Summary of May 2021 Weather

Bill's Blog

The month of May was a little cooler, drier and just a touch cloudier than average. Above is the monthly summary from the G.R. National Weather Service. Temperatures went up and down. From May 4 to May 15, we had 12 days in a row that were colder than average. Then, from May 16-26, we had 11 days that were warmer than average. We ended the month with 5 days that were colder than average. We had 7 days with high temperatures in the 80s and 13 days with low temperatures in the 30s. The coldest temp. was 30° on the 1st and the warmest was 86°, which occurred 4 times in 6 days (20th, 21st, 22nd, and 25th). There was one record temperature, a record highest low temperature of 65° occurred on May 2.

Rainfall in May 2021

Rainfall was well below average for the month. Grand Rapids had 48% of average rainfall, Holland 52% and Muskegon 61%. Rainfall was especially meager in the I-94 corridor. Kalamazoo had just 19% of average rainfall and Battle Creek had just 18% of average rainfall. We had only one calendar day with more than 1/4 inch of rain. This was also a very “quiet” month with virtually no thunderstorms in West Michigan.

Sunshine totaled 52%, just a few percent below average. We had one day with 100% sunshine (13th) and just one day with 0% sunshine (3rd). The average wind speed was 8.8 mph and the fastest gust in G.R. was 49 mph on the 1st. The average relative humidity was a touch below average at 64%.

Global Temperatures for May – Difference from Average

The map above shows global temperature difference from average for May 2021. Blue indicates areas that were cooler than average and yellow to red indicates areas that were warmer than average. The month was 0.188°C warmer than average – which is pretty close to average.

North American Snow and Ice Cover

Here’s North American snow and ice cover as we start the month of June. Hudson Bay is starting to thaw, but remains mostly ice covered. There is still snow on the ground in Nunavut, N. Quebec and N. Labrador.

El Nino Southern Oscillation Forecast

I’m always looking ahead. This is the forecast for many different models for the El Nino/Southern Oscillation. Will we have El Nino or La Nina for the coming winter? If you check the average of the models (red line) you get a forecast of neutral – sometimes called La Nada.

Winter Pattern in Neutral Phase of ENSO

Here’s a typical winter pattern across N. America with a neutral ENSO. If this is the case, it’ll be a bit colder and snowier than last winter. We’ve had everything from below average snowfall (60.1″ in 2016-17) to well above average snowfall (105.2″ in 2001-02 – that year we really got a bunch of snow around Christmas). Keep in mind that El Nino/La Nina is just one factor in determining seasonal weather.

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