Sunday, January 21, 2018

Memphis, TN Annual Climate Summary for 2017

2017 Annual Recap

Overall, 2017 was very warm, the sixth warmest in Memphis recorded history, and generally remained below normal precipitation-wise for the year outside of a few wet spells.

During the year, there were two major weather events. The first was the "Tom Lee Storm," a derecho that struck Memphis on Memorial Day weekend, knocking over the statue of Tom Lee on the Mississippi Riverfront and resulting in massive power outages across the metro due to wind that topped out over 100 mph.

The Tom Lee Memorial Statue lies in pieces after severe windstorm on May 27 blew through the city, less than an hour after Memphis in May's #901Fest ended. Photo credit: Joe Birch.

The second was the the passage of the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey over the Mid-South on August 31, producing record rainfall and very gusty wind, as well as as handful of tornadoes in the region, mainly over northeast MS. Overall, the Mid-South recorded 27 tornadoes for the year, most weak, while only two occurred in the greater metro: an EF-0 in Tipton County near Covington on April 30 and an EF-0 in Marshall County near Red Banks on June 22. Neither produced any injuries or deaths.

The following represents a statistical recap of the weather for 2017 in Memphis. A more complete recap of  weather in the Mid-South for the year, produced by the National Weather Service in Memphis, can be found here.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 64.7 degrees (1.6 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 74.2 degrees (1.7 degrees above average)
Average low temperature: 55.2 degrees (1.6 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 99 degrees (July 21)
Coolest temperature: 13 degrees (January 7 & January 8)

Heating degree days: 2298 (667 below average)
Cooling degree days: 2302 (44 above average)
Days at or above 90 degrees: 50 (14.3 days below average)
Days at or below 32 degrees: 35 (7.8 days below average)
Last freeze/first freeze: March 24-November 12 (233 day growing season)

Records set or tied: Six warm weather records and one cold weather record were set during 2017. The daily records included: February 11 (79°, record high, and 63°, record warm minimum),  February 19 (77°, record high), February 22 (76°, record high), September 12 (66°, record cool maximum), October 9 (92°, record high), and November 5 (67°, record warm minimum).

Comments: 2017 was the 6th warmest year on record with a 64.7° average annual temperature. January was the 8th warmest on record, despite featuring the coldest temperature of the year as well. February was the warmest on record in Memphis and ended meteorological winter of 2016-'17 as the 4th warmest on record. April was the tenth warmest on record, landing the period January-April (as well as January-May and January-June) in second spot for warmest such periods recorded. 2016 finished as the sixth warmest year on record in Memphis.

Temperatures for the year (lows/highs) are plotted in dark blue against the normals (brown), record highs (red) and record lows (light blue).  Where the dark blue extends above or below the brown indicates temperatures above or below normal, respectively.

Monthly total: 51.38" (2.30" below average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 122 (14.3 days above average)
Days with 1"+ precipitation: 18 (0.6 days above average)
Wettest day: 4.40" (August 31

Total Snowfall: 2.0" (1.8" below average)
Days with a trace or more snowfall: 4
Greatest snow depth (at 6am CST): 1" (January 7)

Records set or tied: Three daily records were set in 2017: June 23 (1.63"), August 31 (4.04"), December 22 (3.33").

Comments: 2017 ended with slightly below average precipitation for the year. February was the 10th driest on record. August precipitation, particularly from the remnants of Harvey at the end of the month, netted a fourth place finish for wettest on record.

Precipitation accumulation for 2017 is plotted as the dark green line, compared with a normal year in brown. For a large part of the year, precipitation ran below average. Periodic downpours brought the total closer to average for short periods, particularly around September 1 and in mid-December, but the year ended slightly below normal. 

Peak wind gust: West/61 mph (May 27)
Average wind: 8.1 mph
Average relative humidity: 68%

Click here for monthly/daily statistical recaps for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 62.7 degrees
Average high temperature: degrees
Average low temperature: degrees
Warmest temperature: 98.7 degrees (July 22)
Coolest temperature: 10.8 degrees (January 8)

Heating degree days: 2704
Cooling degree days: 2138

Annual total: 49.40" (automated rain gauge), 52.46" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Wettest date: 4.63" (Aug. 31- Sep. 1) (CoCoRaHS)

Total Snowfall: 1.5"
Days with a trace or more snowfall: 4
Greatest snow depth: 0.5" (multiple days)

Peak wind: West/38 mph (May 27)
Average relative humidity: 76%
Average barometric pressure: 30.06" Hg

Click here for monthly/daily statistical recaps for Bartlett, TN.

MWN Forecast Accuracy

Number of forecasts produced and rated in 2017: 574
MWN average temperature error: 2.08 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 67.8%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.40 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 61.1%

MWN's forecasts extend out five periods (2.5 days, or roughly 60 hours) and the numbers above represent the error/accuracy of the entire 2.5 day period. Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Mid South Graphic is great!