A Statistical Preview of Denver's May Weather

                                                                    
                                                                  ...A STATISTICAL PREVIEW OF DENVER`S MAY WEATHER...
 
 
 
 
May in Denver is considered a transition month similar to April, however, it’s warmer with a bias toward rainfall and severe weather. Like April, May often provides a wide variation of weather and temperature ranges. Denver’s May weather can include almost any type of weather, including rain, snow, drought, flood and severe weather.
 
Denver’s monthly mean temperature for May is 57.1 degrees (1981-2010 averages). May starts the month with a normal high of 66 degrees and ends with a normal high of 77 degrees. For low temperatures, the month begins with a normal of 38 degrees and finishes with a normal of 48.
 
The warmest temperature ever recorded during the month of May, since records began in 1872, was 95 degrees on the 26th day of 1942. May’s coldest temperature ever recorded in Denver was 19 degrees and occurred on the 3rd day of 1907.
 
MAY: DENVER`S TOP 5 COLDEST (MEAN TEMPERATURES):
 
48.7 DEGREES 1917
50.0         1995
50.2         1935
50.3         1907
51.4         1983
 
MAY: DENVER`S TOP 5 WARMEST (MEAN TEMPERATURES):
 
64.6 DEGREES 1934
63.2         1994
61.9         1886
61.7         1958
61.6         1879, 1974
 
 
The average snow in Denver for May (1981-2010) is 1.1 inches. During this period, 12 out of the 30 years recorded measurable snowfall. Significant snow events are unlikely in May, however they do occasionally occur. Back in May of 1898, 15.5 inches of snowfall fell, which is the greatest monthly snowfall for the month of May on record.
 
MAY: DENVER`S SNOWIEST
 
15.5 INCHES 1898
13.6        1950
13.5        1978
13.2        1912
12.0        1917
 
MAY: DENVER`S LEAST SNOWY
 
 Numerous years with no snowfall (41).
 
 
The end of the winter and onset of spring along the Front Range and high plains occasionally experience extended drought-like conditions. These dry periods are often associated with La Nina phases of the Pacific oceanic region. Like April, the driest Mays usually end the moth with above normal monthly temperatures mainly due to persistent upper level high pressure over the region.
 
 
May normally marks the beginning of the Severe Weather Season, with violent thunderstorms producing large hail, high winds and even tornadoes. These severe storms occur when moisture from the Gulf of Mexico interacts with upper level storm systems moving across Colorado. Many times, higher dew points behind a weak cold front become a focus for severe weather across Eastern Colorado, especially in late May. May is also known to be one of the wettest months of the year with an average precipitation of 2.15 inches. Back in May of 1876, 8.57 inches of precipitation fell which is the greatest monthly precipitation for Denver on record.
 
MAY: DENVER`S WETTEST
 
8.57 INCHES 1876
7.31        1957
6.12        1969
5.06        1973
4.95        1935
 
MAY: DENVER`S DRIEST
 
0.06 INCHES 1974
0.09        1886
0.15        1899
0.22        1919
0.34        1966, 1977

 

 

                                                                                        ...THE OUTLOOK FOR MAY 2012...
 
The climate prediction center long range forecast indicates that while atmospheric circulation anomalies are mostly consistent with La Nina, La Nina is expected to transition to neutral conditions before May 2012. The May temperature outlook indicates enhanced probabilities of above normal temperatures for our region. There is an equal chance of normal precipitation amounts across the region with enhanced probabilities for below median precipitation for the northern Rocky Mountains. With the current weakening La Nina and conditions over the Pacific region, the persistent pattern of periodic windy conditions can be expected to continue east of the Continental Divide.

 

 

                                                                                                 ...MAY STATISTICS...
 
...TEMPERATURES (1981-2010 NORMALS)...
 
AVERAGE HIGH........................... 71.5
AVERAGE LOW............................ 42.7
MONTHLY MEAN........................... 57.1
DAYS WITH HIGH 90 OR ABOVE.............   0.6
DAYS WITH HIGH 32 OR BELOW.............   0 
DAYS WITH LOW 32 OR BELOW..............  2
DAYS WITH LOWS ZERO OR BELOW...........   0
 
...PRECIPITATION...
 
MONTHLY MEAN...........................   2.15 INCHES
DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION.....   11 
AVERAGE SNOWFALL........................ 1.1 INCHES
 
...MISCELLANEOUS APRIL AVERAGES...
 
HEATING DEGREE DAYS.................... 265
COOLING DEGREE DAYS....................   21
WIND SPEED (MPH).......................   10.0*
WIND DIRECTION......................... SOUTH*
DAYS WITH THUNDERSTORMS................    6.4
DAYS WITH DENSE FOG....................    0.5
PERCENT OF SUNSHINE....................   64*
(NOTE: SUNSHINE DATA ARE NO LONGER COLLECTED AS OF OCTOBER 1, 2009)
 
* = 1971-2002 NORMALS
 
...MAY EXTREMES...
 
RECORD HIGH............................ 95 DEGREES ON 5/26/1942
RECORD LOW............................. 19 DEGREES ON 5/3/1907
WARMEST................................ 64.6 DEGREES IN 1934
MAXIMUM COOLING DEGREE DAYS............ 94 IN 1934
MINIMUM COOLING DEGREE DAYS............   0 NUMEROUS YEARS
COLDEST................................ 38.8 DEGREES IN 1920
MAXIMUM HEATING DEGREE DAYS............ 495 IN 1917
MINIMUM HEATING DEGREE DAYS............  99 IN 1934
WETTEST................................   8.57 INCHES IN 1876
DRIEST.................................   0.06 INCHES IN 1974
 
JK/KB


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