May was wet, but it didn’t set a record |

May was wet, but it didn’t set a record

ASPEN ” Yes, indeed it was an incredibly wet May, but nothing close to a record, according to statistics tracked at the Aspen Water Plant.

It rained 12 days during the month, including six consecutive days late in the month, which helped shape perceptions of a particularly soggy month. The total rainfall for the month was 2.54 inches.

“It’s seems like the western half of the continent has fallen off and now we’re Seattle,” quipped Jim Markalunas, a longtime Aspen weather watcher.

One oddity last month was the lack of snow. The water plant recorded only 2.5 inches of snow on May 4. Markalunas said Aspen often gets more snow and a hard freeze or two, but temperatures stayed warm last month.

It snowed on four days in May 2008 for a total of 12.7 inches. The snowfall average for May is 4.75 inches, according to the water plant’s records.

The records are a bit fuzzy on average precipitation amounts for May. One notation in the water plant’s records said the average was 1.82 inches; another page of data showed the average was 2.36 inches between 1961 and 1990 and 2.13 inches between 1980 and 2005.

Regardless, it’s clear that May 2009 was above average ” as hikers, cyclists, gardeners and others who enjoy the outdoors can attest after dodging numerous storms.

May 2008 was a smidgen wetter than this year, with 2.56 inches of precipitation.

May 1995 ” the year it wouldn’t quit snowing ” ended up with 5.41 inches of precipitation, the highest since 1951.

May 2002 ” the year of the drought ” saw only 0.21 inches of precipitation for a record low.

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