Meteorological spring began March 1st and it was a wintry start with gusty winds and falling temperatures and snow squalls. It was not a sign of what was to come for the month of March though as temperatures ended up over 4 degrees above average for the month thanks to 5 days of 70+ degree weather over the last 10 days of the month!! It ended up being the 17th warmest March on record since 1902.
March was a very dry too! 9th driest since 1902!! So since it was a much warmer than average month and dry too, it surely comes as no surprise that it was one of the least snowiest Marches on record too with only 4.6″ for the entire month! Where does the lack of snowfall in March 2021 rank? It was the 7th least snowiest March on record!!
How did we fare in April, the heart of the meteorological spring season? Well, the warmer than average trend continued with an amazing stretch of sunny and unseasonably warm weather right around and the week following Easter! All but one of the days between the 6th and 14th temperatures exceeded 60 degrees, including to days in the low 80s! We did cool down thereafter with about three inches of snow between the 21st and 22nd! Despite the overall cooler last part of April we still ended up just over 2 degrees warmer than average for the month.
We somewhat lacked April showers in Syracuse with just over two and a third inches of precipitation, or about two thirds of an inch below normal. This included nearly four and a half inches of snow which was a little over an inch above average and basically equaled the snow we saw in March! It was only the 8th time since 1949 that the April snowfall was within an inch or greater than the amount of snow to fall in March.
May of 2021 featured some crazy temperature and precipitation swings!
The month started unsettled and chilly with at least a trace of precipitation for the first 12 days of the month, and measurable precipitation recorded in Syracuse 10 of the first 12 days! There also was a trace/coating of snow in Syracuse, but upwards of a few inches over the higher terrain, especially south of Syracuse on the first day of the month. A week later another light accumulation of snow fell over the highest elevations south and east of Syracuse.
After the 12th, while there was a little rain around at times, namely the second to last weekend of the month, Syracuse did not record any measurable rainfall for two weeks!! Even after a little over 8 tenths of an inch of rain fell the last 5 days of the month, Syracuse ended up drier than normal once again with a deficit of almost an inch.
As mentioned above temperature swings in May were significant! The average high temperature for the first 12 days of the month was just over 60 degrees or more than 5 degrees below average, but the next two weeks completely flipped the script!
The average high temperature between the 13th and 26th ended up being 81.5 degrees, or about 12 degrees above average!! The unseasonably warm two week stretch consisted of three 90+ degree days, including a record high of 92 set on the 20th! You may be wondering is it unusual to have 3 90+ degree days in the month of May? Well, the last time that happened was all the way back in 1977! So yes!
If it weren’t for the last 5 days of the month turning unseasonably chilly, especially Friday, the 28th when we only felt the high temperature reach 50, the average temperature for the month of May would have been much higher. By the way, the damp/raw 50 degree high that we had Friday, the 28th ended up being the chilliest day that late in May in 75 years!! Needless to say, it was historically chilly late May day. After all of the big temperature swings, the average temperature for May in Syracuse ended up about 59 degrees, or almost a degree above average.
To sum spring of 2021 up as a whole, Syracuse ended up experiencing it’s 11th driest spring on record since 1902 with a just over 3 inch deficit. It was the 8th least snowiest spring too since 1949 (when snowfall records started being kept at the airport). It was also the 11th warmest spring on record since 1902 with an average temperature of about 49 degrees, or just over 3 degrees warmer than average.
Will the warm and dry weather theme continue into the summer of 2021?? It appears it might at least start that way if the first full week of June is any indication. Stay tuned…