May is the month where we are supposed to reap the benefit of all those April showers but May is usually a wetter month. May is one of our wetter months on average. National averages 3.82" of rain while Dulles averages 4.22" for the month of May. May is the wettest month climatologically for Dulles. The wettest May on record brought 10.69" of rain. This exact amount fell twice in 1889 and 1953. I remember the fifth wettest May in 1989. We received 7.77" of rain. Who can forget May 2003 ? That is the sixth wettest May on record with 7.06" of rain. It rained twenty days that month ! The hottest temperature recorded in May is 99 set back on May 31, 1991. The latest snowfall occurred on the tenth of May in 1906. Tropical season begins June first but back in May of 2007 we had the earliest named sub-tropical storm, Andrea on the sixth. May warms up nicely; the average high today is seventy two. By the end of the month the average high rises to eighty one degrees.
Early May will feature Jupiter high in the western sky with Venus low in the west-northwest sky right shortly after sunset. On May 19th Mercury re-appears and forms a line with Venus and Jupiter all low in the west-northwest sky. We will be able to see Jupiter and Venus with the naked eye but will need at least binoculars to spot Mercury. Saturn will put on a show all month in the southeast sky after nightfall. There will be a new moon on Thursday the ninth. The 'Full Flower' moon will occur on Saturday the 25th. May is a great month to star gaze as it is warmer but the air is still clear. Remember to move away from lights for best viewing.