Cool and Wet Pattern Dominates May 2017

Posted: June 13, 2017, 8:51 am by chewitt

Spring felt as if it would never leave us in May 2017, despite it being the last month of the season. As a result, those wanting warm weather and early signs of summer only got their wish for a few days.

We began May on an above normal note for most, with the exception of New England, which was a bit chilly due to a receding cold front. These first few days left a majority of the I-95 corridor in the 70s and even 80s; only to be interrupted by a rather large storm system on the 5th. The storm moved through the interior parts of the Northeast, delivering a deluge of rain everywhere from Virginia to Maine, with rainfall totals averaging between 0.50 and nearly 2.00 inches. Newark, Bayonne, and Jersey City in New Jersey as well as New York City all saw 3.00”+ amounts within just a few hours, resulting in quite a bit of flash flooding across the area! In fact, New York, NY and Newark, NJ both broke daily records.

Spurts of rain continued afterwards but the passage of a cold front left the entire region under a swirling upper level disturbance, plunging temperatures to 5 – 10 degrees below normal. For almost a whole week it felt as if the dreary skies and damp weather would never go away, especially with high temperatures not budging much from the 50s and 60s. This even caused Baltimore, MD to experience a record breaking low of 36 degrees on the 9th.

Another system then moved up the coast on the 13th and 14th, leaving up to around 2.00 inches of additional rain in parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. A warm front was able to sneak in shortly after, leading to a three day period of record breaking high temperatures from the 17th through the 19th. 15 to 25 degree positive departures left almost the entire Northeast well into the 90s; New England of all places peaked into the mid-90s!

A cold front coupled with severe weather in New England and Maryland then swept all that away, giving way to several disturbances that brought a return to the lackluster weather. Temperatures remained around 5 – 10 degrees below normal for the rest of the month, with another system dumping a general 0.50 – 1.00” of rainfall across the Mid-Atlantic. However, Philadelphia, PA and surrounding areas received over 2.00” due to a rather strong line of storms. Despite the cool weather, high temperatures were still able to gradually slide into the 60s and 70s during this time.

Overall, the Northeast was left wondering if summer would ever come or not. Generally, most cities averaged 0.5 to 1.5 degrees below normal. In terms of the excessive rainfall, for some it was a blessing given that a few areas were still abnormally dry from the preceding drought. In total, almost all areas either met their average precipitation levels or well exceeded it. This was especially evident across the Mid-Atlantic where as many locations from Washington, DC to New York, NY received double or even triple their normal rainfall!

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