The Lilac Bloomsday Association presents the 41st running of the Lilac Bloomsday Run.

  • Sunday, May 6, 2018
  • 12 Kilometers (7.46 miles)
  • Spokane, Washington

Race Day Weather

BLOOMSDAY WEATHER

THROUGH THE YEARS

Compiled by the National Weather Service in Spokane. All times are PDT. Data is from observations taken at the Spokane International Airport.

May 1, 1977

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        59          36%       NE 10 MPH       12.0 hours - 82%
11:00 AM      70          29%       NE 13 MPH
2:00 PM         78          26%       E 7 MPH

Overcast to broken cloud cover prevailed during the morning hours. The maximum temperature was 81.

May 7, 1978

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        48          68%       N 5 MPH            14.0 hours - 95%
11:00 AM      58          42%       NW 8 MPH
2:00 PM         67          20%       NE 23 MPH

Sunny with high thin clouds. The maximum temperature was 69.

May 6, 1979

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        42           83%      SW 16 MPH       12.0 hours - 82%
11:00 AM      52           61%      SW 19 MPH
2:00 PM         54           53%      SW 17 MPH

Partly Sunny. The maximum temperature was 57.

May 4, 1980

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        55           72%      NE 6 MPH         14.6 Hours 100%
11:00 AM      67           53%      NE 8 MPH
2:00 PM         78           38%      NE 9 MPH

Sunny all day. The maximum temperature was 81.

May 3, 1981

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        41           76%      S 9 MPH             6.0 Hours - 41%
11:00 AM      52           55%      SW 10 MPH
2:00 PM         54           49%      SE 9 MPH

Mostly cloudy during the day with a light rain shower at 1:00 PM (lasted 10 minutes). The maximum temperature was 59.

May 2, 1982

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        51           64%      SE 9 MPH           9.4 hours 85%
11:00 AM      61           41%      SW 13 MPH
2:00 PM        62            40 %     SW 16 MPH

Sunny at first, but clouds increased and sky was mostly cloudy by noon. The maximum temperature was 62.

May 1, 1983

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        47           80%      N 4 MPH            12.9 hours 89%
11:00 AM      57           51%      NE 5 MPH
2:00 PM         64           38 %     NW 8 MPH

Clear and sunny at the start. Remained sunny all day with a few fair weather cumulus by noon. The maximum temperature was 67.

May 6, 1984

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        34           89%      S 8 MPH             1.7 hours 12%
11:00 AM      36           89%      S 8 MPH
2:00 PM         42           76%      SW 6 MPH

Cloudy all day with 1 to 2 inches of snowfall before the race. Light rain or rain and snow mixed continued until 12:30 PM. The maximum temperature was 47 degrees.

May 5, 1985

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        38           79%      S 9 MPH            12.8 hours 88%
11:00 AM      49           52%      S 7 MPH
2:00 PM         54           36%      E 5 MPH

Sky was fair at 8:00 AM and became partly cloudy in the late morning and into the afternoon. The maximum temperature was 58.

May 4, 1986

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        45           79%      SW 7 MPH          8.1 hours 56%
11:00 AM      52           63%      SW 15 MPH
2:00 PM         55           47%      SW 17 MPH

Cloudy all day with light rain showers in the morning until 7:30 and again in the late afternoon. The maximum temperature was 58.

May 3, 1987

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8: 00 AM        46           86%      S I 0 MPH          8.1 hours 56%
11:00 AM       53           54%      SW 13 MPH
2:00 PM          57           47%      SE 10 MPH

Sunny in the morning and sky was mostly cloudy by the afternoon. The maximum temperature was 62.

May 1, 1988

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        34           79%      SE 9 MPH          12.3 hours 85%
11:00 AM      45           56%      SW 12 MPH
2:00 PM         51           30%      SW 15 MPH

Snow had ended at 7:40 AM and skies were partly cloudy by 8:00 AM. The skies remained partly sunny in the morning and clouds began to increase again in the afternoon. The maximum temperature was 55.

May 7, 1989

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        58           87%      S 5 MPH            12.8 hours 86%
11:00 AM      67           59%      S 8 MPH
2:00 PM         73           44%      SW 9 MPH

Trace of rain in the late afternoon. Race time skies - partly to mostly cloudy. The maximum temperature was 76.

May 6, 1990

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        46           39%      SW 12G29 MPH    12.5 hours 86%
11:00 AM      50           28%      SW 20G31 MPH
2:00 PM         54           28%      SW 22G31 MPH

Trace amounts of rain fell during the afternoon. It was very windy with a peak gust of 46 mph at 6:27 pm. SW winds gusting to 30 mph throughout the race. The maximum temperature was 60.

May 5, 1991

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        48           60%       S 11 MPH           2.2 hours 15%
11:00 AM      57           45%       S 13 MPH
2:00 PM         52           73%      SE 11 MPH

Light rain fell during the afternoon. The maximum temperature was 57.

