Sunday, September 17, 2017

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

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.

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.

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 /, Bartlett, TN

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

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.

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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