May 2018 in Review

2018-06-01 12:34:18.000 – Thomas Padham, Weather Observer/Education Specialist

 

With May 2018 now in the record books I decided to take a look at how our weather for the month stacked up to our 85-year climate record for the summit. There certainly were some interesting stats!

 
Sunrise from the summit mid-May 2017 

Probably the most memorable event of the past month would be our 130 mph peak gust, the highest wind speed we’ve seen in May since 1994. This set some new personal records for my coworkers Taylor and Sarah, and the storm was also accompanied by a thunderstorm with hail, making for a very impressive 24 hours of weather!

 
Hays Wind Chart for May 5th, 2018 with a peak wind gust of 130 mph just after midnight. 

This past month tied 1944 as our 5th warmest May on record with an average temperature of 40.5°F. It was also a pretty dry month, with 4.67” of total (liquid equivalent) precipitation. This totaled only 57% of our normal amount for the month (8.18”) and is overall similar to much of New Hampshire, which has been trending towards a slight drought the past few weeks. Snowfall was exceptionally low for the month of May on the summit, with only 0.1” total for the entire month making it our 3rd least-snowy May on record.

 
After a very snowy April, May had almost no snowfall on the summit. Luckily we were able to take these impressive photos of the crew on the 5-mile section of the Auto Road in early May before things quickly melted! 

Contrasting with May 2018’s snowfall, just last year was impressive for the opposite reason. May 14th-15th, 2017 we actually had our largest single snowstorm total ever for the month with 32.1”. It’s pretty incredible that we can see so much variation from year to year, and I for one count myself lucky to have been able to witness such an event. We’ll see what the month of June has in store for our crew up here. Each month can be very different, but I’m still holding out some hope for a tiny bit more snow before summer really gets started!

 
Taylor and intern Nate had some fun with our record-setting snowstorm Mother’s Day weekend last year. 
 

 

Thomas Padham, Weather Observer/Education Specialist

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