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Today in New York Weather History: May 21

 

1924

On a showery day, the high/low was only 50°/47°.  The high was 20 degrees below average.

1971

Although just 0.03" of rain fell today (between 3-4 PM), it was the first measurable rainfall on this date in 17 years.  The day was gray and coo,l with a high of only 60°.

1985

Heavy rain fell between 5-11 PM, amounting to 1.60".  During one 15-minute period (between 6:55-7:10 PM), 0.48" of rain poured down.

1996

This was the second day in a row with a record high as the mercury topped out at 93°.  The next 90-degree day wouldn't be for another two months (and it would be the only other 90-degree day of the summer.) 

 

Clipart_sun_with_sunglasses

2002

This was the last of four consecutive days with morning lows in the chilly low 40s, well below the average of 55°.

2012

After four days in a row of sunny and mild weather, today was a gray, rainy Monday.  1.40" of rain fell, with a particularly heavy downpour occurring during AM rush hour, with 0.57" measured between 9-10:00.

2013

Today was just the second 80-degree day of the year, coming six weeks after the first (4/9).  This was the greatest number of days between the first and second 80-degree day in eight years, when there was a gap of 45 days.  (The longest gap, in the years since 1900, was 58 days in 1928).  Today's high of 86° was the warmest reading since the first week of September 2012.

 

80

 

2022

At long last the temperature reached the 80s for the first time this year, the latest date for this occurrence since 1988.  This is the tenth latest date for this occurrence on record.  And with a high of 90°, this was just the fourth year to have the first 80 and first 90 occur on the same day (joining 1918, 1927 and 2010).  This was the first time a reading was in the 90s in May since 2018.  Besides the heat, the air was oppressive, with afternoon dew points in the 68-70° range.  The morning low of 62° was the coolest on a day with a high in the 90s since 2010, when there was a low of low of 56° on 4/7 (the earliest date on record for a reading in the 90s).

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Greatest New York Weather 'Hits' of 2021

 

 Rainy 2021

 

Nationwide, 2021's top weather events included Arctic cold in Texas in mid-February that shut down much of the state's power grid; searing heat at the end of June never before experienced in the Pacific Northwest; and a deadly tornado outbreak that Kentucky bore the brunt of on Dec. 10-11.  Meanwhile, New York's biggest story was the  consecutive months of unprecedented rainfall in July-August-September, which culminated in flooding downpours from the remnants of hurricane Ida on the night of Sept. 1, a deluge that was responsible for the deaths of nearly 50 residents of NYC and outlying suburbs (comparable to superstorm Sandy's death toll in Oct. 2012). 

 

The year was the eighth mildest and tenth wettest on record.   Eight of 2021's months were warmer than average, led by December (+4.7°, third mildest) and October (+4.1°, sixth mildest).  These months book-ended the most below average month of the year, November (-1.8°). 

 

Although the year's nearly 60 inches of precipitation was 10 inches above average, seven of the months had below average rainfall.  More than half of the year's precipitation (52%) was in July, August, and September.  And nearly half of the rain in those three months came from tropical systems Henri (8.19") and Ida (7.13").  Here are other highlights of 2021:

 

