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May 1992 vs 2018 vs 2020


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Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    I don't have the statistics but May 92, 18 and 20 were all very warm ones with lots of sunshine and dry weather.

    Of the three I think 2018 perhaps nudges the other two. 1992 brought hotter temps I think but not as consistently warm and fine.

    Welcome views. 

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London

    1992 was a golden month and probably the one that sticks out for being hot and sunny, with some cracking overnight storms around the 24th to 26ish?

    Similar to May 1989, but a bit sunnier and less humid.

    2018 also on a par with the hot sunny weather and some storms on a Saturday night towards the end of the month.

    May 2020 was a carbon copy of 18 and 92 but lacked the storms. I’ll probably place 2020 as the sunniest one, but 2018 was probably better as it was part 1 of 3 sunny warm months, and it was at the start of the hot spell which would persist on and off until august.

    May 2020 was great, but it was not to be followed by a better period of weather, as by mid June, the long sunny spell came to an end. 
     

    All 3 of them will be remembered and most will remember 2020 more, because of the lockdown. 2018 is probably forgotten if you ask most people now. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
    22 minutes ago, Sunny76 said:

    1992 was a golden month and probably the one that sticks out for being hot and sunny, with some cracking overnight storms around the 24th to 26ish?

    Similar to May 1989, but a bit sunnier and less humid.

    2018 also on a par with the hot sunny weather and some storms on a Saturday night towards the end of the month.

    May 2020 was a carbon copy of 18 and 92 but lacked the storms. I’ll probably place 2020 as the sunniest one, but 2018 was probably better as it was part 1 of 3 sunny warm months, and it was at the start of the hot spell which would persist on and off until august.

    May 2020 was great, but it was not to be followed by a better period of weather, as by mid June, the long sunny spell came to an end. 
     

    All 3 of them will be remembered and most will remember 2020 more, because of the lockdown. 2018 is probably forgotten if you ask most people now. 

    Oh yes May 89 nearly as good. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Manchester
  • Location: Manchester

    I think 2018 was the best in NW England. Although May 2020 was the sunniest month on record nationally, May 2018 was slightly sunnier in these parts.

    I recall day after day of cloudless blue skies and the lawns and grass verges were pretty brown by the end of the month (which continued until August pretty much).

    I was too young to remember May 1992 but it doesn't look as impressive statistically as 2018 or 2020.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    Posted (edited)

    2020 was just rubbish due to lockdown, irrespective of the weather. A sure sign that the weather gods have a certain sense of humour.

    1992 and 2018 were pretty similar in many ways in that they combined warm sunny weather with a change to more thundery weather towards the end. Of the two, I would have to say 1992 because I was so much younger then ... but weatherwise I would say 2018 inched it because it was warm and sunny from the outset whereas I seem to remember a few cool wet days for the first 10 days or so of 1992, before it became much warmer.

    Another similarity of 1992 and 2018 was how an initial warm spell became much cooler behind a cold front, which led initially to fresher but still sunny weather (this occurred around the 16th in both months IIRC) but then the humidity increased and as low pressure setup to the south, the thundery conditions began. In both cases, the thundery weather then, IIRC, remained in place right until the end of the month. Particular memories of 1992 include thundery showers during the afternoon over the New Forest on Sat 23rd, then Sun 24th being warm and sunny near the south coast but with marked and dramatic Cbs further inland, perhaps over the Thames Valley.  Sun 31st was similar I think.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    Posted (edited)
    11 hours ago, Sunny76 said:

    All 3 of them will be remembered and most will remember 2020 more, because of the lockdown. 2018 is probably forgotten if you ask most people now. 

    Not so sure, I'd say 2018 was more memorable because you could get out and do stuff, while you were stuck at home in 2020 and it was almost as if the sunny weather wasn't happening.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
    15 hours ago, damianslaw said:

    Oh yes May 89 nearly as good. 

    what about May 1990 ..wasn't that the sunniest May on record at the time? was pretty warm/hot too?