May 3, 1992

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        49           68%      NE 11 MPH       12.9 hours 100%
11:00 AM      65           41%      E 9 MPH
2:00 PM         75           22%      NE 4 MPH

Sunny skies. The maximum temperature was 78.

May 2, 1993

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        44           82%      S 15 MPH          12.5 hours 86%
11:00 AM      51           58%      SW 13 MPH
2:00 PM         57           41%      W 17 MPH

Wind gusts to 26 mph in the afternoon. Race time skies - partly cloudy. The maximum temperature was 57.

May 1, 1994

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        41           79%      S 11 MPH          12.0 hours 83%
11:00 AM      53           42%      W 16 MPH
2:00 PM         59           29%      SW 8 MPH

Clear at the start of the race. High thin clouds by afternoon. The maximum temperature was 59.

May 7, 1995

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        52           68%      NE 8 MPH           8.2 hours 55%
11:00 AM      58           47%      E 16 MPH
2:00 PM         61           45%      NE 8 MPH

Light rain at the start of the race. Stopped by 10 AM. Cloudy for the remainder of the morning and early afternoon. The maximum temperature was 66.

May 5, 1996

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        40           79%      NE 8 MPH               Missing
11:00 AM      52           45%      NE 6 MPH
2:00 PM         56           34%      CALM

It was sunny throughout the race. The high temperature for the day was 58 degrees.

May 4, 1997

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        44           90%      SW 13 MPH        7.5 Hours 51%
11:00 AM      50           74%      S 15 MPH
2:00 PM         58           49%      SW 15 MPH

Before the race, it was cloudy overnight with light rain. At start time the clouds were breaking up and skies were partly cloudy throughout the remainder of the day. The high temperature for the day was 60 degrees.

May 3, 1998

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        57           72%      S 15 MPH          13.3 Hours 92%
11:00 AM      66           56%      SW 10 MPH
2:00 PM         71           47%      SW 9 MPH

Skies were partly cloudy at the start of the race and became mostly sunny by midday. The high temperature for the day was 74 degrees.

May 2, 1999

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        39           89%      SW 12 MPH        8.8 Hours 61%
11:00 AM      41           89%      SW 14 MPH
2:00 PM         43           86%      SW 24 MPH

Skies were cloudy with rain falling on and off throughout the race. There were some brief sun breaks at midday and clearing skies in the late afternoon. 0.07 inches of rain fell between 8 AM and 2 PM. The high temperature for the day was 47 degrees with 0.13 inches of rain measured.

May 7, 2000

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        40           76%      NE 8 MPH         13.3 Hours 91%
11:00 AM      51           50%      CALM
2:00 PM         56           31%      W 8 MPH

Skies were sunny at the start of the race, with only a few clouds developing by mid day. The high temperature for the day was 59 degrees.

May 6, 2001

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        38           62%      SE 6 MPH         14.3 Hours 98%
11:00 AM      50           44%      SE 6 MPH
2:00 PM         55           34%      SW 7 MPH

Sunny skies. The high temperature for the day was 57 degrees.

May 5, 2002

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        41           65%      S 15 MPH           8.4 Hours 57%
11:00 AM      46           65%      S 18 MPH
2:00 PM         43           73%      CALM

Skies were mostly cloudy with mid/high clouds at the beginning of the race. Light rain began at 948am mixed with small hail at 1030am and between 100pm -130pm. A thunderstorm with small hail at 200pm dropped the temperature back into the low 40s. 0.07" of precipitation fell during the race. The high temperature for the day was 51 degrees with a total of 0.28" precipitation measured and 0.4" snow/graupel.

May 4, 2003

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        43           76%      S 13 MPH           7.2 Hours 49%
11:00 AM      48           63%      S 13 MPH
2:00 PM         49           62%      W 15G20 MPH

Skies were mostly cloudy with mid clouds as the participants lined up to start. The clouds lowered and intermittent light rain began at 836 am and continued through the day. The high temperature for the day was 52 degrees with a total of 0.02" precipitation measured.

May 2, 2004

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        57           59%      S 14 MPH          13.5 Hours 93%
11:00 AM      67           45%      SW 13 MPH
2:00 PM         74           32%      SW 16G26 MPH

Breezy winds overnight kept the temperatures mild. The 57 degrees at 8:00 AM was only 2 degrees shy of the warmest Bloomsday morning, set on the first Bloomsday in 1977. High clouds covered the skies at the start of the race, but gave way to some sunshine as the race progressed. The high temperature for the day was 76 degrees.

