The dry spell continues – a review of May 2022

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The peleton of the RideLondon 2022 women’s race crosses the Green into Epping on a typical partly sunny May day

The dry spell continues

A review of the weather during May 2022

It may seem strange to say that after a month with some unsettled periods of weather, the rainfall totals were still well below average, and following a dry April, that’s left gardeners and farmers wishing for more substantial rain. Total rainfall for the month was 38.0mm, compared with the long term average of our 38 years of records of 56.1mm. We had a typical May with 14 days on which rain fell, but amounts were generally small – our wettest day was just 6.6mm, less than half what is typical for May. So despite unsettled spells mid month and again at the end of the month, when heavy and thundery downpours were prevalent across our part of the country, most of those storms slid past without scoring a direct hit; as a result, whilst some places in the region suffered deluges, we didn’t.

It was a mild month too on average: no heatwaves, and the maximum temperature recorded was an unexceptional 25.3°C on 17th, but the overall monthly mean at 14.1°C was well above the long term mean of 12.3°C. This was not so much due to warm days as mild nights: there were no ground frosts in the month, the lowest temperature recorded being 4.9°C late in the month on 29th, and this was the second warmest monthly minimum for May in our records. Indeed, the average daily minimum across the month was 9.3°C – the highest in our records. Conversely, the lowest daily maximum for the month was 14.6°C on the 3rd, which is also the highest in our records.

Perhaps part of the reason for the warmer nights was a lack of strong winds: our detailed wind speed records cover just 14 years, but this May had a monthly maximum gust of 22mph (Force 5), and an average daily maximum of 15.3mph, both comfortably the lowest in our records. Winds were mostly from the Atlantic, the commonest direction being WSW.

So after three months in a row of below average rainfall, will June redress the balance, or will we get a long hot summer? Check back with us here next month for all the details!

MeasureUnitMinimumAverageMaximumAverage minAverage maxTotal
Relative humidity%317494
Wind source (most common/highest gust)SectorWSSE
Wind speedmph2.32215.3
Rain daily accumulationmm1.26.638
Barometric pressurehPa998.71017.31029.4
Solar irradiance during daylightW/m²2721245867
Sunshine (sunny if irradiance > 120 W/m2)Hours10.512.5324

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