Wall to wall sunshine for lockdown May

Lindsey Street in May sunshine during Coronavirus lockdown

Weather news

Wall to wall sunshine for lockdown May

This was a month spent in Coronavirus lockdown, and those partaking their daily outdoor exercise will have welcomed the warm, sunny weather. However, gardeners and farmers will have wished for rather more rainfall.

The deluges of February have been well and truly forgotten as May proved exceptionally dry – in fact with just 7.2 mm the second driest in Epping records (1975-2013). The driest May came in 1989, with only 1.3 mm. There was only one day, the 1st, with any significant rain. To put this in context, the average May in Epping records has 56.1 mm of rain. That’s now three successive months of below average rainfall, amounting to 52% of what we might expect in that time.

No surprise then that the temperatures were also well above average. We have had our warmest average day maximum for May at 20.3°, and our equal warmest mean temperature of 14.2°, on a par with 1989. The warmest day was 21st,with a maximum temperature of 29.0°, and the coldest night was 12th, with a minimum of 1.0° - in fact for three days mid month we experienced unusually late ground frosts, which caught out a number of gardeners locally with tender plants already outdoors.

These weather patterns were due to high pressure remaining steadfastly close to the British Isles, with variations in temperature due to the positioning of its centre. Our barometric readings also show this clearly, with pressure remaining above the overall average of 1013 hPa for all but three days of the month.

Below is the summary data for May 2020.

MeasureUnitMinimumAverageMaximumAverage MinAverage MaxTotal
Absolute humidityg/kg3.46.111.1
Relative humidity%266196
Wind source°4187359
Wind direction°0193359
Wind strengthmph0322
Rain daily accumulationmm0.
Barometric pressurehPa996.81022.61037.3
Solar irradianceW/m²02441120
UV index028
Cloud base altitudem7510152500
Dew point°C-
Frost point°C-3.14.412.4
Heat index223165
Steadman index-21022
Summer Simmer index-101333
Wind chill°C01431

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