Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Are you missing our content on Facebook?

(and what to do if you are...)

Originally published October 30, 2012

The use of social media to relay important, at times vital, information has risen exponentially over the past couple of years.  In fact, it has reached the point where social media has, in many cases, overtaken traditional forms of media in terms of providing the initial "break" in breaking news and important detailed follow up to those same stories.  There are many examples of this trend that are easy to spot for those who utilize social media (particularly Facebook and Twitter) on a regular basis for things other than personal communication with friends, colleagues, etc.

One area where this is highly evident is in weather coverage - so much so that the firehose of information, particularly during severe and large-scale events, when properly filtered, can fill in the gaping holes in traditional media coverage that many never knew existed.  At MemphisWeather.net, we are keen to the use of social media in not only distributing pertinent weather information to our friends and followers, but in gathering the information from a wide variety of sources - local, regional, and national.  We pride ourselves in  having the latest information at our fingertips and relaying that information back to you in a timely, succinct, and direct (but non-threatening) way.

At the mercy of the platform

As social media evolves, we evolve with it.  We expect evolution to take place and you expect that we will accept and embrace change so that we can continue to meet our mission to provide you with the information you need. One example of this is the recent addition of Google+ to our social media toolkit, in certain instances.  One downside to using other's platforms to distribute the information, however, is that we are at the mercy of the platform when they make changes.  We aren't big enough or rich enough to (at this point) develop our own platform that we control, so we must either accept change to the platform we use, or choose not to use it.

It has come to our attention through monitoring our social media metrics and the posts of other entities like ourselves, as well as announcements by the company itself, that one of our heavily-used platforms, Facebook, has made some changes to the way they show the posts of Facebook Fan Pages (like MemphisWeather.net).  Facebook uses a proprietary algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what posts you see in your News Feed.


There are several factors that go into EdgeRank which determines whether you see the posts of certain pages and how many you see.  The changes, we believe, are revenue-driven and are negatively impacting our followers. How?  By not showing our posts in your News Feed, whether you know it or not, with the hope that WE will pay Facebook to show OUR content to YOU - when YOU are the one that requested to see it by liking our page in the first place!

We currently have well over 5,000 "likes" on our Fan Page.  However, a quick glance at our metrics indicates that only about 10% of you (roughly 500 without doing a detailed analysis) are actually seeing each post we make.  Why is this?  EdgeRank.  You see, just because you Like a page apparently does NOT mean it will show up in your News Feed.

Facebook has started "offering" owners of Fan Pages like MemphisWeather.net the chance to pay Facebook to put our posts in front of more of our followers.  To us, it sounds a little strange for us to pay to put our information in front of the people who requested it in the first place!  These "Promoted Posts" are supposedly bumped up in the EdgeRank algorithm, allowing more of our followers to see that particular post.  We believe Promoted Posts and the unwritten "10% rule" are designed to create revenue for Facebook.

Now, let me be clear that I am not against a company having revenue - heck, we are one and without it, there would likely be no MemphisWeather.net (or at least it would be scaled way back)!  However, this seems to be pushing the envelope a bit.  Our stance is that if you Like our page, you must be willing to see our posts, or you would un-like us or hide us from your News Feed.  It's not up to Facebook to decide that you don't want to see our posts!  So if you think you aren't seeing all (or any) of our posts and you have Liked our page, you have a few options.

So, what to do about it...

1. Get notified!  Not sure how we missed this before... But just like getting Facebook notifications when someone comments or likes a post after you have, or when someone engages your post, picture, etc., you can get a Facebook notification when we post to our page! Just go to our Fan page, click the "Liked" button, then click "Get Notifications" (see example below).  (NOTE: This appears to work for all of our posts EXCEPT links we post, i.e., radar update with a link to the radar.)

2. Like, comment, and interact. One of the key factors in determining whether you see content in your News Feed is engagement: the amount of clicks, likes, comments, shares, etc. generated by a piece of content (what we post).  Thus, the more you like, comment, or share our content, the more likely you will see more of our content in your Feed.