Chart - 10 warmest and 10 wettest years

  • A snowstorm that began Jan. 31 and continued into Feb. 2 dumped 17.4”.  Most of the accumulation, 16.8", fell in less than 24 hours (Sunday night, Jan. 31 thru late afternoon on Monday, Feb. 1).  After this snow event, an additional 10" of snow fell during the rest of the month, bring February's total to 26.0", making it the 8th snowiest February on record.
  • March had its first temperature in the 80s since 1998, occurring on 3/26 (82°).
  • In addition to the excessively wet months of July-Aug-Sept, there were also periods of very low humidity during the year.  For example, nearly half of the days in March had low humidity (below 25%); extremely low humidity was reported on April 6 (7%); and December had it lowest humidity on record on 12/17 (14%).
  • The coolest Memorial Day weekend on record (average high/low of 57°/48°) was followed by the ninth warmest June.  A high of 98° on 6/30 was NYC’s hottest reading in nine years years, and the hottest reading in June since another reading of 98° in June 1994.  But just three days later, July had its first reading in the 50s since 2009, and its coolest high temperature (66°) since 2005.
  • July, August, and September each had more than 10 inches of rain (July's amount was above 11") – not only the first time in nine years any month had that much rain, but the first time ever that three consecutive months had this much.  This was also the first year to have two rainstorms that produced seven inches+.  They were associated with downgraded hurricanes Henri and Ida , and they were less than two weeks apart (Aug. 21-23 and Sept. 1).
  • On the night of  9/1, Ida's rain poured down in just five hours time (and 3.13" in one hour).  More rain fell between 9-10 PM than fell in all of November and December.

As an aside, this one-hour amount was trumpeted by the National Weather Service as being Central Park's greatest one-hour amount on record - but this claim was in error, as NWS's own records show a greater 60-minute amount on Sept. 5, 1913, when 3.31" of rain was measured between midnight and 1 AM - 0.18" more than Ida's 60-minute gully washer.  (11 days earlier, a one-hour amount of 1.94" during Henri also had the NWS claiming it was an all-time record, which was even more in error, as there have been at least a dozen instances of greater amounts in an hour, most recently in July 2018.)

  • October had a record streak of lows in the 60s - thirteen days in a row.  It also set a record (for any month) of days with high/lows stuck in the 60s.  There were six such days, concentrated in the nine-day period between Oct. 3-11.  Finally, October's coolest reading of 47° was the mildest reading to have this distinction.
  • The final week of October was the rainiest on record (4.71" fell).  That week accounted for more than half of the precipitation measured from October thru December.  This rainy week was followed by the driest November-December on record.  These two dry months prevented the year from reaching the sixty-inch mark in precipitation, coming in at 59.73".  After 31.44" fell in July-September (32.09", if rain on 6/30 is included), 12 of the 13 weeks in October-December had less than 1/10 of that amount (3.06").

 

Here are recaps of previous years:

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2021


Days With Temperatures Stuck in the 60s

 

Stuck in the 60s

October 2021 was distinguished by having six days with highs and lows that were both in the 60s - the most such days in one month.  On average, two or three of these days occur each year, and they've occurred between May and November (ranging from 5/11 to 11/21).  September is the month most likely to have such days, and the date most likely to have one has been 9/17 (in nine years).  The year with the most  of these "stuck" days is 1903, with 13 of them (five other years have had between seven and eleven).  19 years have had none of these days, the last time being in 2019.

 

Chart - stuck in 60s by month
 

Nearly 80% of these days have had measurable rain, with 18% receiving more than an inch, and 75% a half inch or more.  The greatest rainfall on one of these days was 3.84" on Sept. 1, 1927.  (The last time three inches or more fell on a day stuck in the 60s was on Oct. 27, 2017.)  Despite the high likelihood of rain, only two of the last 15 days with temperatures stuck in the 60s had rain.  

Other observations:

  • Average high/low is 67°/62°, with average rainfall at 0.50". 
  • The most prevalent high/low is 68°/60°.  Nearly 70% of the days had highs of 67°, 68° or 69°, while  nearly 75% of the days had lows of 60°, 61°, or 62.°.
  • The warmest low on one of these days is 67°, which happened twice:  Oct. 1, 1902, and July 20, 1869. The coolest high temperature is 62°, which has occurred four times.
  • One of these days had a one-degree diurnal variation (high/low of 66°/65° on Sept. 17, 1869); 12 others had two-degree variations.

I've also written analyses about days stuck in the 30s and 70s.

