May in Review: A look back at this month’s weather


May was another interesting month weather wise in southern West Virginia. From snow showers to a tropical depression we really saw all ends of the weather spectrum. Lets go back and review it all in this months weather round up!


When it comes down to the short and sweet of things, we ran below average as a whole on the month (again). Our average high of 67.3°F falls short of the normal average high (70.2°F) by nearly 3 degrees! Our lows fared only a little better with an average low of 48.5°F falling about a degree short of the normal average low for the month of May (49.4°F).

Some notable temperatures we saw this month:

  • May 1st: Bluefield, WV tied a record lowest maximum of 45°F set originally in 1925
  • May 8th: Beckley, WV tied a low temperature record of 30°F set originally in 1910
  • May 9th: Bluefield, WV set a new low temperature record of 28°F, beating the old record of 29°F set in 1923
  • May 9 and 10: A low of 29°F was recorded (Lowest temperatures seen all month)
  • May 15, 16, and 28: A high of 82°F was recorded (Highest temperature seen all month)
  • Days at 80°F or above: 6 (15, 16, 17, 24, 25, 28)
  • Days at 32°F or less: 4 (8, 9, 10, 11)

Precipitation wise, we ran A LOT closer to average than last month. Our normal rainfall is 4.66 inches for the month of May, this year we saw 5.24 inches, meaning we only ran 0.58 inches above normal. Not that out of the ordinary to see fluctuations like that year to year! It’s also important to note May is our second rainiest month of the year on average only topped by July which sees an average of 5.03 inches!

Officially we did not see any measurable snow this month, measurable snow is defined as 0.1 inches or greater, but we did see a dusting on both the 8th and 9th of May. This fits in with the normal monthly average of 0 inches in May.

Days with notable precipitation:

  • May 8th: Beckley, WV recorded a daily maximum snowfall record of a Trace
  • May 20th: 1.16 inches of rain fell in Beckley (Largest 24 Hour Rainfall for the Month)
  • May 27th: Bluefield, WV tied a 24 hour rainfall record set in 1991 with 1.61 inches falling over 24 hours after Tropical Depression Bertha moved through the area

When it comes to the wind, we saw our windy days here and there. Although nothing really to out of the ordinary except for a few instances.

Day with notable winds:

  • May 19th: Beckley, WV saw a maximum wind gust of 42 mph, at the time the county was under a wind advisory due to being sandwiched between Tropical Storm Arthur (which was downgraded later in the day to an extra-tropical system) off the coast and a low pressure system moving in from our west.
Archived Surface Analysis
A surface map from May 19th showing the relative positions of the two lows which helped winds to gust to 42 mph!

This brings Mays’s “Month in Review” to a close, a big shout out to folks at NWS Charleston and Blacksburg, and the Weather Prediction Center who provided all of the data you see here! I’ll see you next month for June’s “Month in Review”!

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