3. Create an Interest List. Most people are probably not familiar with Interest Lists, but they are the sure-fire way to see ALL of our content.  After you create the list with whoever (and whatever) you want in it you simply click on the list (desktop or Facebook's mobile app) and you will see all content from those in that list. These are like Friends lists, only Fan Pages like ours cannot be part of a Friends list.  More on How to Create an Interest List.

4. Follow us on Twitter. I know, you hate Twitter (event though you've never tried it) or have sworn to never open that can of worms.  However, for information sharing and digesting, there is NO BETTER social platform (currently) than Twitter.  You get everything posted by an account (like @memphisweather1, which is ours) and can create lists to organize it.  Twitter doesn't filter it based on what it THINKS you want to see.  Quick and easy to setup and ALL content from those you want to follow. Here's our account on Twitter.

5. Monitor our Twitter feed via our Facebook page tab. OK, so you STILL refuse to join Twitter.  There's one last alternative for those of you accessing Facebook from a PC.  On our Facebook page, in the apps section (see below) you will see "Twitter Feed." Click the icon. Voila!  You can follow our posts to Twitter, which means everything we post, sequentially, and auto-updating, all without joining Twitter.  Keep that page open in a browser tab and you're all set. (Keep in mind there is no interaction with us on that tab, but you can flip back to our main Facebook page to post something to us if you wish.)

We are not about to do anything drastic!

With well over 5,000 of you "liking" us on Facebook, we are not about to jump off a cliff, drop the platform, and leave potentially thousands of you without our severe weather nowcasting or daily weather updates.  And we know some of you just don't DO Twitter (although we don't know why).  Just take notice that if you really do want to see our information on Facebook, YOU have to do something to fix that.  We will NOT be paying Facebook to show you our posts.  That just seems, well, ridiculous (unless we're trying to get you to buy our app, which you can do here [subtle plug]).

Thank you kindly for reading and for following us on Facebook!  We truly appreciate all of the positive feedback we receive.  It literally keeps us going when the hours draw on and there are still more storms headed in our direction!  Let us know what you think by commenting below, or drop us a line on one of our social media feeds.

Erik Proseus
Owner, Cirrus Weather Solutions
Meteorologist, MemphisWeather.net

Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps,  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Last day of 80s, then late fall weather moves in - and a note on Hurricane Sandy

At mid-day Thursday, a cold front that promises significantly cooler weather was moving towards the Mid-South from the Plains.  Ahead of the front, temperatures in the 80s will be widespread this afternoon throughout the lower Mississippi Valley into the southeastern part of the country.  Meanwhile behind the front, temperatures behind the front fall off sharply into the 40s.

Temperatures behind the cold front are in the 30s and 40s, while they are in the 70s and 80s ahead of it.
The front will pass through the Mid-South overnight, dropping temperatures into the mid 50s by dawn.  Showers are expected to follow the front and could linger into the afternoon Friday, though most rain would fall during the morning.  Not a lot of rain is expected however and thunderstorms are not a big concern. During the day, temperatures will not recover behind the front and we expect to see readings in the 50s all day long - some 25-30 degrees colder than today!  A gusty north wind will add to the "shock value," making it feel even cooler.

Position of the cold front at 7am Friday.  Cold Canadian air will pour in behind the front.

Plot of temp (red), dewpoint (green), wind speed (purple), sky cover (blue), precip chance (brown), and rain/thunder chances (green/red bars) for the next 48 hours at Memphis.

The cool weather (highs in the 50s to near 60) look to stick with us well into next week as a major upper-level trough encompasses the eastern portion of the country.  The trough will merge with Hurricane Sandy early next week as the storm likely makes landfall somewhere in the northeastern U.S. early next week.

