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50 in May: Chilly, but not that strange

Photo credit: Pexels
Photo credit: Pexels(KCRG)
Published: May. 4, 2020 at 3:23 PM CDT
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Highs on Tuesday will struggle to hit 50 degrees, which is nearly 20 degrees below normal. As chilly as that is, it won’t be a record-cold high for May 5. That award goes to 1944 when the high in Cedar Rapids was just 40 degrees! Three other years had a high of 50 or colder on May 5: 1908 (46 degrees), 1978 (47 degrees), and 1893 (50 degrees). The last time Cedar Rapids had a high in the 50s on May 5 was 2006 when the high was 53 degrees.

For the month as a whole, having a high of 50 or colder has happened in 42 out of 126 years of records (including five of the past seven). So, it’s not especially unusual. The average date of the last high of 50 or cooler is April 22, but it came as late as May 28 in 1906!

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