Saturday, August 6, 2022

July 2022 Climate Report for Memphis, TN

July Climate Recap

Heat was the story in the month of July as the hot and dry pattern from the second half of June blasted right through the calendar change and continued for nearly the entire month. Only four days failed to reach a high of at least 95 and three were the final three days of the month. The century mark was reached or exceeded ten times during the month (third most on record) with a max of 103 on two occasions. The low temperatures remained above 70 degrees for the entire month and only dropped below 74 once, a feat that has only occurred one other time in recorded history (2011). 

In sum, the month ended well above average temperature-wise (second warmest on record behind 1980). The average high temperature was third warmest on record and the average low temperature was second warmest on record. For the period June 1 through July 31, the average temperature in Memphis was the hottest on record at 85.2 degrees.

Drought conditions that began in June worsened considerably through the first few weeks of July with the persistent heat and lack of widespread precipitation, resulting in a large portion of the metro in "severe drought" as we approached the end of the July. When rain did fall, it tended to be fairly localized and heavy, resulting in local relief from dry conditions, but little relief over the entire area until we neared the end of the month. Reflective of the mainly localized nature of the storms, the rain gauge at MWN in northern Shelby County received almost three more inches of rain than the airport. Over 50 percent of the rain that fell for the month at the official observing site occurred in the last three days of the month and much of the rest fell on the 18th. Flood Advisories during those two events were the only weather alerts issued by the National Weather Service for the metro in July.

Comparison of the Drought Index from the middle of June to the end of July shows the results of  the very dry pattern experienced for much of the last two months. (U.S. Drought Monitor)

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 87.1 degrees (4.3 degrees above average) 
Average high temperature: 97.1 degrees (5.2 degrees above average) 
Average low temperature: 77.2 degrees (3.6 degrees above average) 
Warmest temperature: 103 degrees (5th, 8th) 
Coolest temperature: 71 degrees (18th) 
Heating Degrees Days: 0 (0.0 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 693 (143 above average) 
Records set or tied: Daily high temperature records were set or tied on the 7th (101 - tied) and 8th (103), while record warm minimum temperatures were set on the 5th (80) and 20th (82).
Comments: 29 days saw high temperatures meet or exceed 90 degrees, which is 6.9 above normal. Ten days met or exceeded 100 degrees, ranking third behind 1980 (19) and 1954 (11). The average temperature for the month placed July second warmest on record behind 1980. The average high temperature was third warmest on record and the average low temperature was second warmest on record.

Monthly total: 4.24" (0.58" below average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 9 (0.5 days below average) 
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.50" (31st) 
Snowfall: 0.0"
Records set or tied: None
Comments: None 

Peak wind: Northeast/35 mph (17th) 
Average wind: 7.5 mph 
Average relative humidity: 63%
Average sky cover: 47%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 84.0 degrees 
Average high temperature: 94.8 degrees 
Average low temperature: 74.5 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 101.0 degrees (8th) 
Coolest temperature: 64.7 degrees (11th) 
Comments: None 

Monthly total: 6.91" (automated rain gauge), 7.08"(manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 8
Wettest date: 2.12" (1st) (via automated gauge) 
Snowfall: 0.0"
Comments: None

Peak wind: Northeast/28 mph (17th)
Average relative humidity: 72% 
Average barometric pressure: 29.97 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.81 degrees 
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 73% 
MWN average dewpoint error: 1.86 degrees 
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 72% 

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

Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info! 
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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Much-needed rain closes out a hot two-month start to summer 2022

Today closes out what will go into the record books as the hottest June/July on record in Memphis, ironically with one of the coolest days in the two-month record! Until this past Friday, not a single day since June 11 had failed to reach 90 degrees, and most of them were in the mid 90s or higher. Sixteen days have seen the high reach 100 degrees! Not only will the average temperature (average of all highs and lows) be the hottest on record, so will the average high temperatures, eclipsing 95 degrees for only the third time on record (including 1952 and 1954). 

That heat has been exacerbated by, and with some likely contribution from, the lack of precipitation. Until a wetter pattern started on Friday, total precipitation for the past two months has been more than five inches below the norm of around nine inches. This has resulted in flash drought conditions as shown below. The drought allows the temperatures to be even hotter because there is less moisture fed back into the low atmosphere from the ground, allowing it to heat more than usual. 

A comparison of the drought index from June 14, when summer was starting pretty decent, to this past week, when we were all crying "mercy" following a brutal six weeks of heat. This weekend's rain should help things improve on the drought side when this week's index is released. (U.S. Drought Monitor)

But this weekend has provided a reprieve, as a front finally stalled over the area and moisture from the southwest streamed in, allowing multiple rounds of precipitation to fall over the entire region. While the ground eagerly soaks up the welcome rainfall, the clouds and precip are holding high temperatures below normal on consecutive days for the first time in a month. Muggy conditions, featuring dewpoints in the mid 70s, are keeping morning lows warm, but anything below 80 degrees is likely ruled a win right now!

Looking ahead, the upper level trough that resulted in this welcome pattern shifts to the east to start the week. We'll likely see elevated rain chances into Monday afternoon before high pressure at the surface and upper levels builds back in for the next several days. This pattern will mean a return of more typical summertime conditions. In case you've forgotten what is "expected" in summer, it isn't 100 degrees and parched earth! We're looking at highs in the low to mid 90s, enough humidity to kick heat indices just above 100, lows in the mid 70s, and small thunderstorm chances during the afternoon hours that will probably miss more of you than they will rain on. But we can't rule them out! 

The Sunday morning European model ensemble average of mid-level height anomalies for the coming week. Basically, high pressure aloft centered over the Southwest U.S. will control most of the country this week with slightly above average pressure over the Mid-South contributing to summerlike weather conditions. (WeatherBell)

So while August will be hot, it should start off not-as-hot as we had for much of the month of July, which will be the second hottest July on record behind only the benchmark of 1980.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
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