Thursday, December 6, 2012

November 2012 Climate Data and Forecast Accuracy

Following a year of average monthly temperatures that were above normal, Memphis International Airport finished the month with below normal temperatures for the second month in a row, due mainly to low temperatures that averaged more than 3 degrees below normal. Rainfall was well below normal once again continuing a dry 2012. There was one severe weather event, on November 3 (when the temperature soared to a record high of 83 ahead of a cold front), which prompted Severe Thunderstorms Warnings in the metro area. Quarter to golf ball sized hail was reported in Shelby County.

Through November 30, the average temperature for 2012 of 67.5 degrees is 2.8 degrees above normal, making 2012 (still) the warmest year on record though the end of November, but only by 0.3 degrees (2007, 67.2 degrees). Drought conditions abated slightly, even though rainfall was well below normal, and precipitation for the year is still nearly 15" below average. Most of the Memphis metro is now classified as being in a moderate drought, a significant improvement from "extreme" at the beginning of September.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

The average temperature for the month of November was 51.7 degrees, or 1.5 degrees below normal. The average high temperature was 62.9 degrees and the average low was 40.5. The coolest temperature of the month was 30 degrees on the 28th, while the highest temperature was 83 degrees on the 3rd, which also set a record high for the date. There were 3 days in which the low temperature fell to freezing or below.

Precipitation for the month totaled 2.90", which was 2.59" below average. There were 7 calendar days with measurable rainfall, only 2 of which saw totals of 0.50" or more (maximum 1.23" on the 11th, which set a daily precipitation record). The peak wind gust was 39 mph from the northwest on the 3rd with an average wind speed for the month of 5.8 mph. Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions, Bartlett, TN

The average November temperature at Cirrus Weather Solutions was 48.1 degrees with a maximum of 83.5 degrees on the 3rd and a minimum of 24.1 degrees on the 28th. November precipitation measured 2.41" via the Cirrus automated gauge and 2.48" in a manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program. The measured peak wind gust was 21 mph on the 11th. Average relative humidity was a muggy 74%. Click here for a daily recap on

MWN Forecast Accuracy

For the month of November, the average temperature error in all MWN temperature forecasts was 2.14 degrees, lower than all available full-range computer model data and the National Weather Service. More than 61% 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 2.70 degrees of error and fell within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint over 57 % of the time. Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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