 

Chart - years with most days stuck in 60s

 


October 2021 Weather Recap: 6th Mildest October Ends With Soaking Rains

 Oct 23 abingdon square park

 

After unprecedented rainfall in July, August, and September (each month had more than ten inches), it appeared a respite was in store during October, as the first half of the month was the driest since Oct. 2000, with just 0.15" of rain measured.  However, these dry conditions came to an abrupt end in the last week of the month, as 4.71" was measured - the wettest last week of October on record (and eight of the last nine days had measurable rainfall).  Much of the week's rain was produced by a nor'easter on the 25th-26th that dumped 3.69" of rain. 

 Chart - rainiest last week of october

 

The month's other storyline was its mild nighttime temperatures.  There was a record streak of lows in the 60s (13 days), which was also the month's total number of days with lows in the 60s, tying Oct. 1879 for the most on record (the average number of lows of 60+ in October is 4).  Lows during the first 12 days of the streak were in the narrow 60°-62° range; Day 13's low was 63°.  Of the eight longest streaks of lows in the 60s/70s in October, this year's record streak was the coolest.

 

Chart - streaks of 60_deg lows in october

 

Overall, the month was 4.1 degrees above average, and became the sixth mildest October on record (it ranked fourth for average low, and tied for 19th for average high).  17 days were five degrees or more above average; seven days had  below average mean temperatures.  The most above average day was 10/15, which was thirteen degrees warmer than average (high/low of 79°/63°); the most below average day was 10/1 , which was five degrees below average (67°/51°).

 

Temperatures during October ranged from 47° (on 10/19, 10/24, and 10/29) to 79° (on 10/15).  Only three other Octobers have had a smaller temperature range: 1977 (30 degrees); 2004 (31 degrees); and 1894 (31).    This mirrored September, which had a 31-degree variation, and was tied for third smallest variation.

 

In an oddity, there were six days with temperatures stuck in the 60s - the most on record for any month.  They occurred in three pairs, and were concentrated in the nine-day period between Oct. 3-11.  This narrow temperature range was largely due to persistent overcast skies.

 

The season's first low chillier than 50° was reported on 10/18, which was the second latest day for this occurrence (latest is 10/20).  Additionally, the month's chilliest reading of 47° (reported on three days), was the mildest chilliest reading on record for October (on average, the coldest reading in October is in the upper thirties). 

 

Here are previous recaps of October's weather:

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

October review


July 2021 - Third Rainiest July Keeps Mid-Summer Heat in Check

 Noahs ark in water

With 11.09" of rain measured in Central Park, July 2021 became the third rainiest July on record (behind 1889 and 1975), and 15th wettest month overall.  This was New York's first month with ten inches or more of precipitation since June 2013 (10.10"), and the most to fall in any month since August 2011, when 18.95" flooded the City (the greatest monthly amount on record). 

 

A little more than half of July's rain fell on three days between July 8-12: 2.27" on 7/8; 2.06" on 7/9, and 1.42" on 7/12.  The amounts of 7/8 and 7/9 set records for the dates.  8.49" of rain fell in the first 12 days of the month (and 9.14" if 6/30 is included), then 2.60" fell thereafter (which was slightly below average for that period). 

 

There were 18 days of measurable rain, which was the second greatest number of days with rain in July.  July 1871 had twenty days, but just half the amount of rain as July 2021.   (Of the 27 months with ten inches or more or precipitation, the average number of days of measurable precipitation is 13.) 

 

Besides being rainy, this was the coolest July since 2009 (and 0.1 degree cooler than July 2014).  When all Julys are considered, July 2021 is in the middle of the pack, temperature-wise, with 54% being warmer.  The combination of a warmer than average June (+2.3 degrees), and July being 1.5 degrees cooler than average, placed these two months closer together (1.7 degrees) than any June/July combo since the summer of 2001 (when July was just 0.3 degree warmer).  Looking at average high and low, July's average high of 83.0 was just 0.5 degree warmer than June's, while the low of 69.0 was 3.0 degrees milder.  Because many days had dew points in the 68°-73° range, the air often felt oppressive rather than cool.

