May will be remembered as a month that might have been. It might have been a nice run up to summer, but it wasn’t. It was by far the coldest month in 2002. From the 8th to the 22nd there was not a single day with above normal temperatures. During this period from the 19th to the 21st new record daily lows of 29°,31° and 27° were set. For the month temperatures were -5.1°. If there is consolation, it is that neighbors Grand Rapids and Lansing were colder yet.
During the cool stretch on the 20th I versed not all that originally: “Twas the day afore Memorial day and all around the yards it was just .5° above freezing. All the adult children with sailboats said: it’s too cold.
The month did finish with 5 above average days. On the 28th the monthly high of 81° was set. That day the big lake was wind rippled with just a streak of calm or two. The monthly low was 27° on the 21st.
Precipitation for the month was 2.9 inches. This was just slightly below normal by .05 inches.
Typically May sees a decline in wind speed, as warmer weather with lighter winds takes hold. With the cold temps, this May did not see a decline in wind speed. In fact average wind speed was 1.3 knots above average. Windiest day was 23rd with an average of 18 knots. Lightest day was just under a week later at 5.7 knots on the 28th.
South was the most common prevailing wind, felt on 15 days. Cool temperatures were a little more common with south winds 9 days to 6 . It was the second most common wind direction-from the west quadrant- that was a harbinger of cool weather on 10 of 11 days it was felt.
This coolness in May brings the year to date temperature to + 1.82°. This puts 2002 at a warmth level below the preceding two years.
The 30 day outlook predicts a normal June for Muskegon. Normal is an average of 66°, with a typical high of 76° and low of 55°. To make up for the last two cooler than normal June’s perhaps it can rise above the norms and help warm us up from May.
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