Average Weather in May in Sylva North Carolina, United States
Daily high temperatures increase by 6°F, from 71°F to 78°F, rarely falling below 60°F or exceeding 85°F.
Daily low temperatures increase by 8°F, from 47°F to 56°F, rarely falling below 37°F or exceeding 62°F.
For reference, on July 20, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Sylva typically range from 63°F to 83°F, while on January 29, the coldest day of the year, they range from 28°F to 48°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
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The month of May in Sylva experiences essentially constant cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy remaining about 48% throughout the month. The highest chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 50% on May 27.
The clearest day of the month is May 1, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 54% of the time.
For reference, on January 3, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 56%, while on September 20, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 65%.
Cloud Cover Categories in May
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. In Sylva, the chance of a wet day over the course of May is very rapidly increasing, starting the month at 34% and ending it at 43%.
For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 49% on July 10, and its lowest chance is 22% on October 15.
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 Sylva is gradually decreasing, starting the month at 3.9 inches, when it rarely exceeds 6.8 inches or falls below 1.9 inches, and ending the month at 3.6 inches, when it rarely exceeds 5.7 inches or falls below 1.5 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in May
Over the course of May in Sylva, the length of the day is increasing. From the start to the end of the month, the length of the day increases by 44 minutes, implying an average daily increase of 1 minute, 29 seconds, and weekly increase of 10 minutes, 22 seconds.
The shortest day of the month is May 1, with 13 hours, 39 minutes of daylight and the longest day is May 31, with 14 hours, 23 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in May
The latest sunrise of the month in Sylva is 6:40 AM on May 1 and the earliest sunrise is 22 minutes earlier at 6:19 AM on May 31.
The earliest sunset is 8:19 PM on May 1 and the latest sunset is 23 minutes later at 8:42 PM on May 31.
Daylight saving time is observed in Sylva during 2020, but it neither starts nor ends during May, so the entire month is in daylight saving time.
For reference, on June 20, the longest day of the year, the Sun rises at 6:18 AM and sets 14 hours, 33 minutes later, at 8:51 PM, while on December 21, the shortest day of the year, it rises at 7:38 AM and sets 9 hours, 46 minutes later, at 5:24 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 Sylva is increasing during May, rising from 0% to 10% over the course of the month.
For reference, on July 25, the muggiest day of the year, there are muggy conditions 53% 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
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
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 Sylva is gradually decreasing during May, decreasing from 4.6 miles per hour to 3.7 miles per hour over the course of the month.
For reference, on February 26, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 5.7 miles per hour, while on July 31, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 2.9 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in May
The hourly average wind direction in Sylva throughout May is predominantly from the west, with a peak proportion of 37% on May 31.
Wind Direction in May
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Sylva typically lasts for 6.1 months (186 days), from around April 16 to around October 19, rarely starting before March 28 or after May 5, and rarely ending before September 30 or after November 7.
The month of May in Sylva is more likely than not fully within the growing season, with the chance that a given day is in the growing season increasing from 84% to 100% over the course of the month.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in May
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
The average accumulated growing degree days in Sylva are increasing during May, increasing by 382°F, from 409°F to 791°F, over the course of the month.
Growing Degree Days 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 Sylva is essentially constant during May, remaining within 0.1 kWh of 6.5 kWh throughout.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in May
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Sylva are 35.374 deg latitude, -83.226 deg longitude, and 2,283 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Sylva contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 1,785 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 2,330 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (4,455 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (5,991 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Sylva is covered by trees (90%), within 10 miles by trees (98%), and within 50 miles by trees (87%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Sylva 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 Sylva.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Sylva 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 Sylva is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Sylva and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Macon County Airport (61%, 24 kilometers, southwest); Asheville Regional Airport (16%, 63 kilometers, east); Pickens County Airport (10%, 78 kilometers, southeast); McGhee Tyson Airport (9%, 85 kilometers, northwest); and Lee County Airport (4.5%, 143 kilometers, north).
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , 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.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.