 

So close_colbert
 Chart - july close to june

 

For the first time since 2009, a reading in the 50s occurred in July - 59° on 7/3.  And on 7/3, the high was only 66°, which was the first high cooler than 70°in July since 2013, and the coolest reading in July since 2005 . The month's coolest and hottest readings were three days apart as a high of 92° occurred on 7/6 (and the 59° reading came three days after June's hottest temperature, 98°, on 6/30).

 

July had four days in the 90s, half as many as June, and the fewest such days in July since 2014, which had three.  (Seven of the Julys between 2000-2009 also had four or fewer days in the 90s.)  Although the number of days of 90+ was half the average for July, the number of lows in the 70s, 16, was an average am0unt (but ten fewer than last year's record amount).

 

July had 8.47" more rain than June's 2.62", but there have been ten other instances where the disparity between two months was even greater (looking only at wet months preceded by dry ones).  The greatest difference occurred in  Sept-Oct 2005, when October had 16.73", which was 16.25" more than September's bone-dry 0.48".

 

Chart - greatest dif in precip btwn 2 mos

Finally, after suffering through sweltering heat, and a nighttime thunderstorm on the last day of June, the last day of July couldn't have been more different, as skies were clear and temperatures on the cool side (high/low of 77°/60°).  While 6/30's high of 98° (14 degrees above average) was the hottest reading on that date since 1964, 7/31's low of 60° (ten degrees below average) was the chilliest since 1956.

 

July 2021
 

Here are other July recaps:

July 2020

July 2019

July 2018

July 2017

July 2016

July 2015

July 2014

 

 

 

 

 


Central Park's Puzzling, Flawed Weather Station

Wtf 3This post has been a long time coming.  New York City, arguably the world's preeminent city, ironically, has a weather station in Central Park (serving as the official measurement site for NYC) that brings to mind that of a third world country.  There are regularly occurring instances of reporting glitches.  Last week, for instance, hourly sky conditions went missing.  (Looking out the window wasn't an option?).  This joined a host of other "irregularities": missing hourly precipitation/temperature reports (often during rainstorms); a five-month period in 2018-19 in which the anemometer was out of commission; a broken rain gauge that resulted in exaggerated amounts of rain for months in 1983; and flawed snowfall measurements in the winters of 2015 and 2016.

 

 

Central park weather site
Central Park's weather station at Belvedere Castle

 

The rain gauge fiasco occurred during a year that may have been the wettest on record as 80.56" was reported (16 inches more than the previous wettest year, 1972).  But it turns out that besides rain entering the gauge's calibrated opening, a faulty weld was allowing extra water to seep in.  Because of this malfunction, designating 1983 as the wettest year is questionable.  Although some cities in the mid-Atlantic did report their wettest year in 1983, confidence about 1983's amount in Central Park is lacking.  Like Barry Bonds' home runs, 1983 should have an asterisk placed next to it.  Meanwhile, 2011, which had 72.81", may actually be the legitimate wettest year.   

 

The revision of winter 2016's snowfall came nearly three months after the blizzard of Jan. 23, 2016.  At the time, the National Weather Service reported that 26.8" of snow had accumulated, which made it the City's second biggest snowstorm, 0.1" behind the blizzard of February 2006.  Then, curiously, the amount was revised upward by 0.7" in late April.  The previous winter the NWS revised New York's winter snowfall upward by 3.3" for three snowfalls.  Specifically, snowfall was adjusted on three dates: Jan. 6 (from 0.5" to 1.0"); Jan. 24 (from 2.5" to 3.6"); and Feb. 2 (from 3.3" to 5.0").

 

Frustrated_clip art
 

What makes this situation more frustrating is the fact that the metro area's three airports (LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark Liberty) experienced none of these issues.  So what does this say about the Central Park operation?  A lack of trained employees?  A lack of enthusiasm by those manning the site (perhaps they're hired from the same pool of applicants as the DMV)?  Or, is it due to a lack of funding?  Whatever the reason, a city with the cachet of New York deserves better.

