In much of the USA, the Memorial Day holiday is not just the day to remember those lost to wars and military service, but it is also the official start of Summer Holidays. It is expected that the Memorial Day Holiday will involve outdoor activities like water skiing, BBQs, days at the beach, or camping in the woods.
It is expected to be warm and sunny.
Not always, and not everywhere, but certainly so in the dry Western Region.
So why was it that when I was just outside thinking of setting up to BBQ lunch, it was overcast, cold (for California… about 62 F an hour before High Noon) and I was being sprinkled on. Not rain. Not even heavy sprinkles. But sprinkles just the same.
WeathernNation(r) on the Roku says it’s a 33% chance of rain. The radar shows scattered bits over the area, and much more on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada up toward where P.G. lives. (Though I think he’s a bit north of it at the moment).
Wunderground is saying my high for the day ought to reach all of 66 F. (18.8 C)
What’s our month been like? Asking Wunderground I get:
Weather History for KSJC - May, 2018 Change the Weather History Date: Month of May, 2018 Max Avg Min Sum Temperature Max Temperature 79 °F 71 °F 64 °F Mean Temperature 67 °F 62 °F 57 °F Min Temperature 57 °F 54 °F 49 °F Degree Days Heating Degree Days (base 65) 8 3 0 67 Cooling Degree Days (base 65) 2 0 0 4 Growing Degree Days (base 50) 16 12 7 299
Let’s compare that the the hot times a 1/2 decade back:
Weather History for KSJC - May, 2003 Change the Weather History Date: Month of May, 2003 Max Avg Min Sum Temperature Max Temperature 91 °F 72 °F 61 °F Mean Temperature 75 °F 62 °F 54 °F Min Temperature 60 °F 52 °F 44 °F Degree Days Heating Degree Days (base 65) 10 4 0 127 Cooling Degree Days (base 65) 10 1 0 34 Growing Degree Days (base 50) 25 12 4 378
We’ve lost 79 “Growing Degree Days” and 30 “Cooling Degree Days”. I note in passing that we also lost “Heating degree days” so 2003 had some colder days in it and was generally ranging further.
In 2003 our Max High was 91 F (33 C), significantly ahead of the present 79 F (26 C).
Where did my “Global Warming” go!?
So what if we look back 30 years to May 1988?
Month of May, 1988 Max Avg Min Sum Temperature Max Temperature 97 °F 74 °F 59 °F Mean Temperature 78 °F 63 °F 52 °F Min Temperature 61 °F 52 °F 43 °F Degree Days Heating Degree Days (base 65) 12 4 0 110 Cooling Degree Days (base 65) 14 2 0 53 Growing Degree Days (base 50) 28 13 2 414
Oh Dear! Hotter still! 97 F. Now that’s BBQ weather. For what it’s worth, the colder days of May, here, are at the start of the month typically. So that 59 F “Min Max” or lowest high would have been some stormy something at the end of April into May. It just isn’t supposed to happen on Memorial Day weekend.
Note, too, the Growing Degree Days at 414. That’s 115 more than this month. 49 more Cooling Degree Days.
Snow In The Sierra Nevada Mountains
WeatherNation just issued a prediction for up to 6 inches of new snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains…
So, to recap, my garden isn’t getting much to grow on. It’s too dank to BBQ. It’s going to be snowing in the mountains and the ocean is so cold you need a wet suit to go in it. This is the first warm party holiday of the summer season?
Snowy Memorial Day Weekend Forecast For Tahoe
For those heading to Tahoe, Yosemite or anywhere in the Sierras this holiday, pack hats and gloves … and maybe chains or a snow shovel.
By Susan C. Schena, Patch Staff | May 25, 2018 11:40 am ET | Updated May 25, 2018 1:23 pm ET
BAY AREA, CA – Heads up for folks planning a Memorial Day, summer kick-off weekend trip to the Sierra Nevada region. A winter weather advisory is in effect today through 5 a.m. Saturday for regions 8,000 feet or higher, according to the National Weather Service.
Snow from 1 to 3 inches, up to 6 inches in some areas, is predicted, along with scattered thunderstorms, lightning and hazardous driving conditions.
“Expect reduced visibilities and chain controls at times,” the NWS said. “Those involved in outdoor recreation and hiking along trails in the high country should be prepared for winter-like conditions.
“Expect snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.”[…]
Affected areas include Mt. Rose, Carson, Ebbetts, Sonora and Tioga passes and high-elevation hiking trails around the Lake Tahoe area, Alpine and Mono counties, Sierra Nevada high country from Yosemite to Kings Canyon, including Tuolumne Meadows and near Tioga Pass, the agency said.
Welcome to summer…