It was a wet one

By Russell Russ

May picked up right where late April left off, giving Norfolk some beautiful weather. From mid-April to May 7 it was clear and dry with pleasant temperatures. The lovely weather ended May 8 when the rains began.

Spotty frost in the area was reported on May 5, 6, 13, 14, 15, 26 and 27. With eleven days in the 30’s and only a few days in the 80’s you would think it was much cooler than normal, but it was actually a little above average for temperatures. Memorial Day was pleasant, and then it started to heat up at the end of the month. The gardener’s mantra of not planting too much before Memorial Day certainly made sense this year.

May’s low temperature of 33 degrees was observed on May 6, 14 and 15. The high of 89 degrees observed on May 31 was a record for that date, beating the old record of 88 set back in 1937. We just missed record high temperatures on both May 21 and May 30. With an average monthly temperature of 56.4 degrees, it was 1.7 degrees above normal.

While the month started out nice and dry, almost too dry, it certainly did not end that way. The total precipitation recorded for the month was 6.95 inches, 2.61 inches above normal. There were seven thunderstorms observed this month with a few on the strong side.

A tornado warning on May 21 got everyone’s attention, but thankfully we only saw some brief small sized hail and no tornado came to town. Strong winds associated with multiple storms during the evening of May 29 knocked down trees and wires, hitting the north side of town especially hard. No snow or sleet fell during the month, so we ended the month of May 0.4 inches below normal for snowfall.

We were 6.5 inches below our normal yearly total precipitation amount at the end of April, but we gained some ground on this in May. For the 2013 calendar year through May our total precipitation amount of 17.02 inches was 3.89 inches below normal.

And then came June. That precipitation deficit quickly shifted to a surplus. As of June 19, June of 2013 was already the wettest June since we began observations in 1932. With a rainfall amount through June 19 of 10.71 inches, the monthly average of 4.79 inches was shattered, topping the old record of 10.41 inches set back in June of 1986.