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May 2006

(all temperatures in degrees Celsius; all averages 1961 – 1990)

Mean daily maximum: 14.9
Difference from average: +0.6

Mean daily minimum: 6.3
Difference from average: +0.8

Mean air temperature: 10.6
Difference from average: +0.6

Absolute maximum: 21.9 (12th)

Absolute minimum: -0.4 (14th)

Mean grass minimum: 4.3

Absolute grass minimum: -2.3 (14th)

Number of ground frosts: 2

Number of air frosts: 1

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 12.2

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 10.6

(all totals in millimetres; all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 97.3
Difference from average: +45.5

Percentage of the average: 188%

Wettest day: 13.6 (6th)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 18

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 15

3-month total rainfall to 31st May: 183.9
Difference from average: +32.7

6-month rainfall total to 31st May: 270.5
Difference from average: -23.4

12-month rainfall total to 31st May: 629.4
Difference from average: -19.6

(Averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 73%

(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 163.7 hours
Difference from average: -4.8

Percentage of the average: 97.1%

Mean daily sunshine: 5.3 hours
Difference from average: -0.1

Sunniest day: 12.4 hours (10th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 4

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 511.4 hours
Difference from average: -14.9


The mean wind speed: 13.1km/h [7.1kt]
Difference from average: +0.9km/hr

The highest gust: 70.4km/h [38kt] from 252° at 18:00 GMT on 27th


Comments on May 2006
May was a very wet month, 12th wettest since 1852 and the highest may total since 1983. Note that because of ongoing problems with the rain gauge, data kindly supplied by the Environment Agency for nearby Barkers Haugh were used to reconstruct the Durham rainfall record.

Mean air temperature was equal to last year and therefore the equal lowest for May since 1997.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University