Miserable May! Weather in Sheffield on course to be the coolest since 1902 - and could break rain records too

Sheffield is experiencing one of the coolest Mays on record – with almost double the usual amount of rainfall so far, new figures have revealed.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 12:57 pm

The Weston Park Weather Station has been a fixture in Sheffield since the late 1800s and is one of the longest continually recording weather stations in the UK.

It has allowed Sheffield weather records to be kept since its inception, and has now shown that this month has been one of the most miserable Mays on record.

Figures obtained by the Telegraph from up to last Friday now show the current average temperature of May 2021 is 8.9 degrees C, the lowest mean May temperature since 1902, and in the bottom five coolest May temperature on record. The figures are from mid month and subject to change.

Rain pours in Sheffield in May, which has seen double the amount of average rainfall already.

Alistair McLean, curator of natural science at Sheffield Museums Trust, said: “The normal average temperature for May is 11.7 degrees C.

"In fact, Since 2015, May has always been warmer than average – 2018 saw the warmest May on record with a mean temperature of 13.9 deg C, thanks largely to a heat wave that saw our highest May temperature on record (26.0 deg C). And perhaps we’ve gotten used to this.”

This month there have also been lows of 1.8 degrees C on May 3, and 1.9 on May 6; both well below the average minimum temperature for May.

Despite the peak-lockdown period of May 2020 seeing the driest May on record, this month has been the opposite story, with double the amount of expected rainfall.

"The other notable statistic is the rainfall,” says Alistair.

"The normal amount of rain for May is around the 54mm mark. We’re currently on over 93mm, and we’re barely halfway through the month.

"2020 saw the driest May on record with just 6.3mm – 2021 could easily turn out to be one of the wettest, although the second half of the month would have to be as wet as the first half to beat the all time May record of 181.3mm of rain recorded in May 1886.

"Interestingly, the rainfall isn’t particularly persistent, but is rather falling in fairly sudden rainstorms, such as the 29.1mm on the 3rd, or the 20.9mm on the 11th. This is all in sharp contrast to April, which was one of the driest on record, with just 6.2mm of rain.”

However, Alistair says this does not mean summer is ruined, and that a cool winter and spring mean Sheffield could witness a ‘reasonable’ summer.

He added: “In terms of prediction, I’m not a meteorologist, but anecdotally speaking, the last couple of years have been significantly wetter than average.

"So you would think that we’re due a drier year. Also, the winter and spring have been relatively cool, and this often suggests a reasonable summer. Fingers crossed.”