Was Spring 2020 nicer than usual?
Was it just me, or did we have really pleasant weather over the last few months… like the kind of weather that makes you want to be outside? Or, did we just spend more time outside than usual due to the coronavirus quarantine? Perhaps, it was a little bit of both.
As is typical for the WBRZ Weather Team, we let data do the talking. There are a couple of (subjective) ways to characterize “nice” weather. For these purposes, we picked three: sun, mild temperatures and low humidity.
Before sharing our results, these parameters were used. Data was collected from March, the beginning of climatological spring to June 20, or about the time that astronomical summer begins. Climatological spring ends on May 31, but we included a chunk of June because we wanted to see what the data said about a cold front that passed in Mid-June allowing for some unseasonably low humidity. Due to the limited availability of dew point data, which we use to gauge humidity and how it is feeling outside, our time period will just go back to 2006.
First, the easy one: rainy versus dry days. 2020 was not much different from an average year. 47 of the 112 days in 2020 registered rain whereas the 19-year period averaged 45 days with rain. Actually, May had a significantly higher number of days with rain (15) compared to average (11.6).
Second, temperatures also did not stray very far from normal. March was significantly warmer than usual while April, May and June were all within a degree or so of average.
Third, we categorize the humidity: dew point temperatures. Here there was a mixed bag of results. March and April 2020 were slightly more humid (higher dew points) than previous years while May and early June were slightly less humid (lower dew points). However, none of the numbers were significantly (statistically) different from the averages. It is possible that since the months of May and June were a little less humid than usual, that helped the perception of a more comfortable spring because those months are when higher humidity truly begins to return for the warm season. So, any breaks, are noticeable and welcome!
The bottom line is that data does not necessarily prove our spring weather was any nicer than usual. It is possible some of us perceived this just by virtue of being able to spend more time outside than in years past. See, it’s not so bad out there!