The GFS model (GFS wind forecast below) agrees fairly well with the Hurricane Center track which shows landfall in New England, perhaps as far south as New Jersey/New York City on Tuesday.  If this happens and the storms is anywhere close to minimal hurricane strength, widespread disruptions will result in the form of high wind or a large swath of the Northeast, torrential rain, coastal flooding and beach erosion, and significant waves just offshore.

Near-surface wind forecast from GFS model for Tuesday morning.
Widespread high wind will impact a large portion of the region is this track holds.
While it will not directly impact our weather, it will certainly be the weather story of the fall across all major media outlets and likely deservedly so.  If you have travel plans in or out of the Northeast late in the weekend into next week, plan accordingly.  Air travel will likely be significantly disrupted and even surface travel could be hazarous for a large area, especially within 100 miles or so of the coast.
Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps,  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Monday, October 22, 2012

This Week in Mid-South Weather - October 22-28, 2012

Currently the metro is under the influence of a large area of high pressure centered over the southeast U.S.  The area of high pressure will not move much between now and Thursday meaning a continuation of above average temperatures for the metro. Highs each day will be in the low 80s with morning lows in the lower 60s. The high pressure is also blocking any storm systems from entering our area with sunny to partly cloudy skies for the next several days.

High pressure dominates the SE U.S. for a few days as this surface map valid Wednesday shows.
By Friday, the area of high pressure will move off the east coast allowing a cold front to move towards the metro. How long the front affects the area remains to be seen as a tropical system off the eastern seaboard could determine the speed of the front.  Tropical Depression 18 formed this morning over the southern Caribbean Sea, south of Jamaica, but by late in the week will be moving into the Bahamas, possibly as a strong system named Sandy.

If Sandy decides to move close to the U.S. coastline, the front will slow and could take longer to move through.  If Sandy stays out to sea, the front should progress more quickly.  Currently, the latter possibility seems more plausible and this is what computer models are predicting.  Thus, the front will bring rain chances back to the metro Friday and possibly early Saturday. No severe weather is expected with this system at this time. As the weekend draws closer, we will have a better idea of the specifics and will fine-tune the forecast.

By Friday morning, a cold front approaches while Sandy moves through the Bahamas
The cold front should exit the area sometime Saturday leaving behind clearing skies and a drastic pattern chance.  The metro will experience much cooler temperatures starting Sunday with high temperatures only reaching the mid 60s and temperatures in the 40s expected for lows.

Forecast model temps Sunday morning behind the front
At this time, an extended look towards Halloween shows dry weather and cool temps with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s, though this is still beyond the range of our extended forecast and will be discussed further in later outlooks.

Find the complete MWN Forecast at MemphisWeather.net or on MWN Mobile.

--Patrick Luckett, MWN Intern
--Erik Proseus, MWN Meteorologist

Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps,  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NWS confirms straight-line wind damage to mobile home park in Millington

Following severe storms that raked the Memphis metro on Wednesday night, October 18, officials from NWS-Memphis conducted storms surveys in several areas within their area of responsibility.

In Shelby County, the NWS determined that damage in Millington, TN adjacent to the Wal-Mart in the West Side Mobile Home Park was due to straight-line wind of 75-80 mph that struck at about 8:15pm.  The damage occurred over an area about 50 yards wide and about 1/3 of a mile long.

Damage path from storm that struck the West Side Mobile Home Park in Millington, TN.  Click for larger image.

From the NWS storm survey:


Severe damage to mobile home from a fallen tree.
Photo credit: Ashli Blow, WMC-TV Community Blogger
A Tornado Warning was in effect until 8:30pm for areas of northwest Shelby County just to the west of the damage location at the time the storm struck and sirens were sounding in Millington.  A follow up Tornado Warning was issued at 8:05pm that included all of Millington.  In addition, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was also in effect until 8:15pm.  Graphics of all warnings are shown below.

MemphisWeather.net strongly advises those living in mobile homes or travel trailers to evacuate to sturdier shelter when either Tornado OR Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are issued for their location.  As evidenced, major damage to trailers can occur from 75 mph straight line wind.

