What a month it has been with glorious sunshine and warm temperatures you could have been mistaken it was July. A record-breaking month as well with the sunniest May on record and smashing it by quite a bit and amazingly it was the sunniest month on record. It was also the driest month, more about this below. This month also coincided with the easing of lockdown and people seized the moment to head to the beaches. You know what is going to happen when lockdown finishes the monsoon will start!
The CET (Central England Temperature) came out at 12.49c which was 1.3c above the long term average. Every month this year has been above average by 1c or more, it is therefore on course to be the warmest year on record at the beginning of the summer.
Quite a few records were broken in May, it was the sunniest month with 266 hours of sunshine breaking the previous record of 265 hours in June 1965. An astounding flip in the atmosphere as February was the wettest on record. The jet stream has either been to the north of the UK for most of the month although at the beginning the UK was on the coldest side. But we still had an abundance of high pressure which kept it mostly dry over the UK.
“If we look at the difference in rainfall that’s fallen over the winter compared to spring it is the largest difference in rainfall amount in our national series from 1862.” Mark McCarthy, from the Met Office
The highest temperature of 28.3c occurred at Cromdale (Morayshire) on the 29th, with the lowest temperature of -6.6c at Kinbrace (Sutherland). Achnagart (Ross & Cromarty) was the wettest place in a 24 hour period with 97.2mm on the 23rd. On the 22nd the highest wind gust of 73mph took place at Capel Curig (Gwynedd).
- May was the sunniest month on record
- Spring 2020 will go down as the sunniest on record for the UK
- Driest May on record in England
- Benson in Oxfordshire recorded no rainfall all month
A side effect of the sunny May was that electricity production was coal-free for a whole month, the first time since the industrial revolution, you can read more here in the Guardian.
Its been a record-breaking spring (March to May) over the UK with the sunniest spring since records began in 1910, it smashed it by a wide margin. The previous record was 555.3 hours in 1948 and this spring 626 hours was the final total, increasing the previous record by 70 hours! Another amazing fact is that only three summers have had more sunshine (1976, 1995, and 1989). All countries of the UK broke their individual records as well.
It was only the 8th warmest spring and it was the 5th driest spring.
Its been a relatively warm month after the cold start which in itself was unusually cold, the last third of the month was consistently warm. The highest temperature of the month was on the 20th with 28.4c with the lowest at 0.6c on the 11th. Its been another dry month with 29 dry days and my lawn is brown from the lack of rain. In Watford, I recorded 11.1mm of rain a very dry month and most of it fell on the 1st day of the month with 10.8mm! It has been occasionally windy with some strong gusts but mostly it has been calm settled weather, the highest air pressure being 1031.3mb on 26th.
Looking ahead to June
There will be a rapid change from summer to winter over the first week of June but it wouldn’t be overly wet. There will still be lots of sunshine and the odd shower with high pressure to the west of the UK. With northerly winds moving down from the artic it will be a shock to the system, up in the north there may be snow over the hills. There is also the possibility of a ground frost in the south. Moving further into the month high pressure may return to Scandinavia and bring easterly and SE winds which will be hot. Overall I think the month will only be slightly above average and following the pattern of May.
Summary for May 2020 in Watford
Mean (1 minute) 14.4
Mean (min+max) 14.8
Mean Minimum 7.6
Mean Maximum 22.0
Minimum 0.6 day 11
Maximum 28.4 day 20
Highest Minimum 16.2 day 21
Lowest Maximum 13.6 day 11
Air frosts 0
Total for month 11.1
Wettest day 10.8 day 01
High rain rate 39.5 day 01
Rain days 2
Dry days 29
Highest Gust 13.6 day 23
Average Speed 0.4
Wind Run 306.6 miles
Gale days 0
Maximum 1031.3 day 26
Minimum 990.9 day 01
Days with snow falling 0
Days with snow lying at 0900 0
Thanks for reading you will find some of the various links I use below plus photos of spring 2020, leave a comment if you have enjoyed this summer weather in spring.
Met Office – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/cet_info_mean.html
Met Office Summary – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries
Real-time Watford Weather – https://weather.andrewlalchan.co.uk/
Flickr Spring Photos – https://www.flickr.com/photos/alalchan/albums/72157713458370042
Weather Outlook – https://www.theweatheroutlook.com/twocommunity/
April – https://blog.andrewlalchan.co.uk/weather-in-april-2020/