.  Both had highs only in the 40s, which is what the typical high is in the second week of March.  The high on May 26, 1967 was 46°, twenty-eight degrees below average; May 27, 1961's high of 47° was twenty-seven degrees below average.

 

One characteristic of chilly days in May is that high temperatures are often significantly more below average than low temperatures.  This is due largely to clouds and rain (and east-northeasterly winds).  Although a typical day in May has a 15-degree difference between its high and low, the chilly days listed below show diurnal variations that are often half that range (seven degrees or less).

 

Clipart_drizzle_cloud 

 

CHILLY DAYS IN LATE MAY (SINCE 1915)
(Sorted by Calendar Date)
        Below Average
Date High Low Mean Mean High
5.20.2000 51 46 48.5 -15 -20
5.20.1957 51 45 48.0 -16 -20
5.20.1952 54 50 52.0 -12 -17
5.21.1990 51 47 49.0 -15 -20
5.21.1929 50 45 47.5 -15 -20
5.21.1924 50 47 48.5 -14 -20
5.23.1982 55 51 53.0 -12 -18
5.24.1982 55 50 52.5 -12 -18
5.24.1927 51 49 50.0 -15 -21
5.25.2013 54 45 49.5 -16 -20
5.25.2005 53 48 50.5 -15 -21
5.25.1967 46 42 44.0 -21 -28
5.25.1934 56 49 52.5 -11 -16
5.25.1925 53 41 47.0 -17 -20
5.25.1921 52 47 49.5 -14 -22
5.26.1967 55 42 48.5 -17 -19
5.27.1961 47 41 44.0 -22 -27
5.28.1917 55 49 52.0 -14 -18
5.30.1953 56 50 53.0 -14 -19

 

 

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Warm Weather in May

Weather.central_park_summertime

 

The month of May typically sees six days with highs in the 80s or above, three of 85+ and one reading in the 90s (although it happens in only two out of five years).  Going back one hundred years (to 1915) there have been seven Mays with no 80-degree days (most recently in 2003 and 2005), while May 2015 had the most - eighteen (but no 90-degree readings).  Meanwhile, May 1991, the warmest on record, had the most days in the 90s (five).  However, the hottest readings didn't occur that year: 1962 has that distinction, with a high of 99° on May 19, followed by 97-degree days on May 30, 1969 and May 31, 1987.  And going back to the 1870s, three dates - 5/1, 5/13 and 5/14 - have never had a high in the 90s.

 

 MOST 80-DEGREE DAYS IN MAY
(Since 1915)
         
  80+ 85+ 90+ Hottest
2015 18 10 0 88
1991 17 10 5 93
1944 14 7 1 92
1977 13 4 2 92
2010 12 5 1 92
1965 12 6 4 94
1959 12 8 3 94
2007 11 5 2 91
1986 11 8 3 94
1964 11 5 2 94
1962 11 6 3 99
         
FEWEST 80-DEGREE DAYS IN MAY
         
  80+ 85+ 90+ Hottest
2005 0 0 0 79
2003 0 0 0 79
1983 0 0 0 79
1928 0 0 0 79
1927 0 0 0 79
1924 0 0 0 75
1915 0 0 0 79
1997 1 0 0 83
1968 1 0 0 80
1917 1 0 0 84
         

 

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