Warmest, sunniest May for quarter of a century
MAY was the warmest and sunniest month for 26 years and came second after 1992 for warmth and sunshine in records going back more than 100 years.
Afternoon temperatures peaked at 19c which was 2.5c above normal while night time values were logged at 9c 1.5c above normal. The mean of 14.1c was the highest for 26 years.
May was also a dry month. In Mountsorrel I recorded 48mm of rain which was 12 per cent below normal but most of this fell on just four days with 23 days in the month being completely dry.
The reason for the dryness and warmth was high pressure which was over or around the British Isles for most of the month.
The jet stream was diverted northwards over Iceland and Scandinavia leaving us on the warmer and drier southern side of the jet.
As a result of all the high pressure sunshine totals were very high. We recorded a magnificent 259 hours of sunshine in May and it was the first month in over two years to break the 200 hours barrier.
Indeed May 2018 was only seven hours of sunshine short of the record sunshine totaL of 266 hours set in 1992. Winds were mainly light and blew in from the East and South with much higher frequency than usual as High pressure sat mostly just to our north.
The opening week of the month saw initially some rain but dry and sunny conditions soon developed.
The warmest day of the month coincided with the first bank holiday Monday when temperatures reached a staggering 25.4c making it the warmest and sunniest first bank holiday of the month since it began in 1978 after some very hot air over the Mediterranean moved north to reach our shores. After a few unsettled days the warm and sunny theme resumed again on the 14th with 10 days of mostly sunny skies with our sunniest day of 15 hours of bright sunshine recorded on the 22nd.
There was a brief blip on the 25th when 14 mm of rain fell but then the weather warmed up nicely again for a second bank holiday in a row with temperatures on the 27th reaching 25c once again.
A cloudy last couple of days prevented us breaking the all time sunshine record for May but nevertheless it was a fantastic month if you like dry and sunny conditions.
The MET office have just released their 3 month guideline forecast for the summer and while its not a precise forecast their is a 25 per cent probability that the summer will fit into the warmest and driest category and only a five per cent chance that it will be a cool one.
These long term forecasts must be treated with some caution as we are still many years away from being able to produce accurate seasonal forecasts but the signs are encouraging! Have a great weekend.