May Weather Recap for NJ: Started Slow and Steady, Ended With a Bang
This past May in New Jersey didn't break any monthly rainfall or temperature records, but it was still a noteworthy month on the weather front.
According to Dr. David Robinson, the state climatologist at Rutgers University, May was headed in one direction until the weather of the last week or so completely changed the month's trajectory.
Temperature-wise, New Jersey was running three to four degrees below normal for the month of May until the recent heat spell gave some New Jersey areas 90-plus degree temperatures for five days straight.
May ended with an average temperature of 59.8 degrees, one degree below normal. It was the 49th-coolest May out of the last 122 on record, according to Robinson.
The overall normal temperature for the month of May is about 10 degrees cooler than the normal for June, Robinson noted.
May proved to be a wetter-than-average month across the state. Precipitation averaged five inches — an inch above normal.
"It was in the top 25 percent in terms of wet Mays going back well over a century," Robinson said.
Some locations in New Jersey saw measurable precipitation on approximately 20 of the 31 days in May, compared to the normal of 10 to 12.
Rainfall amounted to about 1.5 inches in the northern half of the state during the first 10 days of May, but more than 3.5 inches fell in some spots along the southern coast.
And the month ended with a "capstone event" on Memorial Day, Robinson said.
The holiday began with a soaking that dropped more than four inches in spots along Interstate 95, from Gloucester County up to Jersey City and Newark.
Through Sunday, despite the rain that seemed to never quit in the beginning of May, the state's precipitation numbers were running below-normal to normal. But Monday's rainfall brought the state's numbers above average.
The northern half of the state did not benefit as generously from May's rain as the southern half. Robinson noted the state's top half is still categorized as "abnormally dry" by the U.S. Drought Monitor.