Monthly Summary - May 2019

 Cool, often dull, but with rainfall well below average - number of ground frosts above average

    Whilst the month may have been very dry with no meaningful rainfall, only two days saw in excess (just) of 5 mm, it did not disguise the fact that it was overall a disappointing month.

  Cool and dull conditions were common, especially up to the 11th and then again in the final week of the month. During the 3rd - 10th all but one day remained below 10°c and with a number of cold nights in this period as well, May had got off to a poor start and one from which it never really recovered.

  The best part of the month fell during the 12-16th when high pressure was dominant bringing reasonably warm temperatures along with sunny days. However, the month still only saw two days attain 20°c, less than that of April!

  Rainfall during the month tended to be light and patchy, showers being common at the start of the month and then with drizzly and/or showery conditions from the 25th through to the month's end. In between it was virtually dry apart from a few showers on the 20th.

  The number of ground frosts recorded was the most in the 11 years of records and whilst both the mean minimum and maximum temperature were well below average, the mean minimum was notably below and the lowest in my records.

  MSLP of 1017.1 Mb was +2.1 Mb above the local average for the month and overall a mean minimum of 4.27°c and a mean maximum of 14.33°c saw the temperature 1.16°c below the ten year average for this site.

  It was the coldest since 2015 and of the eleven now recorded, one has been colder and nine warmer. The highest maximum temperature recorded was 21.3°c (15th), the lowest minimum -1.0°c (10th and 12th).

  Rainfall of 23.3 mm (Crosby Ravensworth School 24.5 mm - Castlehowe Scar 36.4mm - Reagill 29.0 mm) was 37.1% of average for 2008-18 and made it the driest May since 2010 - of the 12 now recorded ten have been wetter and one has been drier.

  During the month, the following was recorded: hail fell on one day (4th), fog on one day (31st) - Swallows/House Martins finally made their first appearance on the 2nd May, the latest such date in my records.

  At the Met' Office site at Newton Rigg, rainfall of 41.6 mm (74.2%) was the wettest since 2015 and in a series back to 1900 May has been wetter in 84 years and drier in 35.

  A mean temperature of 9.54°c is 1.1°c below the average for 1981-2010 and in a complete record back to 1914 (3yrs of missing data) May has been warmer in 73 years and colder in 29.

  Locally, rainfall percentages saw a north/south split in the county - the southern half been very dry, the northern half becoming closer to average and with an area around the Solway coast having rainfall slightly above the average.

  Figures from the Environment Agency’s rainfall sites were, (figure in brackets being the monthly average for 1961-90)   ‘Data kindly provided by the Hydrometry and Telemetry team of the Environment Agency (Penrith)’:

  Kirkby Thore ** mm (48.0 mm)

  Haresceugh Castle (Kirkoswald) 66.83 mm (61.1 mm)

  Brothers Water 81.86 mm (138 mm) and

  Orton (Shallowford) ** mm (87.1 mm [average for 1967-2018])

  152.8 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 169 mm [average for 1981-2010]).

  ** not available due to faulty gauges.



  Here at Maulds Meaburn, the season finished very average for temperature - whilst April was close to average, May then cancelled out a warmer than average March. Despite drought like conditions during April and which along with May were drier than average, it still managed to be the second wettest spring in my records - all due to a very wet March.

  Spring 2019 with 249.6 mm of rain at Maulds Meaburn (Crosby Ravensworth 284.3 mm) has been the wettest since 2015 and is the 2nd wettest of the twelve now recorded. That 249.6 mm represented 127.8% of the rainfall for those previous eleven springs.

  A mean temperature of 7.90°c is exactly in the middle of the eleven recorded, being just 0.06°c warmer than the average of those previous ten - bang on average.

  At Newton Rigg rainfall totalled 258.0 mm and had a mean temperature of 7.97°c. In comparison to the 1981-2010 averages this represented 140.1% of spring rainfall and the mean temperature was slightly above average at 7.97°c by 0.2°c.

  In a series back to 1900 (1 year of incomplete data), spring 2019 was the 10th wettest and in a complete series back to 1952 (1 yr with data missing), 22 have been warmer and 45 have been colder.


  General Synoptic Report for the Month

   May commenced with cool conditions that would persist well into the month which apart from a brief ridge of high pressure (HP) and a northerly flow 4-6th, saw low pressure (LP) in the ascendency. Despite this rainfall was still light and infrequent, a number of heavier showers on the 2nd is all that it would take to make it the month's wettest day with 5.7 mm.

  That northerly flow 4-6th saw a dip in night-time temperatures and whilst the 4th just missed out on an air frost, the 5th and 6th did not. Despite that ridge of HP sunshine was very limited with cloudy skies prevailing; day-time temperatures were consistently below 10°c.

  There was a little rain and or showers 6-10th with skies now more overcast; the 8th being the month's coldest day at just 8.7°c as LP in Biscay, moving NE brought a cool ESE-ENE'ly. The 9th was then a virtual repeat before that LP slowly moved away and a slack pressure gradient formed behind.

  That slack pressure gradient would be replaced by HP becoming established from the west, moving across the UK and then sitting out in the North Sea during the 10-16th and this would be the best period of the month.

  Still cool at the beginning of this period with both the 10th and 12th having an air frost of -1.0°c (30.2°f), but with decent amounts of sunshine, day-time temperatures began to climb and both the 14-15th topped 20°c, the latter the warmest day of the month at 21.3°c (70.3°f).

  This was also the driest period of the month with very little rain between the 11-24th, however, temperatures did start to fall away, settling within the range of 15-17°c. A slight ridge of HP 21st-24th saw more in the way of sunshine and cooler night-time temperatures.

  The final week of the month became unsettled and cooler with overcast skies and spells of drizzle. The 25th with 5.2 mm of rain was the wettest day of the period after which totals were very light.

  Temperatures fell into the range of 13-15°c 27-29th with a ground frost recorded on the 29th. Then the last two days of the month were poor - drizzle virtually throughout, the 31st being especially murky at first and counting as 'a day of fog' with visibility severely reduced, albeit its night-time minimum of 12.1°c was the highest of the month! However, the temperature (14.5°c) during the day barely recovered at all.


May Rainfall Anomalies %                                                                                    May Temp' Anomaly   



   Rainfall totalled 23.3 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 13 days of which 6 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 9.30°c      --      The Mean Max' was   14.33°c     --      The Mean Min'   4.27°c.

   We had 4 Air Frosts in the month (year 33)                --      Grass frosts totalled 12 (year 76).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 9.5°c on the 10th        to      a high of 13.2°c on the 31st     --      with a monthly mean of 11.7°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 9.5°c on the 1st, 2nd, and 10-12th      to      a high of 11.4°c on the 28th     --     with a monthly mean of 10.3°c



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The Oldest Inhabitant    An Inch Of Scotch Mist    But it's meant to be Summer (Summer 2017)  


© Darren Rogers 2010-19

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