Though it ended cool and damp, the month just concluded was the ninth warmest May in Toledo's recorded history, and completed the warmest spring on record in Toledo, according to the National Weather Service.
The 55.2-degree average temperature during March, April, and May was nearly two degrees warmer than the 53.3-degree average in 1991, said John Mayers, a meteorologist at the weather service's Cleveland office. Seasonal records of that nature go back to 1954, he said.
The warm May augmented the statistical effects of Toledo's record-shattering March, which had a 50.9-degree average daily mean, 3.2 degrees warmer than the old record and 13.3 degrees above the norm.
May's 64.9-degree average daily mean at Toledo Express Airport made it the warmest May in Toledo since 1998. It was 2.5 degrees cooler than the monthly record of 67.4 degrees set in May, 1911.
Three record highs were set during the month, and the 96-degree high on Memorial Day was the warmest temperature ever recorded in Toledo in May. That's the second monthly record high this year, with the 85-degree highs on March 21 and 22 being Toledo's warmest ever for that month.
So far this year, Toledo has had 10 daily record high temperatures.
After a 2011 that was the wettest year in Toledo history, the last two months have been unusually dry.
As of 8 p.m. Thursday, the May rainfall total of 1.39 inches at the airport was 2.07 inches below normal for the month. April had finished with 1.74 inches of rain, 1.45 inches below normal.
For the year through Thursday afternoon, Toledo's total rainfall of 11.17 inches was 2.07 inches below normal and 10.39 inches less than fell during the first five months of 2011.
Some relief for farmers and gardeners arrived by mid-evening, with light rain reported at Toledo Express at 9 p.m., and showers and thunderstorms forecast for overnight, today, and early Saturday.
Mr. Mayers said the U.S. Climate Prediction Center's long-term forecast for summer calls for weather that is dryer and slightly warmer than normal in the Toledo area. He said he did not know the degree to which warmer than normal springs in the past have been followed by unusually warm summers.
While the popular definition for spring in the Northern Hemisphere has the season start on the vernal equinox in March and end on the summer solstice in June, climatologists consider the season to begin March 1 and end May 31.