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May 2010 Was One Of The Warmest

A boat glides past the Oswego Lighthouse on May 31, the hottest day of the month.
A boat glides past the Oswego Lighthouse on May 31, the hottest day of the month.

OSWEGO, NY – May 2010 goes into the record books as the third warmest May on record.

The average temperature last month was 60.6 degrees.

That is 4.6 degrees warmer than average, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

“Looks like, for right now, that’s third place. The warmest is 62.6 degrees in 1998 and second is 62.0 degrees in 1880,” he said. “But I want to go back and recheck all the records, just to make sure I’m up to date.”

The highest temperature for May 2010 was 85 degrees on the last day of the month. The lowest was 33 degrees on the 9th.

There were 7 days where the temperature was in the 80s and 4 times it slipped into the 30s.

But, there were no temperatures below freezing, Gregway pointed out.

A jogger, out for a morning run, passes historic Fort Ontario. The Oswego landmark is open for the season.
A jogger, out for a morning run, passes historic Fort Ontario. The Oswego landmark is open for the season.

“The last frost was on the 11th when it was 35 degrees. The last time we had a temperature at or below 32 degrees was on March 27 (18 degrees),” Gregway said.

One high temperature record (83 degrees in 1930) was tied on May 2.

“We did have some snow on Mother’s Day. That really isn’t all that uncommon,” Gregway said. “And, it was just a trace.”

The total precipitation for May was 2.11 inches. That is 1.06 inches below average.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 0.77-inch on May 8.

Since the first of the year, total precipitation stands at 12.44 inches. That is 4.03 inches below average.

May had 11 days with measurable precipitation; 7 of them were in a row.

Three days saw just a trace and 17 days had no precipitation, again with 7 in a row.

There were 4 thunderstorms, which is 1 more than normal.

The number of foggy days last month, 2, was average.

May had just a trace of snow, which is average.

However, snowfall for the entire winter stalled at 117.0 inches. That is 33.8 inches below average, Gregway noted.

The area saw 56 percent of the possible amount of sunshine last month. That is 3 percentages below average.

The number of cloudy days, 10, was 2 below average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 15, was 5 above average.

The number of clear days, 6, was 3 below average.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.44 on the 11th and the lowest was 29.43 on the 8th.

“We did have some windy days last month,” Gregway said. “There were 6 days where the winds were 30-35 mph. The strongest was west-northwesterly at greater than 35 mph on the 6th. We also had gusts above 30 mph on the 8th that coincided with the low pressure.”

The coldest May on record is 1917 (46.4 degrees) and the warmest is 1998.

The highest temperature in May, 94 degrees, came on the 30th in 1879.

The coldest is 27 degrees on the 10th in 1909.

The wettest May is 1931 (7.47”) and the driest is 1920 (0.18-inch). In recent years, 2002 had 6.65 inches and 1990 had 6.12 inches; on the dry side, 1977 had 0.92-inch and 2005 had 1.41 inches, Gregway added

The snowiest May on record is 1907 with 1.0 inch. Several Mays hold the distinction of being the least snowiest. “There are an awful lot of zeroes. It is not uncommon to have no snow in May,” Gregway said.