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    Posted
  • Location: Islington
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing cold snowy winters & unsettled summers.
  • Location: Islington

    Can't speak for 1992 but I remember Mays of 2018 and 2020 very well. In terms of the May I preffered, I'd pick 2020 any day. After a practically bone dry April with sunshine every day, May continued the exact same. The interesting thing about May 2020 is that I do actually remember some quite chilly weather at times during the first half and overall, minima weren't particularly high. I remember a cooler spell into late-April and early-May which brought cold nights, then a brief warm spell on the 7th which got us up to about 25C before a spell of quaint northerlies mid-month which once again brought cold nights. It was only around the 19th do I remember the month turning very warm, but even then I don't remember it feeling humid or oppresive. The dry weather lasted until around mid-June when some isolated but absolute monstrous thundery downpours ended that, then the summer turned very wet overall away from the SE. I think I'm right in saying that it did not rain once from around the 23rd of March until around mid-June where I lived in NW Kent at the time - add to that the boundless sunshine almost every day, it was unbeatable.

    May 2018 was quite a bit different, coming after a generally very wet period that had set in by June 2017. It was somewhat similar in that it got hotter as it progressed, but it was nowhere near as dry. We all remember the very thundery spell that set in around the 25th onwards. We got storms on the 27th/28th, but it was really the 29th that pummelled us actually. During that time, I remember it felt a lot more humid at night and the general feeling wasn't as pleasant as May 2020. Also, I seem to remember some cool and unsettled weather earlier on in the month - so in terms of dry, fine and comfortable weather, May 2020 absolutely trounced '18 for me.

    Looking at May 1992 in the history books, it strikes me as probably closer to May 2018 - it also looks more thundery overall. That was similar to the other two mentioned in that it took its time to get going, and indeed it looked rather unexceptional until the 13th, when the true nature of the month showed its hand. I think the second-half of May 1992 was exceptionally warm and was certainly warmer than both 2018 and 2020. May 1992 was probably more notable for temperature, whereas May 2020 was more notable for its dryness and sunshine and May 2018 for its thunderstorms at the end of the month.

    Let's add May 2017 and May 2008 to the conversation too if we're talking very warm Mays...

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
    4 hours ago, LetItSnow! said:

    Can't speak for 1992 but I remember Mays of 2018 and 2020 very well. In terms of the May I preffered, I'd pick 2020 any day. After a practically bone dry April with sunshine every day, May continued the exact same. The interesting thing about May 2020 is that I do actually remember some quite chilly weather at times during the first half and overall, minima weren't particularly high. I remember a cooler spell into late-April and early-May which brought cold nights, then a brief warm spell on the 7th which got us up to about 25C before a spell of quaint northerlies mid-month which once again brought cold nights. It was only around the 19th do I remember the month turning very warm, but even then I don't remember it feeling humid or oppresive. The dry weather lasted until around mid-June when some isolated but absolute monstrous thundery downpours ended that, then the summer turned very wet overall away from the SE. I think I'm right in saying that it did not rain once from around the 23rd of March until around mid-June where I lived in NW Kent at the time - add to that the boundless sunshine almost every day, it was unbeatable.

    May 2018 was quite a bit different, coming after a generally very wet period that had set in by June 2017. It was somewhat similar in that it got hotter as it progressed, but it was nowhere near as dry. We all remember the very thundery spell that set in around the 25th onwards. We got storms on the 27th/28th, but it was really the 29th that pummelled us actually. During that time, I remember it felt a lot more humid at night and the general feeling wasn't as pleasant as May 2020. Also, I seem to remember some cool and unsettled weather earlier on in the month - so in terms of dry, fine and comfortable weather, May 2020 absolutely trounced '18 for me.

    Looking at May 1992 in the history books, it strikes me as probably closer to May 2018 - it also looks more thundery overall. That was similar to the other two mentioned in that it took its time to get going, and indeed it looked rather unexceptional until the 13th, when the true nature of the month showed its hand. I think the second-half of May 1992 was exceptionally warm and was certainly warmer than both 2018 and 2020. May 1992 was probably more notable for temperature, whereas May 2020 was more notable for its dryness and sunshine and May 2018 for its thunderstorms at the end of the month.

    Let's add May 2017 and May 2008 to the conversation too if we're talking very warm Mays...

    May 08 month of two halves first half warm dry and sunny, second half very wet. May 17 cant recall being particularly good.

    May 90 mentioned that brought a very hot bank holiday at the start I think? 

    May 98 brought a very warm spell middle chunk of the month. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Continental winters & summers.
  • Location: Cleeve, North Somerset
    4 hours ago, LetItSnow! said:

     

    Let's add May 2017 and May 2008 to the conversation too if we're talking very warm Mays...