Tornado Warning area that was in effect at the time of the damage in Millington.
A subsequent warning covered the damage area (shown below).
Additional tornado warning that was in effect for the mobile home park at the time of the damage 

Severe Thunderstorm Warning that expired at about the time the damage occurred.
The Tornado Warning was still in effect after the Severe Thunderstorm Warning expired.
Finally, the NWS also determined that 60 mph wind struck Coldwater, MS (Tate County in the MWN coverage area) around 9:25pm, causing some tree damage.

Related stories:
Millington residents displaced by severe storm - WMC-TV 5 (Story/video)
Damage photos at West Side Mobile Home Park - WMC-TV 5 (Photos)
Millington Storm Cleanup Begins - WREG-TV 3 (Story/video)

Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps,  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

NOAA releases winter outlook with lower-than-normal confidence, citing "elusive" El Niño

Earlier today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Climate Prediction Center issued their 2012-2013 winter outlook.  Citing what forecasters term an "elusive" El Niño that has not made it's presence known as expected this fall, the forecast is "less certain than previous years."

"This is one of the most challenging outlooks we've produced in recent years because El Niño decided not to show up as expected," said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. El Niño is the presence of warm ocean water in the equatorial Pacific that in turn influences the strength and position of the jetstream and storms over the Pacific Ocean and United States.  General climate conditions are fairly well understood during El Niño winters in the U.S.  When El Niño decides to play peek-a-boo is when the uncertainty rises, besides other complicating factors, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

According to the outlook, wintertime temperatures (defined as December-February) are expected to be above normal for much of the western U.S., which there is a greater chance of above normal temperatures than below normal temperatures extending east roughly to the Mississippi River Valley.  Below normal average temperatures are expected for the Florida peninsula.

Precipitation-wise, the Gulf Coast is expected to be wetter than normal while drier than normal conditions are more likely over the Upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

In the Mid-South, there are equal chances of above and below normal precipitation and slightly better chances of a warm winter than a cold one. However, after the 7th warmest winter on record in Memphis last year with one-third the average yearly snowfall, even closer to average conditions offer hopes for some cold spells and possibly winter precipitation.  Time will tell!

Graphics above courtesy NOAA/CPC.  For the full report from NOAA, click here.

What do you hope will happen this winter?  Are you a snow-lover or would you prefer another mild winter?

Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps,  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Update on this evening's severe weather risk

UPDATED 3:15pm (all updates in red): As discussed yesterday afternoon, the Mid-South has been placed under an elevated severe weather risk for late this afternoon through the evening hours.  Model data continues to support this scenario and the timing has not changed from yesterday afternoon as further data has remained very consistent.

Below are the late morning graphics from the Storm Prediction Center showing the slight risk areas and the probabilities of occurrence for tornadoes, damaging wind, and hail.  The probabilities represent the chance of the event occurring within 25 miles of a location, thus a 10% tornado risk indicates a 10% chance of seeing a tornado within 25 miles of a location (i.e., your house).  (The mid-afternoon graphics were nearly identical.)

Probabilities of tornadoes, high wind, and large hail within 25 miles of any point.
Hatched tornado area indicates 10%+ chance of an EF-2+ tornado.

The details 
We expect to see scattered storms, some supercells, develop by mid-afternoon over southern Missouri and Arkansas as very strong upper level wind overspreads that area.  As the high upper-level wind spreads east and the cold front moves east, storms will merge into mini-lines that will then congeal into a large squall line.  We now expect there could be two lines that affect the metro before they merge into one larger line to our east.  All storms will occur during the 6-11pm time frame and move quickly east, bringing a threat of strong to severe, possibly damaging and widespread, straight line wind to the metro.  This wind threat is significant enough that you should plan on the possibility of power outages and small trees down.

