It will come to no surprise to anyone that the first half of May (through the 15th) was chilly. Fargo/Moorhead is running about 4 degrees below average so far. As a matter of fact, we’ve been in somewhat of a "May jinx" in recent years. If conditions don’t improve over the last two weeks of the month, this will be our 5th straight colder than average May. Some of our recent Mays have just been lousy for lack of a better term. Here is a summation of the last few Mays:
May 2001 finished 2.1 degrees ABOVE average
May 2002 finished 6.3 degrees BELOW average
May 2003 finished 1.7 degrees BELOW average
May 2004 finished 5.1 degrees BELOW average
May 2005 finished 3.0 degrees BELOW average
May 2006 so far is 4.0 degrees BELOW average
At least 2006 still has a couple of weeks to improve, but if you’re a gardener, our early planting season hasn’t been very good the past few years.
One thing this May hasn’t been so far is wet. I’m sure many of you reading this will disagree, but we’re actually slightly below average so far this month and about 1 inch below average for the year. Granted, one thunderstorm will take care of that deficit, but until it does it has been drier, rather than wetter across most of the valley so far this year (yes, there are a few exceptions).
May has on the other hand been cloudy with "nuisance" rain on several days. We’ve had a few hundredths of an inch on several days this month giving the illusion of a wet month, but climatologically at least through the first 1/2 of the month, it’s just been an average to slightly below average month for rain, at least so far.
There are some indications that North America will see a major weather pattern shift over the next 10 days bringing more 70 and 80 degree days into this area, but forgive me if I say the same thing you’re thinking, I’ll believe it when I see it. In the short term more below average days then above average days are predicted for the rest of this week.