Memorial Day Climatology

Memorial Day 2014 is upon us! What started as ‘Decoration Day’ in order to honor the graves of fallen soldiers just after the Civil War, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday in 1971. After that declaration, the holiday was observed on the last Monday of the month of May. Since the date changes from year to year, there is no statistical ‘normal’ from a climatology standpoint.

However, daily weather observations have been recorded for Rockford since 1905. Since records began, the majority (42%) of Memorial Days have had high temperatures in the 70s (41 out of 106 data years). About 26% of Memorial Days have had a high temperature in the 80s (28 out of 106 data years). This year, we’re going to be in the 80s! Last year, of course, was the 7th coolest high temperature for any Memorial Day at 61 degrees! It was also a little rainy.

Memorial Day Statistics

Memorial Day Statistics

Does it always rain on Memorial Day? A lot of people have been asking this question lately. The answer of course, is no, but it’s not a solid no. If history proves anything, we’ve got about a 50/50 shot at seeing at least some rain on Memorial Day! Since records began in Rockford, 52 Memorial Days have had rain while 55 have not! The wettest Memorial Day occurred in 1916, with 1.65 inches of rain falling in Rockford. May 28, 1984 was probably the most miserable Memorial Day from a weather standpoint: the high temperature was only 47 degrees with just over an inch of rain! This year, it looks like we’ll have to dodge some scattered showers and thunderstorms.

-Joe

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Posted under 13 Climate Authority, record weather, statistics, weather

This post was written by qni_it on May 25, 2014

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