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Very Dry May Of 1991

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Somewhat forgotten this month considering how dry it was, May 1991 is the third driest on record for England and Wales with 13.7mm

The two previous Mays of 1989 and 1990 were also on the dry side generally but the problem May 1991 had over those two was the persistence of the NEly flow over the country, so it was never going to be a warm May nor indeed a sunny one as they were.

Rainfall %s for May 1991

Stornoway: 55%

Abbotsinch: 7%

Manchester Airport: 13%

Lowestoft: 45%

Cambridge: 30%

Cardiff: 8%

Aldegrove: 13%

Heathrow: 17%

CET was 10.8C

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The following June was a real shocker though. It took until June 28th just to reach 20ºC here, with several days having sub 15ºC maximums.

May had more 20ºC+ maximums than June did that year.

Edited by Sunshine

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I have vague recollections of this month - with a notably dry start but don't remember it being a particularly warm or sunny month - certainly not in the same league as May 89, 90 and esp 92.

I remember June 91 being very cool and cloudy. I went to north coast of France at some stage that month and even there it was often chilly with a strong wind hardly summer like. However, the rest of the summer was quite a good one, the last in a sequence of three good summers after four very poor ones. Summers do seem to come in clusters of similiar types, 85-88 poor cold and wet, 89-91 sunny warm, 92-93 mixed often cool, 94-97 very warm mostly sunny but with some wet months i.e. Aug 94 and June 97, 98-02 mixed with some good months and some poor ones, 03-06 often very good sunny and warm, 07-10 mostly unsettled average temps.

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May 1991 was the driest on record here with just 11.2mm of rain, in fact until April 2011 it was the 3rd driest month of any in the last 35 years. It was also cool, the 7th coolest May since 1977, with frequent N/NE winds bringing a good deal of cloud and very small amounts of rain (there were 11 rain days despite a total of only 11mm).

Sunshine was well below average with 128.9 hrs recorded, a marked contrast to the two preceding years and the one following each of which recorded more than 240 hours of sunshine.

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I sometimes refer to May 1991 when debunking the common assumption that if it is settled and dry, it can be taken for granted that it will be warm and sunny (for "settled and warm equals sunny", which is also common, a better counterexample would be the last week of August 2008). Only limited areas of western Britain had even slightly above average sunshine during May 1991, while in many eastern parts it ranked among the dullest Mays on record.

I think it's a forgotten month for this very reason- not warm or sunny- but statistically it was a very notable month as we don't often get months in the summer half-year which come out exceptionally dry and exceptionally dull over large areas. June 1988 had a less extreme version of this pattern over much of the southern two-thirds of England, with frequent north-easterly winds bringing dry but often cloudy weather.

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I sometimes refer to May 1991 when debunking the common assumption that if it is settled and dry, it can be taken for granted that it will be warm and sunny (for "settled and warm equals sunny", which is also common, a better counterexample would be the last week of August 2008). Only limited areas of western Britain had even slightly above average sunshine during May 1991, while in many eastern parts it ranked among the dullest Mays on record.

I think it's a forgotten month for this very reason- not warm or sunny- but statistically it was a very notable month as we don't often get months in the summer half-year which come out exceptionally dry and exceptionally dull over large areas. June 1988 had a less extreme version of this pattern over much of the southern two-thirds of England, with frequent north-easterly winds bringing dry but often cloudy weather.

It will also be remembered in France and Europe for its notable cold:

http://www.meteociel.fr/modeles/archives/archives.php?day=3&month=5&year=1991&hour=0&map=0&mode=0

http://www.meteociel.fr/modeles/archives/archives.php?day=4&month=5&year=1991&hour=0&map=0&mode=0

http://www.meteociel.fr/modeles/archives/archives.php?day=17&month=5&year=1991&hour=0&map=0&mode=0

http://www.meteociel.fr/modeles/archives/archives.php?day=24&month=5&year=1991&hour=0&map=0&mode=0

The following month had one of the most severe late spring/beginning of summer cold spells ever recorded:

http://www.meteociel.fr/modeles/archives/archives.php?day=3&month=6&year=1991&hour=0&map=0&mode=0

Even The western and norther suburbs of Paris managed to reach sub 0C temperatures that month!!!

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