May 1, 2005

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        46           60%      NE 9 MPH         13.6 Hours 94%
11:00 AM      58           32%      NE 12 MPH
2:00 PM         65           24%      N 6 MPH

Clear skies and moderate winds overnight allowed temperatures to fall to near normal values. The clear skies gave way to a few clouds by race time and mostly cloudy skies by late in the day. The high temperature for the day was 67 degrees.

May 7, 2006

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        47           68%      S 10 MPH         0.9 Hours 6%
11:00 AM      48           73%      SW 17 MPH
2:00 PM         48           73%      SW 18 MPH

Skies were overcast as a weak Pacific storm moved through the area. Light rain showers fell off and on during the race, but were generally so light that the pavement remained dry. The high temperature for the day was only 53 degrees.

May 6, 2007

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        43           60%      S 8 MPH         10.2 Hours 70%
11:00 AM      54           45%      SW 12 G16 MPH
2:00 PM         59           39%      SSW 9 MPH

Intermittent high clouds moved over the area from day break through start time and into the afternoon. The sky cover ranged from mostly clear to mostly cloudy, although most of the clouds were thin, allowing the sun to shine through. The high temperature for the day was 66 degrees.

May 4, 2008

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        43           73%      E 3 MPH         12.9 Hours 88%
11:00 AM      58           51%      N 3 MPH
2:00 PM         65           33%     W 3 MPH

A few thin high clouds moved over the region from day break through start time and into the afternoon. The sky cover ranged from clear to partly cloudy. The winds were light through the day and the high temperature was 69 degrees.

May 3, 2009

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        44           85%      S 9 MPH           7.2 Hours 49%
11:00 AM      48           68%      SW 10 MPH
2:00 PM         52          50%      SW 15 MPH

Overcast to mostly cloudy conditions prevailed from day break through start time and into the afternoon. Light rain Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning made for moist conditions, with some light fog reported before midnight. The southwest winds at the airport ranged up to 12 mph during the morning and up to 16 mph by mid afternoon. The high temperature for the day was a cool 55 degrees.

May 2, 2010

Time            Temp        RH        Wind                        Sunshine

8:00 AM        39           79%      SE 10 MPH         12.2 Hours 84%
11:00 AM      50           56%      SW 15 MPH
2:00 PM         54          41%      SW 18 G26 MPH

Clear to partly cloudy conditions prevailed from day break through start time. By late morning a deck of mid clouds had moved in and thin overcast conditions prevailed through the remainder of the day.  Light winds at the airport in the morning transitioned to steady winds from the southwest in the afternoon. Winds gusted into the mid 30s in the afternoon. The high temperature for the day was once again a cool 55 degrees.

May 1, 2011

Time              Temp          RH           Wind                    Sunshine

8:00 AM            37            78%          SE 8 MPH         12.5 Hours 86%
11:00 AM          49            52%          SW 8 MPH
2:00 PM            55            38%          SW 7 G17 MPH

Cool and moist days in late April and clear skies early on Bloomsday made for some lowland and river bottom fog before start time. This all dissipated by 9: 00 AM and clear skies and light winds prevailed over the course through midday. Some fair weather clouds developed after noon but skies remained mostly clear with light winds. The high temperature for the day was a cool 58 degrees.

May 6, 2012

Time              Temp          RH           Wind                    Sunshine

8:00 AM            41            65%          SE 5 MPH         13.0 Hours 88%
11:00 AM          52            46%          SW 5 MPH
2:00 PM            57            34%          SW 7 MPH

Mostly clear skies and light winds prevailed over the course through midday. Some fair weather clouds developed after noon and skies became mostly cloudy. The high temperature for the day was 60 degrees.

May 5, 2013

Time              Temp          RH           Wind                    Sunshine

8:00 AM            55            50%          NE 13 MPH         13.6 Hours 92%
11:00 AM          67            25%          NE 9 G22 MPH
2:00 PM            73            19%          E 8 G18 MPH

Mostly clear skies were seen over the course early on and then a few clouds moved in by midday. Moderate northeast winds prevailed through the morning hours with gusts to 24 mph observed in the midday hours. The high temperature for the day was a warm 78 degrees.

May 4, 2014

Time              Temp          RH           Wind                    Sunshine

8:00 AM            47            80%          SW 21 MPH         9.8 Hours 67%
11:00 AM          52            57%          SW 21 G29 MPH
2:00 PM            57            45%          SW 18 G28 MPH

Skies were mostly cloudy overnight and some very light rain fell in the early morning hours. By start time the southwest winds had picked up. Breezy southwest winds, mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 50s persisted thru noon. Another very light shower passed through between noon and 1 PM. More rain, along with some thunder and lightning were noted in the late afternoon. The high temperature for the day was a moderate 61 degrees.

