A Cloudy May

By Russell Russ

In late April it seemed that we turned the tide and finally entered early summer, but most of May was similar to most of April with cool and cloudy weather. It was difficult to get more than one nice day in a row during most of the month. Was the cool weather ever going to break? It finally did during the later half of the month and we warmed up and cleared out a little.

The month’s low temperature of 37 degrees was observed on both May 1 and 2. The high temperature of 84 degrees was observed on May 27. May seemed cooler than normal, and remained so for most of the month, but it actually ended up being just a little above normal. The average mean temperature this month was 57.3 degrees, 2.7 degrees above the May normal. The warmest May on record was in 1991 with an average mean temperature of 59.7 degrees.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 4.29 inches, just 0.05 inches below normal. A majority of the month’s rain fell between May 16 and May 21. It was our first month with below normal precipitation (just barely) since January. For the 2010 calendar year, through May, the total precipitation amount was 25.63 inches, 4.79 inches above normal. There were four thunderstorms, including one that occurred during the morning of Memorial Day. This unfortunately resulted in Norfolk’s annual Memorial Day Parade being held without any marching bands. The storm passed and the rain had stopped by 9 a.m., but by then it was too late.

There was not even a trace of snowfall this month. This is a little unusual, but not unheard of. May’s average snowfall amount is 0.4 inches. For the calendar year, through May, the total snowfall amount was 81.0 inches, 15.0 inches above normal. A final look at the 2010-11 winter season snowfall amount shows that Norfolk recorded 98.4 inches from November through April. This is 7.6 inches above normal. January alone added 50.0 inches to these totals. It is a bit hard to believe, but the last time we saw more than about three inches of snowfall was way back in early February.