Cool and a Bit Damp: May 2008
Spring 2008 Recap

Dr. David A. Robinson
New Jersey State Climatologist
Center for Environmental Prediction, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/NJAES, Rutgers University
June 5, 2008

The cool and damp conditions of the last few days of April continued throughout the majority of May. As a result, May was the first below average month in the temperature department since last November. The statewide average temperature of 58.1° was 2.4° below normal and ranked as the 23rd coolest May since 1895. The negative departure was the largest since February 2007. The first of the month brought the coldest temperatures, with much of non-urban and non-coastal northern and central NJ at or below freezing, rather unusual to be so expansive this late in the season. Cool mornings were common throughout the month, with Walpack, a rural valley station in Sussex County, dropping below freezing as late as the 29th (30°).

Precipitation was rather evenly distributed throughout May, with the exception being the first 9 days, which were mainly dry. When all events were tallied, an average of 4.55" fell statewide. This was 0.25" above normal and came in as the 29th wettest on record. The wettest day of the month was on the 9th when most areas saw between one and two inches of rain. However, a late season nor'easter on the 12th was the storm of the month. Heavy rain amounted to over an inch near the coast (less inland and to the north), winds gusted as high as 62 mph at Harvey Cedars on Long Beach Island, and the worst beach erosion of the "winter" season occurred. Winds gusted to 30-50 mph in many areas, resulting in some tree damage and power outages.

The spring 2008 (March-May) average temperature in NJ was 0.5° above normal at 51.2°. It was tied with 1922 as the 31st warmest. April came in most anomalously warm, the 9th warmest fourth month since 1895. Spring precipitation totaled 11.21", which is 1.19" below average and the 52nd wettest of the past 114 springs. March and April were below average, with the above average catch of May not making up for the deficits accrued during the first two months.

Past Climate Summaries