Saturday, April 5, 2014

March 2014 Weather Recap and MWN Forecast Accuracy

March Recap

Following well below normal temperatures in January and February, March offered little reprieve other than the fact that below normal temperatures were a little warmer due to seasonality. The March mean temperature was 4.5 degrees below normal.  No records were broken, but March 3rd saw a high temperature that was below freezing and a low of 15. Nine days had mean temperatures that were 10 degrees or more below normal (only one day had a mean temperature that was 10 or more degrees above normal).

Precipitation was an interesting phenomena in March. Most remember the significant icing of March 2nd, however the majority of the ice was north of I-40. The airport only recorded a minor amount of ice and a trace of snow, while Cirrus Weather in Bartlett had a total of 2/3" of ice and 1/4" of snow and Tipton County received significant ice and lengthy power outages. Another 1/2" of snow fell across the area the next day (3rd). Overall, precipitation for the month was above average.  Strong storms on the 28th resulted in a few Severe Thunderstorm Warnings over northwest MS, but no damage was reported in the metro. Flash flooding was observed in heavy rain on the 2nd.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 49.5 degrees (4.5 degrees below average)
Average high temperature: 60.6 degrees
Average low temperature: 38.4 degrees
Warmest temperature: 77 degrees (11th, 31st)
Coolest temperature: 15 degrees (3rd)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: One day had a high temperature below freezing and six days had low temperatures below freezing.

Monthly total: 7.38" (2.22" above average)
Snow/ice total: 0.5" (1.0" below average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 9
Wettest 24-hour period: 3.14" (March 28)
Records set or tied: March 2, daily precipitation (2.39") and March 28, daily precipitation (3.14")
Comments: Three days had more than 1" of rain and the same three days were the only ones with more than 0.50". A trace of winter precipitation (not measurable) was recorded on the 2nd and 1/2" was recorded on March 3rd. Snowfall for the 2013-2014 winter totaled 0.8", which was 3.0" below normal.

Peak wind: Northwest/33 mph (12th)
Average wind: 8.8 mph
Average relative humidity: 63%
Average sky cover: 60%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions/, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 48.1 degrees
Average high temperature: 61.2 degrees
Average low temperature: 35.4 degrees
Warmest temperature: 79.0 degrees (11th)
Coolest temperature: 14.8 degrees (3rd)
Comments: Two days had high temperatures below freezing and 11 days had low temperatures below freezing.

Monthly total: 7.72" (automated rain gauge), 7.95" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Snow/ice total: 1.3"
Days with measurable precipitation: 8
Wettest date: 3.80" (2nd)
Comments: Two days with more than 1" of rain and the same four days with more than 0.50". March 2nd brought 0.15" of freezing rain, topped by 1/2" of sleet and 1/4" of snow. Another 1/2" of snow fell on March 3.  A trace of sleet was recorded on March 17.

Peak wind: Southwest/34 mph (12th)
Average relative humidity: 71%

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.76 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 55%
MWN average dewpoint error: 3.22 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 47%

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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