May 3, 2015

Time              Temp          RH           Wind                    Sunshine

8:00 AM            49            37%          NE 9 MPH         14.6 Hours 100%
11:00 AM          60            25%          NE 8 MPH
2:00 PM            66            18%          NE 5 MPH

Intermittent high clouds overnight gave way to mostly clear skies by daybreak. Temperatures had warmed from the lower 40s to near 50 by start time. Light winds and mostly clear skies prevailed though early afternoon. The high temperature for the day was a pleasant 70 degrees.

May 1, 2016

Time              Temp          RH           Wind                    

8:00 AM            50            66%          NE 10 MPH                 
11:00 AM          63            41%          NE 12 MPH
2:00 PM            69            29%          NE 14 MPH G20 MPH

Saturday April 30th was cool and cloudy with light rain and drizzle. Skies cleared in the early morning hours of May 1st although residual moisture accounted for high humidity after day break. A few high clouds moved over the area by mid-morning, and light northeast winds early in the day increased and became gusty in the early afternoon. The high temperature for the day was 73 degrees.

May 7, 2017

Time                Temp          RH           Wind

8:00 AM              43           76%            S 13 MPH
11:00 AM            52           58%            S 7 MPH
2:00 PM              57           36%            SW 12 MPH

Light rain started to fall around 5:00am and continued until 8:15am, but the amount of rain was barely enough to wet the ground.  Clouds gradually diminished, giving way to mostly sunny skies by noon.  The afternoon high temperature was 60 degrees, with only a trace of rain measured.



Coolest Bloomsdays

May 6, 1984

There was 1 to 2 inches of new snow in the morning before the race. Skies remained cloudy all day with light rain and snow falling most of the morning. The high temperature for the day was 47 degrees.

May 2, 1999

Although there was no snow, skies were cloudy with rain falling on and off throughout the race. There were some brief sun breaks at midday and clearing skies in the late afternoon. 0.07 inches of rain fell between 8 AM and 2 PM. The high temperature for the day was 47 degrees with 0.13 inches of rain measured.

 

Warmest Bloomsdays

May 1, 1977

Mostly sunny all day with a high temperature of 81.

May 4, 1980

Sunny all day with a high of 81.

Climatology

For May 3 (30 year climatology 1981-2010):

Average High 63
Average Low 40
Sunrise 5:29 AM PDT
Sunset 8:04 PM PDT

For May 1 - May 7 (1881 - 2016):

All Time High 92 - May 5, 1966
All Time Low 24 - May 1, 1954
Record Low Max 42 - May 2, 1950
Record High Min 57 - May 7, 1947
Most Precipitation 0.75" - May 4, 1888, 0.63" - May 2, 1995
Most Snowfall 0.8" - May 6, 1984
It snowed 3.5 inches on May 11, 1967

What are the possible weather extremes for Bloomsday?

The all time high for early May of 92 degrees (set on 5/5/66) suggests Bloomsday could be quite warm. Moderate to heavy rain on the preceding days could combine with warm temperatures to produce an unusual hot and muggy day.

The strongest wind recorded at Spokane International in May is 53 mph. Running against a strong breeze is not ideal. Steady winds and temperatures in the upper 20s or lower 30s would likely result in some discomfort among the tens of thousands out in the elements on Bloomsday.

The worst wind scenario would likely be dry conditions for the months and week preceding Bloomsday and steady southwest breezes of 30 plus mph combining for reduced visibilities and high levels of airborne particulates with blowing dust.

Heavy rain is unlikely, but not impossible. Rainfall rates up to 1 inch per hour have occurred in the spring in Spokane. These conditions likely coupled with temperatures in the 30s and 40s would not be welcome in Spokane on the first Sunday in May.

Spring showers are common in Spokane during the first week of May. Many of the past Bloomsdays had light and intermittent showers. This type of activity is more likely in the afternoon, but can occur in the morning. Taking this type of weather to the extreme introduces hazards such as lightning, strong winds, hail and tornadoes. The small soft hail that occurs frequently in the spring has visited Bloomsday from time to time. Thunderstorms have also occurred on the first Sunday in May in Spokane. The occurrence of strong thunderstorm winds, large hail and tornadoes is very rare in Spokane, but cannot be completely ruled out during the more favored months of May and June.

Snowfall in May in Spokane is unusual, but not unheard of. Two of the past Bloomsdays (1984 and 2002) have had some snow or hail falling from the sky. The records at Spokane International show an extreme 3.5 inches of snow on May 11, 1967. But the worst Bloomsday weather scenario nearly came to pass in May 2002.

On Tuesday May 7, 2002 (two days after the race) about 20 miles west of the course, up to 19 inches of snow fell in a very unusual late season storm. This was not a high elevation mountain storm; it occurred across the 2500 foot elevation west plains areas of Davenport, Rearden and Airway Heights. This storm brought only one-half inch of snow to Spokane International and just a few flakes to the downtown area.

Needless to say an event like this over the downtown area on the first Sunday in May would put a real damper on Bloomsday.