You might not think so, given the balmy weather we've been having lately, but this spring and the year so far have been the warmest ever, on average, for Maryland.
Right here in Baltimore, we've experienced the warmest year through May in the past 73 years, all according to the latest temperature data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The average temperature for the first five months of 51.7 degrees Fahrenheit is a good 5.8 degrees above the average from 1981 to 2010 of 45.9 degrees.
Nationwide, it's also been the warmest spring ever - 2 degrees above the old record. It's the warmest first five months of the year as well, the warmest 12 months in a row ever, and second warmest May on record. Thirty-one states have seen their warmest spring on record this year, while 29 are working on their warmest year-to-date (through May).
Maryland's record-setting temperature pace was helped by starting out with the third warmest winter ever. But much of our record-setting warmth this year occurred in that blossom-popping month of March, when flowers, fruit trees and almost everything seemed to be coming out or up four to six weeks earlier than usual. Temperatures in April and May have been much closer to normal, if not a bit cool.
(Thanks to Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press for flagging this, and for summarizing it so nicely.)