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May 2022


May 2022

Temperatures (all temperatures in degrees Celsuis; all averages 1991-2020)

Mean daily maximum: 16.4   Difference from average: +1.0

Mean daily minimum: 8.4      Difference from average: +1.9

Mean air temperature: 12.4    Difference from average: +1.4

Absolute maximum: 21.8 (14th)

Absolute minimum: 3.2 (8th)

Mean grass minimum: 6.4      Difference from average: +1.8

Absolute grass minimum: 0.9 (8th)

Mean concrete minimum: 8.5

Absolute concrete minimum: 4.1 (8th)

Number of ground frosts: 0    Difference from average: -4

Number of air frosts: 0           Difference from average:

Mean soil temperature at 300 mm depth: 13.6

Mean soil temperature at 1000 mm depth: 11.8

Rainfall (all totals in millimetres; all averages 1991-2020)

Total for the month: 51.2        Difference from average: +6.7

Percentage of the average: 115

Wettest day: 11.6 (15th)

Number of rain days (>0.1 mm): 17   Difference from average: +3

Number of wet days (=>1.0 mm): 13

3-month total rainfall to 2022 to 31st May 2022: 119.2             Difference from average: -40.2

6-month total rainfall to 2022 to 31st May 2022: 265.8             Difference from average: -88.9

12-month total rainfall to 2022 to 31st May 2022: 591.8          Difference from average: -89.2

Sunshine (all totals in hours; all averages 1991-2020)

Total for the month: 162.1                  Difference from average: -24.9

Percentage of the average: 87 %

Mean daily sunshine: 5.2       Difference from average: -0.8

Sunniest day: 8.8 (14th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 1

Note that the monthly sunshine total is now calculated from the UKMO E&NE regional total. Daily sunshine totals quoted here and in the data summary are uncorrected.

Wind (kph; all data from the West Building roof, Lower Mountjoy campus)


Average wind speed:

Maximum gust:

Comments on May 2022


Of course, no sooner than Durham weather and climate since 1841 (Burt & Burt, OUP) was published earlier this month, records were bound to be broken. Whilst there were no heatwaves – 79 Mays have had higher absolute maxima – the temperature was notably high, especially at night. The mean maximum is the equal 18th highest since 1844, whereas the mean minimum is the highest on record, beating the previous record set in 2017 (8.0 °C). Taken together, the mean air temperature is the equal 4th highest on record (with 1952). There were no ground frosts this May; the average number is four.

Rainfall was close to average, but there were three more rain days than usual. All long-period rainfall totals are now well below average. There was less bright sunshine than normal.

This was the 4th warmest spring on record at Durham since 1844 (9.5 °C); only 2011 (9.7 °C), 2017 and 2004 (both 9.9 °C) have been warmer. Nevertheless, the absolute maximum was only 21.8 °C 14th May. The mean maximum (13.8 °C) was the equal 7th highest on record while the mean minimum (5.1 °C) was the equal 4th highest. Despite a duller than normal May, totals sunshine hours this spring were well above average (526.2; +64.5), the 9th sunniest spring since 1880. It was a dry spring (119.2 mm), but not exceptionally so, the equal 69th driest on record.

Emeritus Professor Tim Burt

Department of Geography

Durham University

[email protected]