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Cooler start to May in the cards 🃏
👋 Greetings! This week, I’m writing to you from… not New Zealand, not Chicago, but the Hudson Valley!
It’s great to be back in these friendly confines and seeing places and faces old and new. If you see mine, don’t be shy, say hi 😁
As for the weather that we’ll be experiencing this week, sorry to say that I forgot to pack New Zealand’s sub-tropical climate in my bag 🙃
Instead, it’s a steady stream of air from Canada, courtesy of a slow-moving upper atmosphere disturbance over the northeastern quadrant of the country.
Believe it or not, flakes will fly across the Great Lakes, Appalachians, and interior Northeast ❄️
But it will get better with time! Here’s how it looks for us:
Monday: not too bad — a mix of sun and clouds and breezy with scattered, passing afternoon showers 🌬️
Tuesday: breezy, cooler, and with more widespread showers than Monday — April-like 😬
Wednesday: similar to Tuesday — some small hail can’t be ruled out!
Thursday: similar to Tuesday and Wednesday ♻️, but showers not quite as widespread
Friday: hopefully drying out and turning milder 📈
Saturday-Sunday: a warming trend with more sunshine 😎
The week of the 8th currently looks like it will probably be drier than normal with a more substantial warming trend possible toward the end of the week (after the 12th).
A region in bloom 🌸
The amount of greenery and flowers in-bloom has been very noticeable during the early stages of my trip. As I’ve mentioned previously, spring leaf out has been well ahead of schedule this year.
The birds and bugs are busy too!
A downy woodpecker enjoying some suet — and getting a visit from an unwanted guest! 🐿️
May weather outlook
May is a month of rapid change. The average high temperature increases from the mid 60s in the beginning to the mid 70s by the end of the month.
But did you know that May is the month with the 4th-smallest temperature change in the Hudson Valley over the last 8 decades?
Winter has warmed considerably in our region, but the change during spring has been smaller.
I analyzed May air temperatures from 1940-2022. When comparing the first 30 years of that period with the last 30 years, the result is a temperature increase of 1.7 degrees.
Compare that with the other spring months: March has exhibited a warming trend of 2.3 degrees and April 1.9 degrees.
This chart shows the monthly temperature trends in our region — all months have warmed, but December has warmed the most (3.8 degrees), while October has warmed the least (0.6 degrees).
May 2023 is looking consistent with the trends described above — it’s unlikely to be a month that’s sharply warmer than average.
A climate driver called the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) will “grab the wheel” of Mother Nature’s car. The MJO, as I’ve explained previously, is a cluster of tropical showers and thunderstorms that circumnavigates the globe every 30-60 days. Its location (also called a phase) can influence weather patterns across the planet.
In early May, the MJO will tour some phases that typically result in cooler conditions across the eastern states.
This may transition toward a warmer pattern in the middle part of the month as the MJO changes phase again, before potentially turning cooler than average again late.
When it comes to precipitation, May is one of five months that is trending drier. In fact, only November has had a stronger drying trend than May.
This chart shows the monthly precipitation trends in the Hudson Valley — October has had the largest wetting trend while November has dried the most.
Despite the showery start, May isn’t showing a strong signal for above normal rainfall. In fact, the first few weeks of the month could lean drier than normal.
A cooler, somewhat drier, May? Doesn’t sound too bad to me. Hopefully you feel the same.
Thanks for reading and make it a great month! See you around ✌️