    Warm yes, but not classics. 2017's summery weather was concentrated between the 22nd and 27th, albeit ending with some of the best thunderstorms I've ever seen in this country. 2008's was concentrated between the 06th and 13th, thereafter it was often dull, and initially cool/cold before turning much more humid again, also with further thundery outbreaks.

    Back to the Mays of this thread... I was born in '92 so don't remember that May obviously. However, despite May 2020 being sunnier and drier than 2018, I would rate 2018 more purely due to the improvement on the spring up to that point, the fact it marked the start of a long period of great weather that would last until mid August, and that the countryside was in a much better state thanks to the recent rain of March and April, so it was like having tastes of summer with springlike scenery.

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    Posted
  • Location: Islington
  • Weather Preferences: Freezing cold snowy winters & unsettled summers.
  • Location: Islington
    Posted (edited)

    Here's some SLP anomaly charts for the Mays we're discussing + a few other ones for interest's sake.

    May 1989 This would suggest a month that's mostly warm by day, but cool by night, with more homegrown warmth/heat and little thunderstorms, also more sunshine.

    image.thumb.png.14af75edc43f4e68ad6c89ceb4c60a3f.png

    May 1990 Despite its warmth and dryness, this pattern would have had more risk of continental muck coming in from the east - and I do know from browsing synoptic charts that May 1990 did have a few cooler spells, you can see this with the blocking further north.

    image.thumb.png.88b6b4682e9c415bd336711d8fe17a6f.png

    May 1992 The anticyclone is centered further away and to the southeast, so its hotter but more volatile with violent thundery imports from the south while overall still a fine month overall.

    image.thumb.png.2c4b27ff2fb20ba9fa695610ad7f506d.png

    May 1998 This May doesn't really get talked about but it comes out as very warm and dry in the record books - this is somewhat surprising with the height anomalies to our west. I imagine it was a month like a much more toned down version of May 1989, with more homegrown warmth by day.

    image.thumb.png.6a1f4e05eb2fc9a0cf31cb5085e47abc.png

    May 1999 This May isn't as dry or fine as the other Mays here but it's a very warm month and it had a very severe thundery outbreak from the 27th to the 29th - it also failed to record a maxima below 15C across stations in SE England.

    image.thumb.png.8b621004ff9193353b4041a149dc2c35.png

    May 2008 May 2008 is a case of when northern blocking can go in the favour of warmth. A bone dry month across Scotland but very wet in the south with repeated thunderstorms. Exceptionally warm first half but it somewhat collapsed in the second half.

    image.thumb.png.eb473044f651f513a4da28c441d4a00b.png

    May 2017 Similar to May 1999 synoptically and perhaps in the weather at the surface as well - both months were unsettled at times but had a very thundery spell around the 27th. Oddly, I don't remember a lot about May 2017 - only vague memories of the hot spell then the thunder after.

    image.thumb.png.1079bea6aea72b5c5ba188c675d0719a.png

    May 2018 Like a blend of 1989 and 1992 in the sense of the anticyclone being centred over Europe but also extending over us and to our southwest. It also shows the thundery tendencies in the south compared to a drier NE. I wonder if eastern regions suffer with fog and haar this month.

    image.thumb.png.10d93a67881dbc92097237232a5563d3.png

    May 2020 Very similar to May 1989, synoptically - more of a tendency for northerly incursions with the eastern Euro trough though. As stated, this was my favourite of the Mays selected in the original post. You can see how the south especially favoured during this month.

    image.thumb.png.a90d45f6d09f986bf413552d47182224.png

     

    Edited by LetItSnow!
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    Posted
  • Location: Perth, Scotland
  • Location: Perth, Scotland

    I’m too young to remember 1992 but it doesn’t seem as impressive as 2018 or 2020.

    I think for me 2018 beats 2020. I think May 2018 was a better month in the north and west. I recall virtually every day from about the 5th being warm, dry and sunny only a brief cool wet day on the 9th made any change. It turned very warm around the end of the month with 25-26.C occurring for me on several days. May 2020 was another fantastic month but I think it probably felt a bit worse purely cause of the coronavirus lockdown at the time. I can remember lots of nice days during it but then I do also remember a few cold snaps during the month as well. I don’t recall much in the way of very warm weather until the end of the month whereas 2018 had warm days throughout.

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    Posted
  • Location: Perth, Scotland
  • Location: Perth, Scotland
    On 10/05/2022 at 23:23, damianslaw said:

    May 08 month of two halves first half warm dry and sunny, second half very wet. May 17 cant recall being particularly good.

    May 90 mentioned that brought a very hot bank holiday at the start I think? 

    May 98 brought a very warm spell middle chunk of the month. 

    May 2017 was a big north south divide from what I can remember. I remember watching a weather forecast I think it must’ve been on the 3rd or 4th with maxima around 9/10.C in the south east but it was nearly 20.C in most of Scotland bar the east coast at the time.

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
    On 10/05/2022 at 16:37, cheeky_monkey said:

    what about May 1990 ..wasn't that the sunniest May on record at the time? was pretty warm/hot too?

    Yes it was hot for the first week or so. Not sure if it was warm all the way, but I remember spring of 1990 was glorious, with a few days of cold weather thrown in. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
    1 hour ago, Harry233 said:

    May 2017 was a big north south divide from what I can remember. I remember watching a weather forecast I think it must’ve been on the 3rd or 4th with maxima around 9/10.C in the south east but it was nearly 20.C in most of Scotland bar the east coast at the time.

    Recall very warm weather around 19th but not alot else. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
    4 hours ago, Sunny76 said:

    Yes it was hot for the first week or so. Not sure if it was warm all the way, but I remember spring of 1990 was glorious, with a few days of cold weather thrown in. 

    looking at the met office records for my location at the time (Essex) May 1989 and May 1990 were all but identical in terms of temp..rainfall and sunshine (probably why I confuse the two)..May 1992 was slightly warmer but wetter and not as sunny.

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
    12 minutes ago, cheeky_monkey said:

    looking at the met office records for my location at the time (Essex) May 1989 and May 1990 were all but identical in terms of temp..rainfall and sunshine (probably why I confuse the two)..May 1992 was slightly warmer but wetter and not as sunny.

    June 1990 was the letdown month wasn’t it, then it turned warm or hot and sunny for the remainder of July and August.

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
    4 minutes ago, Sunny76 said:

    June 1990 was the letdown month wasn’t it, then it turned warm or hot and sunny for the remainder of July and August.

     

    for me June 1990 was the one best summer months i can remember simply because of Italia 90 and some other things  ..i really don't remember the weather at all..was a summer of love and football 

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    Posted
  • Location: North Leeds
  • Location: North Leeds
    Posted (edited)

    Wasn’t around in 1992 so can only compare the last two. 2018 hands down for me. Not just because of the lockdown but we also had the 2 hottest May bank holidays on record in 2018. There was also more variety in terms of storms and it marked the start of a classic summer unlike 2020.

    I also remember the weather broke a bit towards the end of the month in 2020, getting cooler. 

    Edited by Summer18
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    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and warm, sunny summers
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland

    It's an easy win for me. I wasn't alive for 1992 but even so statistically, 2020 beats the band by far. May 2020 was Dublin's sunniest month since July 1955 with 295.0 hours. May 1992 sun wasn't anything special with 204.0 hours whilst May 2018 was relatively sunny but not exceptionally so with 224.0 hours and comparable to May 2017 - which out of the two I prefer 2017. The first 10 days of May 2017 (minus the 6th) were great with clear easterly winds giving plenty of sunshine here, low humidity and non-hazy skies whilst I believe southeastern England had to content with cloud a lot.

    Lockdown rubbish doesn't influence my opinion of how epic May 2020 was. 

    In terms of mean maximum temps, 2020 also beats the other 2. A mean max of 17.3C in 2020 as compared to 16.2C in 1992 and 16.9C in 2018. 

    Oh yeah and to round it off, only 9.3mm of rain in 2020 whilst 2018 had 19.1mm (also very dry) and 1992 had 39.5mm. 

    It's a full house for May 2020 here statistically.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and warm, sunny summers
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
    Posted (edited)
    On 13/05/2022 at 20:01, Summer18 said:

    Wasn’t around in 1992 so can only compare the last two. 2018 hands down for me. Not just because of the lockdown but we also had the 2 hottest May bank holidays on record in 2018. There was also more variety in terms of storms and it marked the start of a classic summer unlike 2020.

