Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August 2012 Climate Data and Forecast Accuracy

** We neglected to highlight our "Isaac's Mid-South impacts" entry from August 30, which was the 1,000th post on the MWN Blog!  Thanks for being a reader and supporter! **

Though still above normal temperature-wise, August started to see the yearlong heat spell relax just a bit.  For the year, the average temperature in Memphis continues to be the warmest on record.  Through August 31st, the average temperature for 2012 of 69.2 degrees was 4.2 degrees above normal, beating the previous record though the end of August by about 2 degrees (2006, +1.9 degrees).

Precipitation was also below normal, but only slightly, as a few thunderstorm complexes managed to drop a fair amount of rain from time to time. Drought conditions remain unchanged from the end of July with the metro now classified as being in an extreme drought.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

The average temperature for the month of August was 82.7 degrees, or 0.7 degrees above normal. The average high temperature was 92.7 degrees and the average low was 72.7. The coolest temperature of the month was 64 degrees on the 21st, while the highest temperature was 99 degrees on the 8th.  There were 23 days in which the high reached 90 degrees or higher.

Precipitation for the month totaled 2.64", which was 0.24" below average. There were 8 calendar days with measurable rainfall, but only 3 with more than 0.50" (maximum 0.92" on the 3rd). The peak wind gust was 38 mph from the northwest on the 13th with an average wind speed for the month of 7.3 mph. Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions, Bartlett, TN

The average August temperature at Cirrus Weather Solutions was 79.8 degrees with a maximum of 98.1 degrees on the 8th and a minimum of 55.3 degrees on the 12th, following a mid-month cold front that dropped dewpoints enough to allow a few cool mornings.  August precipitation measured 2.62" via the automated gauge and 2.69" in a manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program. The measured peak wind gust was 21 mph on the 30th. Average relative humidity was a muggy 70%. Click here for a daily recap on MemphisWeather.net.

MWN Forecast Accuracy

For the month of August, the average temperature error in all MWN temperature forecasts was 2.62 degrees, lower than all available computer model data and the National Weather Service. Over 56% of the MWN temperature forecasts for the month were within 2 degrees of the actual temperature. MWN's forecasts extend out five periods (2.5 days, or roughly 60 hours). For dewpoint accuracy, the MWN forecast averaged 2.29 degrees of error and fell within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint two-thirds of the time. Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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