ITHACA, N.Y. — If you felt the need to curl up under a blanket and cry on Sunday, the Voice sympathizes. Officially, the airport only saw a high of 48° F (8.9° C for our Celsius fans) and a trace of snow, but we know some of our readers up at higher elevations saw more than just a trace.
The low was 31° F at the airport and 32° F at Cornell’s Game Farm Road weather station, not enough to break the record of 30° F set at the Cornell weather station in 1936. However, it reached 30° F at the Binghamton airport, and at the Elmira/Corning airport, temperatures dipped as low as 27° F.
Yesterday was a little warmer, but those gusty winds mixing down from the higher altitudes did their part to keep conditions brisk.
The same frosty story played out over much of the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast during the weekend and into Monday – record low temperatures and a coating of the stuff, not enough to be a hassle but definitely a blow to the morale of warm weather-lovers. Parts of Maine picked up as much as 8 inches of snow. Mother Nature seems to have confused March for May.
The cause of this can largely be tied to a persistent jet stream pattern that established a ridge of high pressure over the western part of the U.S. earlier in the month, while cooler, stormier conditions were the norm for us here in the east. Fairbanks, Alaska averaged warmer temperatures than Washington D.C. last week.
With that latest cold blast fresh on everyone’s minds, it’s worth pointing out that while temperatures are below normal so far this month, it’s not terribly so. Right now, the average temperature for May 2016 is 50.1° F (10.1° C), which is about 3.0° F below normal. The last time the first half of the month was this cold was only about 11 years ago, May 2005. According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center based out of Cornell, May 1966 is by far the worst, at 43.6° F.
For what it’s worth, after some cool-ish temperatures and showers associated with a weak upper-level trough of low pressure pass through today, we should be seeing a warm-up and sunny skies through the remainder of the week, as a ridge in the jet stream and high pressure finally start to build over our region.
The National Weather Service office in Binghamton is calling for mostly sunny skies to prevail through the weekend, with high temperatures climbing from mid 60s F on Thursday to mid 70s by Sunday. That does, however, depend on a low pressure system remaining weak and far enough off the coast to spare us, something the weather models aren’t 100% in agreement on just yet.
Chances are better than average that Ithaca and Tompkins County should see warmer than normal conditions heading through the rest of the month.