Sunday, December 16, 2018

November 2018 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

November Climate Recap

The month of November was well below normal in the temperature department with persistent cool for nearly the entire month. All but seven days were below average with two of those occurring on the lats two days of November as a warm spell bridged the flipping of the calendar to December. The coldest temperatures occurred mid-month with a week-long string of temperatures more than 10 degrees below average. During that period, a record cold maximum temperature was observed with a high of only 30 degrees on the 14th. Seven days never reached 50 degrees.

Precipitation also ended below average, about one-fourth of normal, despite having measurable rain on nearly half of the days of the month. There were many days with less than 0.10" and only 2 days with more than an inch. There was no severe weather in the metro in November, though thunderstorms rumbled through on the evening of the 5th as highs reached 70 degrees. The only severe weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service for the month were a few Tornado Warnings that evening south of the greater Memphis area, with storms knocking down some trees in southern Marshall County, MS.

Another interesting event was the first winter weather event of the 2018-2019 season on November 14, as a potent upper level low moved over the Mid-South. Snowfall was generally under an inch in the metro, but the 0.6" recorded at the airport ranked 6th for most snowfall on a November day in history and the most in November in nearly 30 years.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 47.9 degrees (5.3 degrees below average)
Average high temperature: 56.4 degrees (6.2 degrees below average)
Average low temperature: 39.3 degrees (4.4 degrees below average)
Warmest temperature: 71 degrees (6th)
Coolest temperature: 25 degrees (27th)
Heating Degrees Days: 508 (140 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 1 (12 below average)
Records set or tied: Record cool maximum - 30 degrees on the 14th. Record warm minimum - 64 degrees on the 30th.
Comments: The average temperature for the month ranked in the top 10% coolest on record.

Monthly total: 4.25" (1.24" below average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 14 (4.5 days above average)
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.19" (5th)
Snowfall: 0.6" (0.6" above average)
Records set or tied: Record snowfall occurred on 14th (0.6").
Comments: Three days recorded more than 0.5" of rain, two of which were over 1".

Peak wind: Northwest/43 mph (25th)
Average wind: 7.9 mph
Average relative humidity: 75%
Average sky cover: 60%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 46.5 degrees
Average high temperature: 57.6 degrees
Average low temperature: 37.1 degrees
Warmest temperature: 71.4 degrees (6th)
Coolest temperature: 22.5 degrees (28th)
Comments: Data was unavailable for November 13.

Monthly total: 4.91" (automated rain gauge), 4.90" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 11
Wettest date: 1.36" (5th) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: 0.3" (14th)
Comments: None

Peak wind: Northwest/23 mph (25th)
Average relative humidity: 81%
Average barometric pressure: 30.11 in. Hg

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.64 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 58%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.07 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 67%

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

Climate Outlook - December

The December climate outlook for the United State from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Temperatures are forecast to be above normal for much of the nation except the Rocky Mountains and inter-mountain west. For Memphis, odds of above normal temperatures in December are 39%, near normal 33% and below normal 28%. Memphis typically averages just over 43.6° degrees for the month of December.

A wet November is forecast for much of the United States except the northern tier of states. For Memphis, odds of above normal precipitation in November are 44%, near normal 33% and below normal 23%. December is historically the wettest month of the year in Memphis, averaging about 5.75" of precipitation. This month could be exceptionally so.

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Rain coming to an end soon, but for how long? First thoughts on Christmas weather

Storms are currently rolling through the Mid-South, bringing a good splurge or rain. With the weekend now here, it brings the question: "How wet is the weekend supposed to be?" We will break down those rain chances, talk about how long we remain dry next week, and even take a peak at early projections for our Christmas forecast.

Tonight and Tomorrow

With that low pressure system gradually moving through the Mid-South, we are receiving showers and storms. As of 5pm, a bulk of the storm activity is getting close to wrapping up. That said, rain will not be ending. Instead, showers will continue for tonight as they remain scattered. When not light rain, drizzle/foggy conditions will be taking place. With the rain and clouds, don't look for much day-vs-night temperature changes taking place: low of 46.

National Weather Service's surface analysis map, showing the low pressure system bringing rain for the Mid-South.
Your Saturday will start with lingering rain as we wait for the low to propagate out of our area. The morning brings the greatest chance for rain, with shower activity becoming lighter and more isolated by the afternoon. Minimal diurnal shifts remain a part of the forecast, so our high will only be 50 degrees. Saturday night cooler air creeps in as we just start to lose the clouds. By this point, that low is now out of the area and high pressure starts to build in, bringing an end to our rain chances.


Weather Prediction Center's QPF Totals showing that we aren't expecting much rain over the next 5 days.
Sunday through Wednesday, high pressure takes over, drying us out over this period of the forecast. With the dry weather comes the return of sunshine and clear nights: that means that we will see our diurnal temperature swings return. One thing of note is that today's low is going to be bringing in more Pacific like air, rather than Arctic, so we won't be pulling in colder air. Instead, look for our highs to range between the mid to upper 50s. Meanwhile, that diurnal swing effect means that we have our nighttime lows getting into the upper 30s.

Wednesday Night-Friday

Wednesday night brings the return of clouds and rain chances. A shortwave will drop from the north, meaning that we will have conditions, though minimal, for getting some shower activity going. With the rain comes cloud cover which should help insulate us and keeping our temps a little warmer overnight, with a low near the mid 40s.

A shortwave Wednesday night into Thursday in the Mid-South brings minimal rain chances that night and through the day.

Rain chances from Wednesday night last into Thursday, though rain chances never climb too high. The weak shortwave mean that at most we will see scattered rain chances through the day as we remain mostly cloudy. Highs remain in the mid 50s. By that evening, we dry out somewhat as the clouds try to hang on. Lows in the lower 40s.

Friday takes on an interesting look for the forecast with a low pressure system setting up behind the shortwave. Depending on how fast and how far the low digs will determine how much moisture is pumped out of this system late Friday and into Saturday. Likewise, we need to watch how fast the cold air on the back side of the low infiltrates. For now, we are sticking with our normal forecast and saying mostly sunny skies for your Friday and temps climbing to the mid 50s. We will keep watching Friday night into Saturday as more model runs/data come available.

Christmas Outlook

With Christmas less than two weeks away (queues holiday panic), we are close enough to get some rough idea what that time frame will look like. At the moment, as per the Weather Prediction Center, it looks to be a good chance we keep an above average weather pattern for that time frame. For those that don't like warm Christmases, we do have some good news so don't freak yet. Looks like we will be remaining near average precipitation wise, so no major wash outs for Christmas foretasted at the moment. In fact, ensemble forecasts look like they place us in a ridge during that time frame, which would mean we remain dry. All this said, there is still plenty of time for this forecast to change. Likewise, you know where to go to in order to find those changes!

The WPC's temperature and precipitation outlooks are showing near average precipitation and above average temperature probabilities for the week of Christmas.

Reggie Roakes
MWN Meteorologist

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Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder