May 2012 Is The Warmest on Record

OSWEGO, NY – May 2012 continued the streak of warmer than average months.

The average temperature for May 2012 came in at 62.7 degrees.

A Red Bellied Woodpecker enjoys the warm sunshine in May
A Red Bellied Woodpecker enjoys the warm sunshine in May (Dick Drosse Photo)

That’s 6.7 degrees warmer than average and beats the previous warmest May on record 62.6 degrees (1998). In third place is 62.0 degree in 1880, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

“The last month to be below average in temperature was March 2011,” Gregway said. “And, that was only 0.4-degree below average.”

The highest temperature last month was a record-breaking 90 degrees on the 29th. The previous record was 87 degrees in 1987.

It was the first 90 degrees since we had 90 degrees on July 17, 2011, and 95 degrees on July 21, 2011, according to Gregway.

The lowest temperature was 41 degrees on the 6th.

Besides the 90 degrees, May had another record high – 85 degrees on the 25th, which topped 84 degrees, set in 1904.

That was the only 90 reading last month.

There were 4 days where the high was 80 degrees or higher. And, there was 1 time when the overnight low was 70 degrees.

The overnight low was 60 degrees or higher 7 times in May.

Total precipitation last month “just missed” being average, Gregway noted. It was 2.85 inches, which is 0.32-inch below normal.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 1.11 inches on the 8th.

“Without that big burst, we’d have been way, way down in the precip column,” Gregway added.

Since the first of the year, precipitation stands at 13.40 inches. That’s 3.07 inches below average.

There were 8 days when measurable precipitation fell last month, Gregway said, adding “Only 8!” There was a stretch of 3 days in a row.

Just a trace fell on 4 days and 19 days had no precipitation; that included a streak of 5 in a row and 4 in a row.

The area received 60 percent of the possible amount of sunshine. That’s 1 percentage above average.

The number of cloudy days, 9, was 3 below average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 16, was 6 above average.

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

There were 4 thunderstorm days, which is 1 above normal.

And, there were 3 foggy days, which is also 1 above normal.

There was no snowfall last month. That is a trace below average. For the winter, snowfall came in at 70.8 inches, which is 80.0 inches below normal.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.36 on the 6th and the lowest was 29.60 on the 10th.

“There wasn’t a lot of wind last month,” Gregway noted. “It had been a pretty windy spring. But it petered out in May. It was pretty quiet.”

The strongest winds were westerly at gusts greater than 25 mph on the 16th.

May 2012 is the warmest on record.

The coldest is 46.4 degrees in 1917.

The highest temperature in May is 94 degrees set on May 30, 1879. The lowest is 27 degrees on May 10, 1909.

May 1931 is the wettest (7.47 inches) and 1920 is the driest (0.18-inch).

The snowiest May is 1.0 inch in 1907. There have been a lot with around a half inch or so, Gregway said, adding there have also been many with zero snow.

By comparison, May of 2011 was 2.7 degrees warmer than average.

The highest temperature was 87 degrees and the lowest was 40 degrees. There were no records broken.

There were 2 thunderstorm days and 6 foggy days.

Precipitation was 1.64 inches above average.

Through the end of May 2011, precipitation stood at 21.79 inches. That was 5.3 inches above average.

The amount of sunshine was 15 percent below average.

“There were a lot of cloudy days (17) in May 2011,” Gregway said. “And, it was a very wet spring last year.”