May was another month of extremes. The citizens of the county endured another snowstorm on the first of the month.
After a warm last week of April, there was no way I thought snow would stick from that last snowstorm, but it did. Several inches on the ground did and that made it one of the heaviest snowfalls ever experienced in St. James in the month of May.
We could take perverse solace from the fact that at least we didn’t get the 18.5” of snow they got over by Blooming Prairie, which as the crow files is 79 miles away. That was the biggest May snow storm in Minnesota’s history. Better them than us.
Two weeks later a wedge of blow torch hot air knifed though the area as the mercury climbed to 102 degrees F. That was the all time hottest day in the month of May in St. James. In fact, it is the only time the temp has climbed above 100 degrees in May in this city. That was desert, blast furnace air, bone dry. In fact the heat index was a few degrees below the recorded temperature. So it was a ‘cool’ 102.
That second full week in May was a hot one, with a couple of 88 degree days on either side of the record breaker day.
As for the average of the month there were more below normal days than above normal days.
The average high for May 2013 was 67.8 degrees, while the historic average is 70 degrees, so we were 2.2 degrees below normal. The last below freezing temp was on the morning of May 12, when it 30. A little more than two days later we hit the all time record high.
We had 3.03 inches of precipitation in May, which is a little below the average of 3.55 inches. The timing of the rain and the cool weather did slow down the spring plantings. Farmer’s planting efforts are lagging way behind last year and even the five year average.
That’s the fourth month in a row where we’ve had below average temps. The Updraft blog of Minnesota Public Radio has calculated this below average streak has made Minnesota one of the coolest places on earth in that time period. “It turns out Minnesota has been one of the coolest places vs. average on earth so far in 2013,” the blog writes. The salient fact is the measurement is the variation from the average.
This chill out doesn’t mean global warming is not occurring. The global average temperature for the first five months of the year is the eighth warmest year out of 134 on record according to data provided by the Updraft blog.