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Dave Epstein

Yes, the May weather can turn around

Rain was a regular presence around the Boston area in April.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/File/Globe Staff

The first few days of May have been particularly cloudy and cool after 21 days of precipitation last month. April recorded more days of precipitation than any other month on record. Those records go back to 1872. You have to go back to 1912 to find an April with so many rainy days.

The total amount of rain in the month was above average, but not a record. At 6.52 inches was our wettest month of the year, but there are many other Aprils with more rain.

The number of days with precipitation was so high because rain fell late in the evening on one day and continued into the early morning on the next. This explanation may come as a small consolation for those of you who just think it’s been incredibly wet.


Yes, recent Aprils have been wetter than average but it was a string of years where the opposite was true.

April and May are not sunny, warm months in the northeast. We get some days which are sunny and warm, but the average high in May runs from 60 to 70. It’s not until mid-June through September that we reliably have temperatures that you’d consider warm.

Number of days in May it hasn’t reached 65 degrees.NOAA

I put together a chart with those Mays having a lot of days that reach 65 or higher and those Mays which have a lot that never reach 65 degrees. On average about half the month has readings under that number and half below. Over the past century we’ve gotten warmer.

Years with May temperatures over and under 65 degrees.NOAA

The amount of rain can vary wildly as can the number of days it actually precipitates. May typically has 12 days with some measurable rainfall; that’s quite a bit.

Follow Dave Epstein on Twitter @growingwisdom.