Average Weather in May in Madison Wisconsin, United States
In Madison, the month of May is characterized by rapidly rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing by 10°F, from 65°F to 74°F over the course of the month, and rarely exceeding 85°F or dropping below 52°F.
Daily low temperatures increase by 10°F, from 44°F to 54°F, rarely falling below 33°F or exceeding 64°F.
For reference, on July 19, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Madison typically range from 64°F to 82°F, while on January 28, the coldest day of the year, they range from 13°F to 27°F.
Average High and Low Temperature in May
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average temperatures for the quarter of the year centered on May. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature in May
The month of May in Madison experiences gradually decreasing cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy decreasing from 53% to 46%.
The clearest day of the month is May 31, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 54% of the time.
For reference, on January 2, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 60%, while on August 26, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 67%.
Cloud Cover Categories in May
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. In Madison, the chance of a wet day over the course of May is increasing, starting the month at 32% and ending it at 37%.
For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 38% on June 13, and its lowest chance is 12% on February 11.
Probability of Precipitation in May
To show variation within the month and not just the monthly total, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.
The average sliding 31-day rainfall during May in Madison is increasing, starting the month at 3.1 inches, when it rarely exceeds 4.9 inches or falls below 1.3 inches, and ending the month at 3.8 inches, when it rarely exceeds 6.5 inches or falls below 1.3 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in May
Over the course of May in Madison, the length of the day is rapidly increasing. From the start to the end of the month, the length of the day increases by 1 hour, 0 minutes, implying an average daily increase of 2 minutes, 0 seconds, and weekly increase of 14 minutes, 2 seconds.
The shortest day of the month is May 1, with 14 hours, 8 minutes of daylight and the longest day is May 31, with 15 hours, 8 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in May
The latest sunrise of the month in Madison is 5:50 AM on May 1 and the earliest sunrise is 30 minutes earlier at 5:21 AM on May 31.
The earliest sunset is 7:59 PM on May 1 and the latest sunset is 31 minutes later at 8:29 PM on May 31.
Daylight saving time is observed in Madison during 2017, but it neither starts nor ends during May, so the entire month is in daylight saving time.
For reference, on June 21, the longest day of the year, the Sun rises at 5:18 AM and sets 15 hours, 22 minutes later, at 8:40 PM, while on December 21, the shortest day of the year, it rises at 7:26 AM and sets 8 hours, 60 minutes later, at 4:25 PM.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in May
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The chance that a given day will be muggy in Madison is increasing during May, rising from 0% to 8% over the course of the month.
For reference, on July 22, the muggiest day of the year, there are muggy conditions 37% of the time, while on January 1, the least muggy day of the year, there are muggy conditions 0% of the time.
Humidity Comfort Levels in May
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Madison is gradually decreasing during May, decreasing from 6.2 miles per hour to 5.3 miles per hour over the course of the month.
For reference, on March 23, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 6.8 miles per hour, while on August 3, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 4.3 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in May
Wind Direction in May
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy in Madison is gradually increasing during May, rising by 0.8 kWh, from 5.7 kWh to 6.5 kWh, over the course of the month.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in May
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Madison are 43.073 deg latitude, -89.401 deg longitude, and 850 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Madison contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 177 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 860 feet. Within 10 miles also contains only modest variations in elevation (390 feet). Within 50 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (1,043 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Madison is covered by water (53%) and artificial surfaces (46%), within 10 miles by cropland (56%) and artificial surfaces (29%), and within 50 miles by cropland (75%) and trees (19%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Madison year round, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 5 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Madison.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Madison according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Madison is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Madison and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Dane County Regional Airport (82%, 9 kilometers, northeast); Monroe Municipal Airport (5%, 53 kilometers, south); Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport (4.8%, 59 kilometers, southeast); Tri-County Regional Airport (4.1%, 65 kilometers, west); and Iowa County Airport (3.6%, 71 kilometers, west).
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.