 

The greatest city in the world

 

 



 

 

 


December 2019 Repeats December 2018's Wet Conditions

Dec 13 grand central wreath

 

December 2019 was the wettest month of the year and fifth wettest December on record (7.09" was measured).  Much of its precipitation fell in the first two weeks of the month.  In fact, the 5.05" that was measured during this period was the third greatest amount to fall in the first two weeks of any December.   Looking at temperature, the month was slightly above average (+0.8°).  Although Dec. 1-22 was 2.5 degrees colder than average, the rest of the month was mild enough (+9 degrees), to push the entire month into the above average column.  The mildest reading of the month was 58° (on 12/10), making this the first December since 2005 not to have any readings of 60° or warmer.  The coldest reading, 16° on 12/19, was three degrees colder than the typical coldest reading of December.  The 19th was also the only day that had a high of 32° or colder (25°).

 

Despite the month's surplus precipitation there were ten consecutive days with no measurable precipitation (Dec. 19-28).  This matched a 10-day stretch in September - the longest dry spells of the year.  (September 2019 had just 0.95" of rain, making it the eighth driest September on record).  Coincidentally, last year's wet December (ninth wettest) also had a ten-day stretch with no precipitation.

 

Being the wettest month of a year is rare for December.  Before 2019 only two other years had December as their wettest month - in 1957 (when 5.26" was reported) and in 1973 (9.98" was measured).  Another distinction for Dec. 2019 is that it was just the 13th month to have more than seven inches of rain as well as a streak of 10 or more days without any measurable precipitation.  (The longest streak during one of these months was thirteen days in June 2006).

 

Chart - 7 inches monthly rain

In addition to the soggy first two weeks, other December highlights included the season's first measurable snowfall on 12/2 (1.3" fell) and an out of the ordinary snow squall of 10-15 minutes during the afternoon of 12/18 that ushered in the coldest weather of December (0.4" accumulated, and an additional 0.3" fell from a snow shower a few hours later).  Additionally, the first four days of the month had highs/lows stuck in the 30s, just the sixth time there's been a streak of this length or longer.

 

Snow squall dec 19 2019

 

Finally, December 2018 and 2019 joined December 2008 and 2009 as the second pair of consecutive years to be among the ten wettest Decembers (2009 is #4; 2019 is #5; 2008 is #9; and 2018 is in tenth place). 

Previous December recaps:

2018

2017

2016

2015

 

 


Today in New York Weather History: December 17

 

32degrees

 

Dec. 17 is the average date of the first high temperature of 32° or colder (based on the period 1970-2020).  It's happened as early as Nov. 22 (in 2008) and Nov. 23 (1989), and as late as Jan. 20 (1986).  In more than half of the years the first high of 32° or colder was 31° or 32°, but it's been as cold as 20° (which happened in the winter of 2007-08, when it occurred late, on Jan 3).   

 

1904

A snowfall of six inches (three inches this evening, three inches tomorrow morning) came four days after a snowfall of seven inches.

1919

Four days after the temperature reached 61°,  tonight, shortly before midnight, the mercury dropped to one degree above zeroThis was the first of fifteen days this winter with lows in the single digits or colder.

 

Arrow down

 

1932

Snow that began late in the morning continued through early morning on 12/18. amounting to 7.2".  It was also a very cold day, with a high/low of only 21°/10°.  (The snow was gone by Christmas Day, which had a high of 59°.)  The next measurable snowfall wouldn't be for another seven weeks (2/4).

1951

Today's frigid high/low of 20°/8° (22 degrees below average) would be the coldest day of the winter.  Skies were clear.

1971

This was the twelfth day in a row with above average temperatures.  During these dozen days temperatures were ten degrees above average.  Even after passage of a cold front early this morning, and temperatures falling throughout the day, the mean temperature was five degrees above the norm.  This stretch of mild weather followed a two-week period of colder than average weather. 

