Friday, September 22, 2017

Don't fall for it... this isn't fall!

In Sunday's blog post, we warned you this was going to happen:
"Overall, it appears we may be stuck in a warmer than normal overall pattern (though not necessarily as warm as the next several days) right through the end of the month. The long-range upper level pattern favored by climate models indicate a return to cooler than average weather by around the first of October."
I hate to say it but...


Indeed we were back in the lower 90s this week with humidity levels into the "average for mid-summer" range. Today we reiterate the point made earlier - above normal temperatures continue almost through the end of the month. This despite the start of "meteorological fall" (which is September 1 and used for climate purposes) and astronomical fall (when the autumnal equinox occurs at 3:02pm today). But you're smart enough to know, this isn't fall weather!

In fact, by a 3:1 margin in our unofficial poll, you're ready for REAL fall.
So when will that happen? Thursday, September 28. Until then, we are stuck with a large ridge of warm high pressure blocking fall weather to our west from making it into the area. We're not alone - here's the temperature map as of Friday mid-morning:


The upper level trough to the west will finally make a push east remain bottled up in the western U.S. until early next week, then finally start to seep east. We'll see a front move through sometime Wednesday of next week. Until then, we'll continue with highs generally within a couple degrees of 90° for highs and lows at 70° or above for the most part with only slim chances of afternoon showers. Summer continues...

The one bit of good news as we head into the weekend is that the dewpoints (remember that is an absolute measure of humidity in the air that doesn't change as much as relative humidity does with the diurnal cycle) are receding a bit into the mid to upper 60s from their recent levels at or just above 70°. What that means is that it won't be QUITE as sticky out and low temperatures should get a couple of degrees cooler in the mornings.


Not exactly the best news, but it's a start! However, by late next week, starting around Thursday, we'll be back to near normal temperatures (which will be closer to 80° for highs and 60° for lows). Plus, long-range climate models are pointing to below normal temperatures and precipitation to start October. Looking for highs in the 70s? We could be just about a week away!




So to sum it up...


Click here to get the latest forecast from MemphisWeather.net or check it anytime via the MWN mobile app!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Summer's last gasp... how long does it last?

I think we all got used to below normal temperatures from late July through August and into early September! In fact, according to our climate summary, August was the coolest in 13 years! However, summer decided to make one last stand once the remnants of Irma moved out earlier this week.


While temperatures the past few days are not that much above mid-September averages, the humidity factor has caught some folks off guard with the Muggy Meter registering dewpoint values not far off mid-summer norms.


While heat indices in the mid 90s wouldn't be considered awful in the dog days of summer, by mid-September, I think we're all pretty much over it...

Looking ahead, this warm pattern continues throughout the upcoming week, with only slight abatement in the high temperatures as we head towards next weekend. Rain chances increase a bit by mid-week due to a weakness in the upper level high pressure that is currently controlling our area, but no cold fronts are expected that would bring lasting relief from the heat.


Overall, it appears we may be stuck in a warmer than normal overall pattern (though not necessarily as warm as the next several days) right through the end of the month. The long-range upper level pattern favored by climate models indicate a return to cooler than average weather by around the first of October.

As the sticky-ness lingers and temperatures remain very warm, know that the end is in sight as autumn officially begins this Friday at 3:02pm! Pleasant fall days are not too far away, especially since we've gotten a sneak preview recently!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Follow MWN on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!
MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

August 2017 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

August Climate Recap

July temperatures were slightly above normal, but August returned to cooler than average weather for the third out of the previous four months. By the end of the month, only six of the previous 35 days had recorded an average temperature above normal, resulting in the coolest August in 13 years! I didn't hear any Mid-Southerners complaining about below average temperatures during the dog days of summer.

After running below normal for most of 2017, precipitation spiked above normal thanks mostly to the remnants of former Major Hurricane Harvey moving over the Mid-South on the 31st. Precipitation officially totaled 4.04" that day, which was the second wettest August day on record and also well over an inch more than Memphis typically averages for the entire month. Combined with previous heavy rain events that included three other days with more than an inch of rain, the month ended with over 9" of rain, the fourth wettest August on record. The remnants of Harvey resulted in areas of flash flooding, as well as many strong wind reports (including a severe wind gust of 60 mph at Memphis International Airport) and over 40,000 MLGW customers without power. Tornado Warnings were also issued mainly across the eastern metro as brief rotating cells resulted from Harvey. Tornadoes actually touched down well east of the metro (see map below). Additional scattered severe storms occurred on the 11th with a few reports of strong wind.

Severe weather reports across the region on August 31, associated with the remnants of Harvey. Thunderstorms in outer bands of the system resulted in tornadoes in northeast MS, northwest AL, and middle TN. Flash flooding reports were common closer to Memphis, as well as a handful of severe wind reports. (Graphic courtesy: Iowa State University).

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN


Temperature
Average temperature: 79.4 degrees (2.6 degrees below average)
Average high temperature: 87.5 degrees (3.8 degrees below average)
Average low temperature: 71.3 degrees (1.4 degrees below average)
Warmest temperature: 95 degrees (20th, 21st)
Coolest temperature: 65 degrees (24th)
Heating Degrees Days: 0 (0 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 455 (72 below average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Eight days recorded temperatures at or above 90 degrees, which is xxx less than an average July. Year to date, the average temperature of xx.x° remains the second warmest on record behind 2012.

Precipitation
Monthly total: 9.29" (6.41" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 13 (6.2 days above average)
Wettest 24-hour period: 4.04" (31st)
Snowfall: None
Records set or tied: Remnants of Major Hurricane Harvey resulted in a daily record rainfall total of 4.04" on August 31st. That day was also the second wettest August day on record.
Comments: Year to date, precipitation has totaled 36.66" or 104% of normal, the first time year-to-date precipitation has been above normal since early February.

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: North-northeast/60 mph (31st) (effects of Tropical Depression Harvey)
Average wind: 6.9 mph
Average relative humidity: 74%
Average sky cover: 60%

Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions / MemphisWeather.net, Bartlett, TN


Temperature
Average temperature: 77.1 degrees
Average high temperature: 87.7 degrees
Average low temperature: 68.4 degrees
Warmest temperature: 95.2 degrees (20th)
Coolest temperature: 58.2 degrees (24th)
Comments: None

Precipitation
Monthly total: 7.13" (automated rain gauge), 7.79" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 9
Wettest date: 4.19" (31st) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: None
Comments: No measurable rain fell from the 18th-30th, a span of nearly two weeks.

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: North/30 mph (31st)
Average relative humidity: 83%
Average barometric pressure: 29.99 in. Hg
Comments: None

Click here for a daily statistical recap for Bartlett, TN.

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.48 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 82%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.04 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 70%

MWN's forecasts extend out five periods (2.5 days, or roughly 60 hours). Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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Follow MWN on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!
MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder