Saturday, June 6, 2015

May 2015 Climate Data and Forecast Accuracy

May Recap

Cool conditions during the latter half of April transitioned to above normal temperatures in May for most of the month with the exception of a couple of very cool days on the 21st and 22nd. In addition, a dry April turned into a wet May with precipitation above normal across the Mid-South. Memphis International Airport still has a year-to-date rainfall deficit of 4.06", or about 83% of normal. Through May 31, the year-to-date average temperature is 1.5 degrees below normal, primarily due to a very cold start to the year that has yet to be overcome with slightly above average temperatures since then.

There were a few rounds of thunderstorms in the metro, but severe weather continued to be below the typical spring pace, especially considering May is typically peak severe weather season in the Mid-South. Minor wind damage reports were received on the 24th and 29th in the metro.

For the three-month period defined as "meteorological spring" (March-May), Memphis International Airport had an average temperature of 63.6 degrees (0.7 degrees above normal), 14.57" of precipitation (1.34" below normal), and 3.6" of snow (3.2" above normal), all of which fell in the March 5th-6th storm system.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 72.9 degrees (1.2 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 81.6 degrees (0.4 degrees above average)
Average low temperature: 64.1 degrees (1.9 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 88 degrees (7th)
Coolest temperature: 48 degrees (22nd)
Records set or tied: The high on May 21 of 64 degrees was the coolest May 21 on record, but 8 degrees off the record. The low of 48 the following morning tied for 2nd coolest low temperature for May 22, but was 7 degrees off the record.
Comments: No days reached 90 degrees this month, which is 2 below an average May. High temperatures averaged near normal, but low temperatures averaged nearly 2 degrees above normal due to abundant cloud cover for large parts of the month, resulting in a daily average that was slightly above normal.

Monthly total: 6.02" (0.77" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 14 (3.7 days above normal)
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.84" (31st)
Total Snowfall: None
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Nearly half of the days of the month received measurable precipitation, resulting in above average rainfall. However, nearly 2" of rain on the 31st resulted in a drier than normal month ending wetter than normal. Three days recorded more than 1" of rainfall for the month.

Peak wind: Southwest/35 mph (30th)
Average wind: 7.7 mph
Average relative humidity: 65%
Average sky cover: 70%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 70.5 degrees
Average high temperature: 81.3 degrees
Average low temperature: 60.9 degrees
Warmest temperature: 87.5 degrees (7th)
Coolest temperature: 43.0 degrees (1st)
Comments: None

Monthly total: 6.85" (automated rain gauge), 6.92" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 16
Wettest date: 1.80" (16th) (via automated gauge)
Total Snowfall: None
Comments: None

Peak wind: Southwest/22 mph (24th/30th)
Average relative humidity: 78%

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.23 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 68%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.41 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 65%

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

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