High-resolution computer model data (RAP model) indicating storms in and around the metro at 8pm.
Actual arrival time could vary by 1-2 hours from this depiction

A note on the tornado threat
An isolated tornado could also form within individual storms in the squall line, though these types of "spin-ups" tend to be short-lived and weak (as tornadoes go).  There is a slightly greater risk of tornadoes, which could be stronger, in any supercells that form separate from the line, which we expect could occur mainly to our west (before any lines come together) and south (where the line may not be as well developed).   The threat to the metro is very small and is most likely between 6-8 pm.  We gauge the risk of individual supercells with tornadic potential to be low, but not non-existent, in the metro.

"Be prepared, not scared"
Please review the safety tips below and prepare ahead of time for the possibility of strong wind and potential power outages.  If you have outdoor plans this evening: we EXPECT everyone in the metro will see at least one line of storms with deadly lightning and strong wind between 7-11pm.  The storms will be moving quickly and weather could deteriorate in just a few minutes.  If you hear thunder or see a shelf cloud (long line of dark low level clouds) approaching, it's time to seek shelter under a sturdy structure or in your vehicle.  If sirens sound or your smartphone app alerts you to a Tornado Warning - SEEK STURDY SHELTER WITHOUT DELAY.

MWN event coverage
We will be nowcasting this weather event live on Facebook and Twitter to keep you up to date with the very latest on timing, threats, and warnings issued.  In addition, we cannot stress enough the need for multiple ways of receiving severe weather information - radio, TV, weather radio, smartphone apps, etc.  Do NOT  rely solely on outdoor sirens to alert you to severe weather!

We certainly hope that you will consider the MWN mobile apps for iPhone/iPad and Android devices, which feature StormWatch+.  For a small one-time fee within the app, you get peace of mind knowing that any warnings issued for your location (not your county) will be pushed to your phone without delay.  Links to the apps are below.

Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps (click here for mobile link),  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall cold front could bring severe weather Wednesday evening

A couple of very nice fall days have graced the Mid-South, but a strong cold front will move through the region on Wednesday evening, bringing a chance for severe weather. Fortunately, this system is progressive - meaning it will move through rather quickly.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Mid-South in a Slight Risk zone for Wednesday afternoon/evening.

Ahead of the front, temperatures will warm into the lower 80s Wednesday afternoon with ample sunshine, while southerly wind gusting at times to 30 mph will escort moisture into the region from the Gulf of Mexico.  A strong jet stream moving into the region will provide the atmospheric dynamics required to initiate thunderstorms over Arkansas during the afternoon hours.

Initially, scattered cells will pose a hail, wind, and perhaps a tornado risk, mainly to our west.  However, as the afternoon wears on, expect to see storms merge into a likely squall line that would elevate the wind damage threat as it moves into the metro area.  The most likely time for severe weather is between 5pm-10pm with possible scattered supercell storms (mainly to the west) during the early portion of that timeframe and the squall line likely to arrive between 7-10pm Wednesday night.

NWS graphic showing cold front position at 7pm Wednesday just west of the metro and precipitation ahead of it.

GFS computer model showing band of precipitation over the Mid-South during the evening on Wednesday
Hi-res WRF model depicting "forecast radar" at 10 pm Wednesday with storms along/east of the Mississippi River
As the Mid-South begins it's transition into "secondary severe weather season," now is the time to begin preparations for the potential of any severe weather - this week or in the coming 6-8 weeks. We highly recommend our mobile apps for on-the-go information (linked below), as well as our social media sites linked below for the latest information specific to the Memphis metro as storms roll through.  We call it social media nowcasting, our followers call it vital information.

We'll have more on the potential severe weather threat as the situation becomes more clear.

Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps,  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sunday cold front and the chance of severe weather in the metro

A strong mid-October cold front of Pacific origin will move through the Mid-South Sunday, but will it bring severe weather?  The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has offered it's opinion, now here's ours in a quick "Saturday Evening Post."

