Do you remember the sun? I don't, having not seen her fiery face in days to months to years. With the fleeting exception of Saturday, it really feels like we have lived too much of May inside a giant shower stall, standing inside a giant shower stall, and now the stream has gone cold because we've been in here for way too long.
The Weather, as you will have surely noticed, has developed a taste for chilly drizzle, clouds, and wind-blown rain, leaving me to start each day wailing like David at the Dentist: Bleary eyed and generally affronted and unable to fully wake up from involuntary sleep due to unseasonably snoozy outdoor conditions. "IS THIS REAL LIFE?" I wonder aloud. "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME? IS THIS GOING TO BE FOREVER?" And then I just scream a feverish frustration scream because the answers to those questions, in order of appearance, are: yes; ocean winds; and yes. I take no pleasure in reporting any of this, but I now have it on good authority that May could be mostly the pits, and I feel compelled to share.
According to Tim Morrin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, we currently face (and have faced) a "barrage of weather disturbances," not just here in New York City, but across the "entire eastern quadrant of the country." That's thanks to a "trough of low pressure," which has engineered a "persistent stormy pattern" as high pressure systems simply refuse to replace the outgoing low pressure systems. Instead, storm after storm has followed its meteorological predecessor, explaining why you haven't been warm and dry very much since 2018.
As a result, we have endured much colder temps than is normal for this time of year. Morrin noted that the high on Monday only reached 48 degrees in Central Park, whereas the average high for right now should be somewhere closer to 71 degrees, with lows around 54. Let's take a quick second to math that out.
That's right, yesterday's high was a full six degrees colder than normal, setting a new record for the lowest May 13th high in NYC.
Part of the problem, according to Morrin, stems from chilly maritime air blowing in from the Atlantic. "The ocean is 51 degrees right now," Morrin explained, which has been helping to keep New York City so so cold: Onshore temps won't rise much above oceanic temps if we're being washed by frigid sea breezes from the northeast, as has been the case on about half the days in May so far.
Asked if it would be fair to blame climate change for the current cold snap, as I was admittedly inclined to do, Morrin emphasized that seasonal transitions can be tricky, and two-ish weeks would be way too small a sample size to map the longterm implications. No, Morrin said, we're just dealing with some regular coastal nonsense: "Our ocean and sounds and bays are all still very chilly," he said. "It takes much longer for them to warm up than the land does."
Unfortunately, there's no real end in sight, although we will enjoy a "temporary respite from the storminess this weekend," Morrin said. "That storm as we mentioned will be replaced or displaced by an area of high pressure—fair weather, clear weather, quiet weather, seasonable weather," whatever you want to call it, just better weather. We may have showers on the horizon on Wednesday and Thursday and possibly also Friday, with temperatures ranging from 55 to about 63 tomorrow, and 53 to 68 the day after. Barf, but then things may warm into the 70s on Sunday.
Unfortunately, according to Morrin, "there's no indication of a long-term change in the weather pattern," aside from this handful of warmer days. Settle in, I guess, and take comfort in the fact that when it comes to The Weather, everything is subject to change.