May 2021 was a pretty wild month, but in the end where did May rank compared to average?

Weather

The month of May began very similar to May of 2020 with unseasonably cold air and a little snow on the 1st, especially in the hills. A little more snow fell across the higher terrain on the 7th and early on the 8th in the hills too.

Temperatures warmed to above average the 2nd through the 4th when readings climbed into the upper 60s to low 70s, but after the 4th we turned cool again for over a week through the 12th. The average high temperature for the first 12 days of the month was just over 60 degrees, or over 5 degrees below average!

After the 12th, the switch was flipped and we felt unseasonably warm air for nearly two weeks with a record high of 92 set back on May 20th! We also had 3 90+ degree days in this stretch which was the first time Syracuse had recorded 3 days of 90 degrees or higher in the month of May since 1977! The average high in this warm stretch between the 13th and 26th ended up being 81.5 degrees, or some 21 degrees warmer than the first 12 days of the month!!

Then of course we cooled to well below average for the most part the last several days, including the 50 degree high on Friday, the 27th which was the coolest high temperature that late in spring in 75 years in Syracuse! That all said, when you average these crazy temperature swings in the month we ended up only having a slightly warmer than average month by less than a degree thanks to the chilly book ends of the month.

Precipitation was all over the place too for the month! we started with 12 consecutive days with some precipitation around CNY, including 10 out of the first 12 days recording measurable precipitation. We had a surplus of just over a half an inch through nearly the first two weeks of the month.

Then Mother Nature basically turned off the hose for two weeks with very little rain around in Syracuse, but there were some showers at times around areas south of Syracuse the second to last weekend of May.

The last five days of the month we ended up receiving over three quarters of an inch of rain in Syracuse with some areas seeing over an inch due to thunderstorms Wednesday, the 26th and then a good soaking Friday, the 28th for all!

When all was said and done, we ended up with nearly an inch precipitation deficit in Syracuse for the month!

While no one in Central New York is in drought status, the United States Drought Monitor does have the northern part of CNY categorized as abnormally dry.

So yes, we could use some more rain, and it looks like some is on the way in the first week of June.

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