Thank you!
First, let me begin by offering a sincere thank you to MWN interns Patrick and Hunter for manning the MWN social media ship and keeping you all informed while I got some much-needed R&R with my family this week in Perdido Key, FL. It was a great few days away, but I'm ready to jump back on ship!  Also, a huge thanks to former intern and friend Kevin Terry for bringing his forecast expertise back to MWN so that our complete set of services was available during my absence.  I love #TeamMWN!

Back to the business at hand... below is the Day 2 (Sunday) severe weather outlook graphic from SPC.  It highlights the metro area in a Slight Risk of severe weather tomorrow.  There are actually two different times to keep an eye on, and to be honest, neither looks particularly potent at this hour.

Severe weather threat #1
Overnight, a large area of thunderstorms currently (7:30 pm CDT) moving across the Plains into western MO and AR will move east towards the region.  While sufficient wind shear will be in place when the storms would arrive early Sunday morning (wind at 2,000' will be blowing at 50-60 mph), instability (frequently brought about by heating from the sun) will be at a minima.  I fully expect this evening's storms to be in a weakening or weakened state when they arrive in the metro between 5-9am Sunday.  Showers and some embedded thunder will be a decent bet, but severe weather seems unlikely.  Any storm that is strong would have high wind as it's main threat.  This area of rain/storms will be well ahead of the cold front.

Severe weather threat #2
During the day, a fair amount of sunshine is possible, which should help bring the instability levels back up as temperatures warm to at least 80 given enough sunshine.  Gusty surface wind and low-level moisture will also be in place.  However, I'm not convinced that there will be sufficient severe weather ingredients in place as the front moves through (late afternoon/early evening timeframe) to bring about severe storms.  In fact, I'm not convinced that there will even be much in the way of precipitation along the front, even though it is fairly strong.  Computer models seem to say the same thing.  So, for the evening (say from 4-8 pm), there is a chance of some showers or storms along the front, but it is not likely.  Any strong storms that form would bring a high wind and large hail threat.  The precipitation chances drop to near zero after 9pm Sunday.

The bottom line:  A chance of storms, a few of which could be severe with damaging wind or large hail, will occur between 5-9am and again from 4-8pm Sunday.  Overall, the day will be warm, muggy, and windy with highs from 79-82.

Behind the front, pleasant fall weather is expected for the first half of the work week before another front arrives mid-week.  Get all the details in the MWN Forecast.

We'll be monitoring the situation carefully and will have the latest on our social media channels listed below, as well as on our mobile apps.

Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps,  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Big Kahuna front brings the coldest air of the season so far

All week, we've been talking on our social feeds about what we have called the "Big Kahuna" cold front that is due in tonight and how it's going to have a drastic affect on our weather.  It's time to provide some more detail, especially with regard to tonight and Saturday, as there are plenty of outdoor activities planned, including Live at the Garden with Bonnie Raitt, high school football games, the Bluff City Blues 100 bike events Saturday, and Memphis Tigers football game Saturday night.

Very warm air and sufficient Gulf moisture ahead of a potent Canadian cold front is the recipe for possible thunderstorms and the Storm Prediction Center has keyed onto the region.  A Slight Risk for severe weather, mainly due to possible hail or a wind gust, has been issued for roughly the southeast half of AR, including western portions of the metro (see below).  

Scattered thunderstorms will be possible to our west by the evening rush hour but are a little more likely along the front as it moves across the metro this evening. We expect the front to arrive in the city around 8pm.  Storms should not be as strong east of the Mississippi River as over AR, but everyone should still be weather aware, especially those outdoors tonight.

Besides possible showers and thunderstorms along the front, showers are also likely behind it as we head into the overnight hours. The graphic below shows a high-resolution computer model's "idea" of what the radar may look like at 8pm.  Remember this is a model and is not necessarily what will actually happen - but it gives a good idea of the possibility.  Expect rain to linger into the night as the front continues to move south.

