Last months weather report contained this, “Here’s a sure sign that winter has ended. The majority of days,17, were considered clear.”
While it’s true winter has ended, it’s also true that May didn’t provide much of a start to summer. Clouds returned with 20 days being cloudy. Temperatures were below normal for the 5th straight month, @ .9 degrees below normal.
High temperature for the month was 75° which occurred on the 9th and 27th. The 9th was not a day of dry heat as humidity was just under 90%. The 27th, if goes to figure, was the day after Memorial Day weekend! Coldest day of the month was the 14th when 31 degrees was recorded.
May was also a rainy month to go along with the cold. 3.61 inches of rain fell. The 1st began this rainy trend with 1.19 inches falling. By month’s end May was .66 inches rainier than normal.
The cold and rain were accompanied by more than average wind. May’s average wind was 9 knots, .2 over normal. The windiest day was the 11th @ 22.6, I noted a “rather gusty and lusty breeze.”Just a few days later the least windy day occurred with the 14th showing average wind of 3.5 knots as I observed the Big Lake, “calm with a far away horizon.”
May’s cold continued to make 2003 in Muskegon a cool year. At the end of May temperatures were 1.14 degrees below normal. Temperatures have not been above normal since last December.
June brings the Summer Solstice on the 21st and the official beginning of summer. The last 3 June’s have seen a high temperature of 89 degrees, this in 2001. The low has been in the 40′s bottoming out at 42° in 2000. With a low of 35° on 2 June 2003, we’ve already beat this recent trend.
Winds in June tend to average below 8 knots. As it warms up, winds tend not to increase leading Great Lakes sailors to often be light air or motor sailing specialists.
For the summer of 2003 the National Weather Service expects temperatures and precipitation to be normal. They base this on the fact that an El Niņo situation is transitioning to a La Niņa. Typically this patter causes a cold spring, which Muskegon has seen, followed by a warm summer. The full summer outlook is at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/grr/news/summerforecast2003/story.html
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