Friday, February 3, 2012

January 2012 Climate Data and MWN Forecast Accuracy

For most of the month, January felt nothing like the coldest month of the year. In fact, the average temperature for the month was 6.5 degrees above normal, ending as the 11th warmest January in Memphis recorded history.  In addition, precipitation was well below normal.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

The average temperature for the month of January was 47.7 degrees, 6.5 degrees above normal and more than a degree higher than December 2011. The average high temperature was 58.0 degrees and the average low was 37.4. The coolest temperature of the month was 23 degrees on the 3rd, while the highest temperature was 72 degrees set on the 17th and 31st.  There were 12 days in which the low temperature dropped to, or below, freezing (32 F). Conversely, there were 13 days in which the high reached 60 degrees or better.

Precipitation for the month totaled 1.73", which was 2.25" below average and 7" less than the previous month.  There were eight days with measurable rainfall but only one of those days had more than 0.50" - on the 22nd, severe thunderstorms dropped 0.58". The peak wind gust was 36 mph (from the south) on the 22nd with an average wind speed for the month of 9.4 mph. There was a trace of snowfall on the 12th.  Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions, Bartlett, TN

The average January temperature at Cirrus Weather Solutions in north Bartlett was 46.4 degrees with a maximum of 73.0 degrees on the 17th and a minimum of 18.1 degrees on the 3rd.  January precipitation totaled 2.78" in the automated gauge. A co-located manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program measured 2.91". Snowfall totaled a trace on the 12th. The peak wind gust was 32 mph on the 22nd. Average relative humidity was 64%. 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 2.88 degrees, lower than all compared computer models by at least 8%. 55% 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 averaged 3.18 degrees of error and fell within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint 52% of the time. Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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