June 21, 2006
A May With Ample Rains
Yes, those earliest spring flowers have retreated into Mother Earth until next spring. My front lawn, once the home — cottage — of a Talmage in 1740, with the old field stone well (not brick), was later a cattle pastures. Much later, it is now my front lawn and each spring when I mow the grass, I cut the star of Bethlehem and grape hyacinth, whose blossoms are located at what was the old cottage's south door. I believe one could call that history saved!
During May's first week, one inch of rain fell, and by mid-May, another two inches. Soil erosion took place "lightly," as it always does in moderate to heavy rain on Bridgehampton's sandy, loam soil.
There were two days during the first week when it was in the seventies. The balance of the month was cool until the last week, when daytime temperatures were in the 70s each day.
The highest was 81 degrees on May 27. It was in the 70s on 10 days. The coolest night was 34 degrees on the first. The balance of the nights were in high 40s and low 50s.
Measurable rain fell on three days; the heaviest was on the 12th, with 2.78 inches. This caused some soil erosion, and all lawns turned green. Total rainfall for May was 6.26 inches; the long-term average for May is 3.82 inches.
Five clear, eight partly cloudy, and 18 cloudy days were recorded. There was fog on three days and thunder and lightening on two days.
June brings weddings and Bridgehampton is celebrating 350 years! Warmer days and less rain, but denser traffic! Local strawberries are in season — who could ask for more?
There has been much talk of coastal storms. Over the years, our severe coastal storms come after July 4 and later. With the increase in temperature and humidity and a warmer ocean, the conditions are fuel for a tropical disturbance. Will be have one or several? Will the "Mighty Blue" overwhelm you? Only when one builds on or near the windblown dunes, which nature made as mild protection. Yes, there is a much better chance of having a tropical disturbance this year because of many factors leading to climate change. A few are: ocean warmer, ocean higher, upper air polluted and getting more so each year. There is also an increase in the number and severity of tropical disturbances each year. Slowly, but inevitably, low eastern Long Island will be water-covered in centuries to come.
RICHARD G. HENRICKSON
U.S. Cooperative Weather Observer
Bridgehampton, L.I., New York