Friday, January 8, 2016

December 2015 Climate Data and Forecast Accuracy

December Recap

Above average temperatures continued in December for the fourth straight month. In fact, after the 4th warmest November on record, this month ended as the 2nd warmest December on record. Precipitation was about an inch below normal.

Severe weather marked the last week of the month, particularly on the eve of Christmas Eve (December 23rd) as a Moderate Risk severe weather outlook area included the Memphis metro. The outlook proved to be accurate as multiple supercells tracked across the region, including one that dropped hail in Bartlett and another that produced two long-lived violent tornadoes that traversed north MS, including producing devastating damage in the Holly Springs area in the far southeast metro. See graphic below for high level overview and our previous post for more detail.

For the year 2015, the average temperature at Memphis International Airport was 64.1°, which is 1.0 degree above normal and ended as the 10th warmest year on record. Precipitation for 2015 ended at 52.66", which was 1.02" below normal.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 54.1 degrees (10.5 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 63.1 degrees (11.0 degrees above average)
Average low temperature: 45.1 degrees (10.0 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 80 degrees (26th)
Coolest temperature: 32 degrees (18th)
Records set or tied: Maximum temperature records were set on the 12th (76 degrees) and 26th (80 degrees) and tied on the 11th (77 degrees), 22nd (70 degrees), 23rd (73 degrees), 24th (76 degrees), and 27th (77 degrees). The high of 80 degrees on the 26th was only the 2nd time a high of 80 degrees had been reached in the month of December on record and was, therefore, the 2nd highest temperature recorded in the month of December on record (81 degrees, 12/2/1982). Record maximum low temperatures were set on the 12th (67 degrees) and 23rd (63 degrees).
Comments: December 2015 was the 2nd warmest December on record, trailing only 1889 (60.2 degrees). Only 3 daily average temperatures were below normal. 16 days were at least 10 degrees above average. Ten days had high temperatures at or above 70 degrees and it was the first December on record that recorded no sub-freezing temperatures.

Monthly total: 4.77" (0.97" below average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 10 (0.3 days above normal)
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.61" (25th)
Total Snowfall: None
Records set or tied: None
Comments: None

Peak wind: Southeast/35 mph (13th)
Average wind: 8.3 mph
Average relative humidity: 70%
Average sky cover: 70%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 52.2 degrees
Average high temperature: 62.7 degrees
Average low temperature: 41.8 degrees
Warmest temperature: 78.6 degrees (26th)
Coolest temperature: 25.7 degrees (4th)
Comments: None.

Monthly total: 5.57" (automated rain gauge), 5.65" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 9
Wettest date: 1.82" (25th) (via automated gauge)
Total Snowfall: None
Comments: None

Peak wind: South/31 mph (28th)
Average relative humidity: 81%

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.40 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 60%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.56 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 63%

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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