May in Olympia, WA third-coldest on record

The colder weather wreaked havoc on crops, thinning the selection in the early weeks at farmers markets. When the Tumwater Farmers Market opened late last month, farmers said their crops were about one month behind schedule.

16 hours of sun? Must be summer solstice in Olympia

theolympian.com | Jun 22, 2011

by NATE HULINGS

OLYMPIA – Olympia soaked up nearly 16 hours of sunlight Tuesday, a feat celebrated by dozens who took part in the Native American Summer Solstice Medicine Wheel Ceremony at Heritage Park in downtown Olympia.

From dawn until dusk, group members sang, danced and drummed, celebrating the summer solstice and praying for peace and preservation of the Earth.

Others enjoyed a walk or bike ride around Capitol Lake or a quick lunch break in the sun.

Feeding olives to his two young daughters in the shade, Brian Boulay of Olympia said the warmer weather is nice, but that his family spends time outdoors regardless the temperature.

“We’re of the philosophy it’s not the wrong weather, it’s the wrong clothes,” he said.

As Mike Kelly geared up for his daily bike ride in Olympia, he said living in the Northwest means that if you want to get outdoors, you need to be ready for all types of weather. That’s not to say the sun isn’t a welcome sight.

“It feels good on the bones for sure,” he said. “The best part is everyone is in a good mood. When it’s gloomy, people are gloomy.”

And boy, was there a lot of gloom this spring.

After one of the region’s coldest Mays on record, temperatures in June are below average and long-range forecast models can’t decide what kind of summer Mother Nature is going to provide, said National Weather Service meteorologist Johnny Burg. Temperatures this month are averaging about 1.5 degrees below normal, he said.

Spring took its time delivering the first 70-degree day, holding out until May 18 – only two days before the record for that benchmark’s latest arrival, set in 1948. That’s the year temperatures first were measured in Olympia, Burg said.

“It’s going to be equal chances that it could be above, below or near normal,” Burg said. “It’s kind of a wait-and-see what happens.”

The average temperature in Olympia this May was the third-coldest on record. The colder and wetter spring can be blamed on La Nina, Burg said.

The colder weather wreaked havoc on crops, thinning the selection in the early weeks at farmers markets. When the Tumwater Farmers Market opened late last month, farmers said their crops were about one month behind schedule.

A long stretch of 70-degree days still could be a ways out. Clouds are expected to return today, dropping the temperate about 10 degrees from Tuesday. Drizzle and a chance of showers are forecast the rest of the week, with highs in the low to mid-60s.

As for July 4?

Forecast models show colder conditions and more precipitation than normal through Independence Day, but that doesn’t mean we’ll have a cold, wet holiday, Burg said.

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