Up-and-down May finishes on a high

The month of May brought changeable weather to the Capital Region, including thunderstorms, excessiv

The month of May brought changeable weather to the Capital Region, including thunderstorms, excessive heat, cold fronts — even tornadoes.

May started out pretty normal, with dry and warm weather giving the impression summer was on the horizon. But just last week, according to the National Weather Service in Albany, Memorial Day was one of the coldest on record.

The weather extremes confused many local gardeners, who were given the feeling earlier in May that the weather was warm enough to begin planting.

“Some people got in early because we had some of that warm weather,” Amy Klien, executive director for the Capital District Community Gardens, said. “But then they had to replant.”

Despite the cold spells, temperatures this month were above average. Friday’s high reached 91 degrees.

Myla Kramer, director of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Community Affairs in Clifton Park, said the town pools had a good turnout Friday as a result of the heat.

“It has been extremely, extremely busy,” she said. “We have had many, many families come in to get their pool memberships.”

Skip Scirocco, commissioner of Public Works for Saratoga Springs, agreed that the heat was drawing people to the water. The Saratoga spray fountains opened just before Memorial Day and were particularly popular Friday.

“They are up and running,” he said. “I can assure you that people are using them.”

The heat Friday was not all fun and games though. It was so hot that at least one sectional baseball game was delayed. The Class A championship between Scotia and Queensbury was hit by a “heat delay” shortly before the original 4 p.m. start time at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy. The game finally got under way around 5 p.m.

According to preliminary data from the National Weather Service in Albany, the average temperature for this May is likely to be about 59.7 degrees. Despite some above-normal temperatures, very cold days were scattered throughout the month, which became especially apparent over Memorial Day weekend.

“Not as many people came because it was so cold,” Kramer said, referring to the Clifton Park town pool turnout on Monday. “The pool was cold, but the kids that came went in the water.”

The average rainfall for the month was also above average, but May surely did not start that way. The first rainfall of the month was not until May 8 and the first significant rainfall was not until May 21, according to the National Weather Service.

“We have had these really heavy downpours,” Klien said. “Luckily, most of the gardens have stayed pretty well through the rough weather.”

But once the rain started it seemed to never stop. The second half of the month was stormy with constantly changing temperatures, according to the weather service. This May was the eighth wettest May since 1841. The overall rain accumulation finished at 6.65 inches, but some places — such as Clifton Park — topped 8 inches of total rainfall for the month. The average rainfall for May is 3.61 inches, according to the weather service.

Tumultuous weather seemed to be a theme in May, with strong winds and tornados wreaking havoc on the Capital Region just this week.

The month of June may get off to a rainy start, with scattered showers and thunderstorms predicted for today.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

Leave a Reply