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The Three Faces of May 2016's Weather

May2016WeatherRecapAfter experiencing our second mildest May on record in 2015, May 2016 came back down to earth with temperatures that were close to average (+0.4 degrees).  However, this masked three distinct temperature trends during the month that brought to mind the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  The first week of May had temperatures more like the first week of April (too chilly), the last week of May had temperatures more like the month of July (too warm), while the middle two weeks had temperatures one expects for mid-May (just right). 

 

 

The first week of May was overcast, damp and chilly with temperatures that were 7.5 degrees below average - but it was the high temperatures that were affected most, at twelve degrees below average as temperatures never rose above 60°.  The middle two weeks were close to average, with ups and downs cancelling each other out.  The chilliest reading of the month occurred during these two weeks, 43° on 5/16.  But there were also four days with highs of 75° and higher.  Then the last week of the month brought back memories of last May, with the mean temperature 12 degrees above average.  Every day had a high of 82° or warmer, including two days in the 90s.  And four of the days had lows in the 70s.  The week's average high/low was 87/69.

 

May 2016 Weather Review

 

While the first week had no sunny days, the last week had no cloudy days.  But, ironically, the month's biggest rainstorm occurred in this last week, during the wee hours of Memorial Day, when 1.65" fall between midnight and daybreak; nearly one inch fell in just half an hour (12:30-1AM).  This was more rain than fell in either April (1.61") or March (1.17") and was the most precipitation from one storm since the big blizzard on Jan. 23.  And although this pre-dawn storm made it the second rainiest Memorial Day on record, the afternoon turned sunny and the high got into the 80s - the tenth Memorial Day of the past eleven to have a high in the 80s (average high temperature in late May is in the mid-70s).       

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Comments

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William

to further enhance the fact that this month had different temperature trends, this was the chilliest first ten days of any May since 1978. by contrast, this was the third warmest final ten days of any May on record, behind 1880 and 1991. this observation is based on the average of each day's high and low temperature.

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