Friday, February 4, 2011

January 2011 Climate Data and MWN Forecast Accuracy

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN
A cold and snowy month greeted Mid-Southerners as the below normal temperatures from December continued and measurable snow fell on three separate occasions. Despite the snow, total precipitation was only 35% of normal, making for a dry month. As of February 1, the region was still classified as being in a moderate to severe drought.

The average temperature was 38.9 degrees for the month, which was 1.0 degrees below normal. The average high temperature was 46.9 degrees and the average low was 30.8. Low temperatures dropped below to freezing or below 19 times during the month, while two days saw high temperatures at or below freezing (9th and 12th). The lowest temperature for the month was 14 degrees on the 12th and the highest temperature was 71 on the 29th.

Precipitation for the month of January totaled 1.49", or 2.75" below the normal of 4.24". There were ten days with measurable rainfall and the maximum 24-hour total was 1.53" on Dec. 31st-Jan. 1st (most falling on the 31st). There was 6.1" of snow for the month.  The total included 3.0" that fell on the 9th, 2.0" on the 20th, and 1.1" on the 25th, while traces were recorded on the 10th and 11th. The peak wind gust was 33 mph, while the average wind speed for the month was 6.9 mph. Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International for January.

Bartlett, TN
The average temperature for January at the WXLIVE! station in north Bartlett was 37.6 degrees with a maximum of 72.0 on the 29th and a minimum of 11.4 degrees on the 13th.

January precipitation ended below normal with a precipitation total of 1.78". A co-located manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program measured 1.60", not including light precipitation that fell prior to 8am on January 1. Several periods of snow were recorded totaling 5.8" for the month.  These included 3.1" between 6pm and 5am on the 9th-10th, 1.9" between 1pm-6pm on the 20th, and 0.8" between 4pm-11pm on the 25th.  The peak wind gust was 25 mph on the 7th. Average relative humidity was 69%. Click here for a daily recap on

MWN Forecast Accuracy
For the month of January, the average temperature error in all MWN temperature forecasts was 2.87 degrees, lower than all compared computer models, including the National Weather Service. Over 54% of the MWN temperature forecasts for the month were within 2 degrees of the actual temperature. MWN's forecasts extend out five periods (or 2.5 days). For dewpoint accuracy, the MWN forecast beat all data sources except the NAM model and averaged 2.90 degrees error, falling within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint over 57% of the time. Detailed accuracy statistics can be found here.

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