If you thought this past month was a scorcher, you’d be correct! In fact, May 2022 will go down in the record books as the hottest May that San Antonio has experienced since detailed record-keeping began 137 years ago.
Just how hot?
Official weather information, including temperature, has been collected from the weather station at the San Antonio International Airport since 1942. Before that, records were kept at the San Antonio Weather Bureau Offices in downtown San Antonio and Fort Sam Houston.
The average temperature -- the average of the daily lows and highs -- for May 2022 was 83.0°. That’s 6.6 degrees above average! Just about every single day was hot, with only four days being cooler than average.
And it wasn’t just the average temperature that was hot! In fact, the daily high temperature for May 2022 averaged out to 94.8° -- the hottest on record.
Several record highs broken
Over the course of the month, eight record highs were either tied or broken:
|DATE (2022)||NEW RECORD (2022)||OLD RECORD (YEAR)|
|Saturday, May 7||101°||100° (1998)|
|Monday, May 9||97° (Tie)||97° (2008, 1967)|
|Saturday, May 14||97° (Tie)||97° (2003, 1995)|
|Sunday, May 15||98°||96° (2003)|
|Monday, May 16||97° (Tie)||97° (2013, 2003)|
|Tuesday, May 17||100°||97° (2013, 2003)|
|Wednesday, May 18||101°||98° (2018)|
|Saturday, May 21||101°||98° (1939)|
May is typically our rainiest month in San Antonio, with over 4 inches of rain usually recorded. Unfortunately, this year, only 0.86″ of rain fell at the San Antonio International Airport. That makes May 2022 the 10th driest on record.
May and June are usually rainy months, and the lack of rainfall will likely lead to worsening drought. Not good news when you consider parts of the San Antonio metro area are under Extreme and Exceptional Drought.
What does this mean for summer?
Often, by the time we’re entering June, soils are somewhat saturated from healthy May rains. With dry soils, the atmosphere will more easily warm. This could mean a hotter June, July, and August where we could potentially have more triple-digit days than average.
Last year, we hit 100 degrees for the first time in September. This year, we have already had five triple-digit days in May alone.
Why so hot?!
The primary reason for our unusually hot May is because La Niña conditions are ongoing. La Niña is a climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean, which usually results in warmer, drier weather for South Central Texas.
That being said, climate change causes Texas temperatures to average about two degrees warmer than in the 20th century, thus giving May 2022 the “edge” ahead.
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