The next graphic shows this computer model's interpretation of temperatures at 8pm tonight. Yellows and oranges are 70s to near 80. Light greens are 60s, dark greens 50s, and check out those 40s over southern Missouri! Temperatures will steadily fall behind the front with lows tonight near 50.

Rain should come to an end by early morning, probably by dawn, Saturday, though it will remain mostly cloudy and very cool with a north breeze throughout the day. Temperatures will only rise to the lower 60s (maybe), which would be some 20-25 degrees colder than this afternoon!

By late Saturday and into the evening hours, a disturbance behind the front will trigger additional showers, most of which should fall north of the metro.  However, a few showers will be possible for the Memphis Tigers football game on Saturday evening.  Combined with temperatures in the 50s, the sideline air conditioning units will NOT be needed tomorrow night!  We'll see temps drop to the mid 40s by Sunday morning with any rain ending by dawn.

Sunday should see clouds begin to move out, but again temperatures will struggle to reach 60.  The coldest night of this cool spell will be Sunday night.  Lower 40s are likely in the city and upper 30s (!!) will be likely in the coldest outlying areas.  Could some cold spots get their first frost of the year??  A warming trend commences Monday with 70s back in the forecast by Tuesday.

MemphisWeather.net will keep you updated on changing conditions, especially tonight, via our social media channels and mobile apps.  Find all the necessary links to stay informed below.

Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps,  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

September 2012 Climate Data and Forecast Accuracy

A break in the heat that has resulted in 2012 being (year-to-date) the warmest on record came after the first week of September when temperatures reached the upper half of the 90s for 7 days straight.  A cold front that dropped the high 20 degrees ended the run of 90s, probably for the year.  For the month, the average temperature was almost exactly average, while precipitation was well above normal and welcomed.

Through September 30th, the average temperature for 2012 of 69.9 degrees is 3.8 degrees above normal, beating the previous record though the end of September by about 1.5 degrees (2007, +2.4 degrees).  Drought conditions abated somewhat with local and upstream rainfall and 2012 is no longer among the top 10 driest years on record.  The Memphis metro, with the exception of northwest MS, is classified as being in a severe drought, down from extreme to start the month. Northwest MS remains in an extreme drought.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

The average temperature for the month of September was 75.3 degrees, or 0.1 degrees above normal. The average high temperature was 84.7 degrees and the average low was 65.9. The coolest temperature of the month was 53 degrees on the 19th and again on the 24th, while the highest temperature was 99 degrees on the 5th.  There were 7 days in which the high reached 90 degrees or higher (each day from the 1st through the 7th).  There were no temperatures records set or tied in September.

Precipitation for the month totaled 7.01", which was 3.92" above average. There were 12 calendar days with measurable rainfall, 3 of which saw totals of 1" or more (maximum 2.24" on the 1st-2nd). The peak wind gust was 47 mph from the northwest on the 7th as a thunderstorm moved overhead with an average wind speed for the month of 7.1 mph. Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions, Bartlett, TN

The average September temperature at Cirrus Weather Solutions was 72.3 degrees with a maximum of 98.7 degrees on the 5th and a minimum of 45.7 degrees on the 24th.  September precipitation measured 5.88" via the automated gauge and 6.38" in a manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program (including a small amount of rain that feel prior to 7am on October 1). The measured peak wind gust was 30 mph on the 1st. Average relative humidity was a muggy 76%. Click here for a daily recap on MemphisWeather.net.

MWN Forecast Accuracy

For the month of September, the average temperature error in all MWN temperature forecasts was 1.94 degrees, lower than all available computer model data and the National Weather Service. 69% of the MWN temperature forecasts for the month were within 2 degrees of the actual temperature. MWN's forecasts extend out five periods (2.5 days, or roughly 60 hours). For dewpoint accuracy, the MWN forecast averaged 2.54 degrees of error and fell within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint 58% of the time. Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps,  now with StormWatch+!
Nowcasting services available on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.