Warm May, driest and sunniest for eight years

Warm, dry and sunny
Warm, dry and sunny

Last month was the driest and sunniest May for eight years, according to Armagh Observatory.

Armagh Observatory reports that May 2016 was warmer than average, drier than average and with above average sunshine.

Editorial Image.

Editorial Image.

The mean temperature at Armagh was 12.1 degrees Celsius (nearly 54 degrees Fahrenheit), equal to that recorded two years ago in May 2014. This is approximately 1.5 degrees C warmer than the long-term (1796-2010) average May temperature at Armagh (10.6 C), and 0.9 C warmer than the most recent (1981-2010) 30-year average May temperature at Armagh (11.2 C).

The warmest day (highest maximum air temperature) was 23.3 C, which occurred on the 9th May, and the coolest night (lowest minimum air temperature) was 1.9 C on the 16th. There were 10 ground frosts, the coldest of which occurred on the 16th and 15th May, which had minimum grass temperatures of -5.3 C and -5.0 C respectively. There were no nighttime air frosts.

Total precipitation was 41.60 mm including 4 trace values. This was approximately 72 percent of the most recent (1981-2010) 30-year average May rainfall at Armagh, which is 58.1 mm, making May 2016 the driest May at Armagh for eight years. Hail was reported on the afternoon of the 1st and the wettest day was the 20th with 7.5 mm (just 0.3 inches) of precipitation.

May 2016 returned a total of 209.6 hours of strong sunshine, 21 percent more than the most recent (1981-2010) 30-year average May sunshine at Armagh (173.3 hours).

This was the sunniest May at Armagh for eight years, that is, since the 239.2 hours of strong sunshine recorded in May 2008. The sunniest day was the 31st, with 15.3 hours of strong sunshine, which was the sunniest May day at Armagh for three years.

May marks the end of the meteorological spring (March, April and May). Considering spring 2016 as a whole, it can be described as drier and sunnier than average, but slightly cooler.