    I also remember the weather broke a bit towards the end of the month in 2020, getting cooler. 

    Didn't get cooler towards the end of May 2020, in fact it was very warm with sunshine countrywide leading us into a warm first 2 days to June. The breakdown to cooler weather occurred on June 3rd! The northerly really showed its hand by June 5th with thunderstorms for some on the 6th in the east.

    Edited by BruenSryan
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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    Posted (edited)
    On 13/05/2022 at 09:22, Harry233 said:

    May 2017 was a big north south divide from what I can remember. I remember watching a weather forecast I think it must’ve been on the 3rd or 4th with maxima around 9/10.C in the south east but it was nearly 20.C in most of Scotland bar the east coast at the time.

    In the far south, I don't remember 2017 as being at all exceptional, more like a 'typical' May albeit with, if I remember right, pretty mild nights.

    The first half was persistently easterly, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy.

    There was then an unsettled spell in the 3rd week, a short fine, warm spell of perhaps three or four days in the fourth, weak overnight thunder on the Friday night before the bank holiday weekend, then a dull and unsettled finish.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    Posted (edited)
    On 13/05/2022 at 10:14, Sunny76 said:

    Yes it was hot for the first week or so. Not sure if it was warm all the way, but I remember spring of 1990 was glorious, with a few days of cold weather thrown in. 

    I remember the heat of early May 1990 was probably the hottest early May weather I'd experienced in my lifetime to that date (in a weather memory stretching back to the late 70s). It did seem truly exceptional, but then so did hitting 21C in March. That would actually be an interesting thing to know, when was the last occasion before 1990 when 21C was attained in March? Don't think it happened in the 80s.

    There was then a 'dry cool change' on, I think, Sunday going into Monday and a cool northerly in the 2nd week, at first sunny but then becoming cloudier.

    The rest of the month was, IIRC, very dry indeed but with variable cloud, alternating sunny and cloudy periods. Also there was no further heat if I remember right. There was one weekend I remember being very cloudy and hazy (could have been 12/13 or 19/20) but I also remember quite a few further sunny days (Monday 14th being one).

    With March, July and August also being very warm and sunny, and with the previous summer 1989 being very long, warm and sunny, it seemed like we might be moving into a new regime of better summers. The summers of 1991, 1994, 1996 and 1997 (as well as 1995) also featured long warm sunny spells which further reinforced that impression. Sadly it's all gone wrong since 2007.

    Edited by Summer8906
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    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy winters and warm, sunny summers
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
    21 hours ago, Summer8906 said:

    I remember the heat of early May 1990 was probably the hottest early May weather I'd experienced in my lifetime to that date (in a weather memory stretching back to the late 70s). It did seem truly exceptional, but then so did hitting 21C in March. That would actually be an interesting thing to know, when was the last occasion before 1990 when 21C was attained in March? Don't think it happened in the 80s.

    There was then a 'dry cool change' on, I think, Sunday going into Monday and a cool northerly in the 2nd week, at first sunny but then becoming cloudier.

    The rest of the month was, IIRC, very dry indeed but with variable cloud, alternating sunny and cloudy periods. Also there was no further heat if I remember right. There was one weekend I remember being very cloudy and hazy (could have been 12/13 or 19/20) but I also remember quite a few further sunny days (Monday 14th being one).

    With March, July and August also being very warm and sunny, and with the previous summer 1989 being very long, warm and sunny, it seemed like we might be moving into a new regime of better summers. The summers of 1991, 1994, 1996 and 1997 (as well as 1995) also featured long warm sunny spells which further reinforced that impression. Sadly it's all gone wrong since 2007.

    It last happened in the 1968 record year to my knowledge, just failed in 1989 with a 20.7C I think. Though I haven't looked at the data.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Weather Preferences: Bright weather. Warm sunny thundery summers, short cold winters.
  • Location: Hampshire
    4 hours ago, BruenSryan said:

    It last happened in the 1968 record year to my knowledge, just failed in 1989 with a 20.7C I think. Though I haven't looked at the data.

    Interesting, so a 22 year gap (I was going to say 32, because it seems an awful long time from the 60s to the 90s, before I did the maths...) which is a long time given how relatively frequently we've had 21C in March recently.

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