1973

The epic ice storm that began yesterday afternoon continued through this morning.  Conditions were worse than yesterday as sleet and freezing rain fell at an even heavier rate.  In total, 1.46" of precipitation fell - all in the form of sleet or freezing rain.  The temperature stayed below freezing all day, and by midnight had fallen to 17°. 

 

Clipart_icicles

1996

Light showers through early afternoon amounted to 0.12".  This was the 146th day this year with measurable precipitation, establishing 1996 as the year with the most days of precipitation in the 20th century, passing 1972, the previous crown holder.  And there would be six additional days of precipitation before the year ended.  (The average number days of precipitation per year is 121.)

1998

Today was the 25th day in a row with above-average temperatures.  During this stretch of mild days temperatures were ten degrees above normal.  This would be the mildest December since 1984.

 

Clipart_sun 

 

2000

Today's high of 62° was a record for the date, just one of five days with above-average temperatures during a December that was quite cold (5.5 degrees below average) - the coldest since 1989. 

2001

This was the 18th day in a row in which no low temperature was duplicated.  During these days (beginning on Nov. 30) they ranged between 32° and 58° - all above average.

2012

Only three degrees separated the day's high (43°) and low (40°) on a raw, "gloomy Gus" kind of day. 

2013

Light snow, occasionally mixed with sleet, fell throughout the daytime hours and amounted to 1.5".  This was the fourth snowfall of the past ten days, totaling 8.6".  Three of these snow "events" delivered one-inch+ - the most such snowfalls in December since 2005.  Besides being snowy, the ten days since 12/8 were also quite cold, with the average high/low of 35°/26°, nearly eight degrees below the norm.  

 

Snow_peoplewalking

 

2015

It was a mild and rainy day.  The 1.25" of rain that was measured in Central Park fell mostly between 11 AM and 4 PM.  This was the eighth day in a row that had a mean temperature more than 10° degrees above average.  The average high/low during these days was 63°/52° - nineteen degrees above average.

2016

Six days after the first measurable snow of the winter (0.4"), today saw the first snowfall of one inch or more as 2.8" accumulated between 4-8 AM.  Then it changed to sleet, then to freezing rain, all of which was over by noon.  (By contrast, last winter's first one-inch snowfall wasn't until 1/23 - the blizzard that buried the City under its biggest snowfall on record.)

 

Snow_december 2016

 

2018

Light wraparound showers in the wee hours of the morning (amounting to just 0.03"), remnants from yesterday's rainstorm, made this the 152nd day this year with measurable precipitation, tying 1996 for the all-time record.  What distinguishes 2018 from 1996 is that its total precipitation for the year was more than five inches above 1996's (with two weeks remaining in 2018).

2021

Just three days after Central Park registered its lowest humidity level in December this century (20% later in the afternoon), today had an even lower humidity level - 14% (also during late afternoon).  As low as this was, it was twice as high as the 7%  humidity reported on 4/6 of this year.

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In a Rut: Temperatures Stuck in the 30s

30s

 

This post was inspired by the first four days of December 2019, all which reported highs and lows in the 30s.  The last time there was a streak of this length was in January 1998, when there was one of five days.  Although days "stuck in the 30s" aren't rare, as a typical year sees a half dozen of them, strings of three days or longer happen infrequently, about once very five years.  Not surprisingly, nine out of ten of these days have occurred from December thru March, with December having the most. (They've occurred as early as Oct. 26 and as late as April 11).

 

Chart - days in 30s by month

 

More than half of these days have reported measurable precipitation (57% to be exact); one in four have reported measurable snow.  Since many of these days have temperatures around freezing (two-thirds have a reading of 32° or colder for at least part of the day) the type of precipitation that falls is a mixed bag (i.e., rain, freezing rain, sleet, and wet snow).  Often the type of snow that falls doesn't readily accumulate on paved surfaces if the temperature is above freezing.  And although temperatures in the 30s are far from frigid, the fact that they're often accompanied by overcast skies or precipitation makes these days feel raw and colder than the air temperature. 

