Paul is a full-time fifth-grade teacher at an elementary school in Fairfield ... Paul is a New York Emmy award winner (2007), five-time Emmy nominee, and four-time winner of the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters' Association award for 'Best Weathercast' in Connecticut (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012) ... The local weather journal is a two-time winner of the Communicator Award of Distinction (2012 & 2013) ... Paul was inducted into the Housatonic Community College Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni Award (2012) ... Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulPiorek ...

Monday, June 2, 2014

May Was Warmer & Wetter Than Normal

It was a crazy, roller-coaster ride of temperatures last month across southwestern Connecticut. The last eight days of May featured high temperatures of 68, 75, 83, 87, 59, 63, 71, and 71 degrees, respectively. The average temperature for the month at Sikorsky Airport was 61.2 degrees, which was 2.1 degrees above normal. There were two prolonged streaks of above-normal temperatures from May 1 through May 7 and from May 15 through May 21.

The first seven days last month were warmer-than-normal. However, the average daily temperature was at or above normal all but four of the first 21 days in May. Just 10 days were cooler-than-normal, including two straight on May 8 & 9, May 13 & 14, and May 22 & 23. The last four days of the month were cooler-than-normal, including May 28, which featured a high temperature of 59 degrees just one day after a high of 87 degrees.

The total rainfall last month was exactly four inches, which was 0.2" above normal. There were 13 days with measured rain, including nearly an inch-and-a-half (1.49") May 1, and streaks of four consecutive days with measured rain from May 8 through May 11, and three straight days with measured rain from May 15 through May 17. Seven of the days had at least a tenth of an inch of rain, while three days had more than a half-inch.

Thunderstorms rolled through the region late in the morning of May 22. Lightning struck a tree five feet from a home on Surrey Lane in Fairfield. The photo of the lightning strike appears below. Fortunately, there were no injuries. Nearly three-quarters of an inch (0.73") of rain fell during the day as the high temperature didn't even reach 60 degrees (59).

Thirteen days in May featured clear skies, while 11 were partly cloudy, and seven were mostly cloudy. The hottest temperature last month was 87 degrees (May 27), and the coolest temperature was 47 (May 7). There were 134 hearing degree days, which is 71 below normal. The highest wind speed was 49 miles an hour from the West on May 4. There were four other days with peak wind speeds of at least 30 miles an hour.