May 2012 was a classic example of statistics proving
nothing, because overall temperature and rainfall came out at about what you
might expect from this month. Infact, overall it was the warmest May for
three years, and the wettest for four.
The first twenty days or so however were exceptionally
chilly, and for the first ten of these, wet as well. There was no
maximum temperature above 17C up to the 20th and 90% of the month’s
total rainfall of 53.9mm fell in the first third of the month. Two light
airfrosts at -0.3C on 13th and 16th were recorded. Thankfully, these
were not damaging, and could be compared with a lower reading of -1.5C
on 13th May 2010.
I do not record sunshine totals, but it is likely that the
first three weeks of the month were particularly dull as well. It was
almost as if the weather had decided to mirror the sluggish state of the
national economy. The usual exuberance of growth for which the month is
famous was undoubtedly checked, with oaks and ashes slow to burgeon.
Finally, the weather reckoned it was time to catch up and
redress the balance. As soon as the Olympic torch arrived on these
shores from rain-soaked Athens, the weather lit up too. No more rain
fell after the 19th and temperatures rose to a remarkable maximum of
29C on the 25th. This was not only the warmest reading I have recorded
in May, it was the highest temperature here since 6th. August 2006, at
the same level.
Overall, it has been an unusual set of three Spring months.
Exceptional warmth in late March, unparalleled wetness in April and a
contrasted May. Not as warm as Spring 2011, but warmer than 2010. Nearly
as wet as 2008, which had a far less extreme rainfall pattern however.
Peter at Pottlelake