 

Snow and rain

 

The most precipitation to fall on one of these "stuck" days was 2.03" on March 29, 1984 (high/low of 36°/34°); 1.8" of the precipitation was snow.  Additionally, there have been four other storms that produced two+ inches of liquid precipitation that crossed over to other days - in Jan. 1987, March 1967, Dec. 1930 and Dec. 1914 (all days were in the 30s).  The biggest of them all produced 3.49" of precipitation and lasted three days during the first week of March 1967; two inches of snow fell on the first day of the storm. 

 

Speaking of snow, the most to fall on a day with temperatures in the 30s for its entirety was ten inches on Feb. 10, 2010 (high/low was 34°/30°).  And 11.8" fell from a storm that crossed over into a second day on March 21-22, 1956.  In addition to these snowfalls, there have been nine others that dropped six to ten inches (most recently on March 21, 2018 when 8.2" fell on a day in which the high/low was 39°/31°). 

 

Shoveling slust

 

In the years since 1900, the longest streak of days stuck in the 30s is five, which has happened three times: in Jan. 1998, Dec. 1970 and in Dec. 1914.  The most days in one winter was 20, which occurred in the winter of 1997-98.  Every winter except one, 1924, has had two or more days stuck in the 30s. (The winter of 1924 had one day.)  Finally, the most in one month is eight, which has happened twice - in January 1987 and January 1998.  (December 2019 had seven.)

 

Chart - stuck in the 30s

Chart - stuck in 30s by winter

 

If this analysis leaves you cold, I also posted one last year about days stuck in the 70s.

 

Stuck in a rut

 

 

 


May 2019 Continued April's Wet Trend, But With More Rain

Cold-rain-and-wind-bear-down-on-new-york-city-commuters-20190513081420-84079800

 

Like the month preceding it, May 2019 was characterized by a surfeit of rainy days.  There were 19 with measurable rain, which tied December 1972 and May 1973 for the second greatest number for any month.  (The most days, 20, occurred in July 1871 and May 1888).  However, May 2019 distinguished itself by having more rain than those other months (see chart below).  The amount that fell, 6.82", made this May the 12th rainiest on record.  Although it had one more day of rain than April (its 18 days was a record for April), nearly two-and-a-half inches more rain fell.  But despite the high frequency of rain, much of it occurred on just five days: 1.31" on 5/5; 1.32" on 5/12; 0.70" on 5/13; 0.80" on 5/29; and 0.95" on 5/30.

 

Chart - 5 months with most days of precip
 

In addition to the well above average number of rainy days, this May will also be remembered for the damp and unusually cool conditions on Mother's Day and the two days after.  2.32" of rain fell on these three days (1.32" of it on Mother's Day) and the average high/low of 53°/43° was 14 degrees cooler than average.  By contrast, the Memorial Day weekend was mostly nice,  the exception being later in the afternoon on Sunday when clouds moved in and there was an hour of heavy showers.  The three-day weekend's average high/low was 79°/60°, four degrees above average, and featured the warmest reading of the month, 86° on Sunday.  (The warmest mean temperature, however, occurred on 5/20, one week before Memorial Day, with a high/low of 85°/66°).

 

Temperature-wise, the month was average (officially, 0.2 degree below average), with the first half of May three degrees below average while the second half was two degrees above average.  (If the chilly three-day period from May 12-14 were taken out, the month would have been 1.3 degrees milder than average.)  Seven days were five or more degrees above average while six were five or more below average.  Four days with highs in the 80s were balanced by four days with lows in the 40s, both fewer than the month's average (of seven and six days, respectively). 

 

Finally, there was an eight-day streak of rainy days (May 10-17) that had 2.56" of rain.  This was just the thirteenth eight-day steak since 1900.  Coincidentally, last May had rain on seven of eight days around the same time of the month (May 12-19), which amounted to 2.14".  And Mother's Day both years was cool (59°/43° this year, 54°/52° in 2018).

Here are recaps of the previous four Mays:

2018

2017

2016

2015