Monday, July 6, 2009

June 2009 - climate stats and forecast accuracy

Thanks to strong upper-level high pressure the latter half of the month, June 2009 averaged dry and hot in Memphis. In fact, after June 14, only a trace of rainfall was officially recorded, which is why precipitation ended up approximately one-half of what is normally received for the month. Also, beginning June 15, a string of 20 consecutive days of 90+ degree highs were observed. Following are climate summaries for Memphis and Bartlett, TN.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN
At the airport, the average temperature was 81.3 degrees, which was 2.6 degrees above normal and nearly 10 degrees above May's average. The highest temperature for the month was 100 degrees on the 23rd, only the second 100-degree reading in June in 14 years, and the lowest was 58 on the 6th. A total of 19 June days saw highs at or above 90 degrees. Record maximum low temperatures were set three times during the month (24th, 27th, and 28th) as lows failed to drop below 80 degrees on four occasions.

Precipitation totaled 2.13", which was over 2.17" below the normal of 4.30" and about 5 inches below May's total. There were only 6 days with measurable rainfall recorded (plus 3 days with a trace of precipitation) and zero days with more than an inch of rain. The peak wind gust was recorded during the derecho on the 12th (53 mph), though some locations in the metro area recorded wind gusts of up to 80 mph that afternoon (if you have yet to read it, see my event analysis of the summer storm). Click here for the NWS climate recap for June.

Bartlett, TN
WXLIVE! began its fifth year of operation on June 23 and is building a decent database of weather events. The average temperature for June was 80.2 degrees, with a max of 98.5 on the 23rd (one of 19 days above 90) and a min of 53.9 degrees on the 6th. Precipitation actually totaled much higher than the airport thanks to a storm system on the 15th that effectively missed the airport. WXLIVE! recorded 4.49" for the first half of the month, but none after the 15th. The peak wind gust was 46 mph on the 12th. Click here for the MWN recap.

June Accuracy
The MWN Forecast accuracy statistics are in and, for the month of June, the MWN forecast once again beat out all of the computer models and the NWS forecast in the temperature category, but narrowly came in second in the dewpoint category, 0.04 degrees behind the North American Model (NAM) average. MWN average temperature error for June was less than 2 degrees -1.92 to be exact - which was the most accurate month by MWN in 11 months. All sources performed less accurately than June of 2008, mainly due to high variability in the second week of the month.

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