Saturday, January 19, 2019

Saturday afternoon update on tonight's #memsnow

Updates at 3:45pm are highlighted.

The Arctic front has moved through the entire metro - and wasn't it a doozy? Temperatures were near 60° at 11:30am and now are in the lower to mid 40s (as of 2pm) with northwest wind routinely gusting to 30-35 mph. Memphis International recorded a 49 mph wind gust as the front passed.

Temperatures at noon Saturday clearly show the position of the Arctic front. (WxBell)
Behind the front, spotty light rain is occurring this afternoon as temperatures fall. The final "kicker," an upper level disturbance, will graze the area to our north later today, bringing with it one more defined round of precipitation. Temperatures near the surface and aloft will continue cooling, allowing that precipitation to fall as light snow this evening.

HRRR model forecast radar through 11pm shows the round of precip falling as snow in the metro and points north this evening. (
As far as amounts, impacts and timing, here's what we expect:

How much: a trace (over north MS) to 1/2" (Tipton County). That leaves most of us with a dusting  to 1/4" on cold exposed surfaces, mulch beds, etc. A bit of sleet is also possible as rain transitions to snow.

The NWS forecast from late Saturday morning of projected snowfall totals. Minor accumulation is possible roughly north of I-40. 
[Updated] When: Light snow or sleet could begin mixing with the rain by 3-4pm in Tipton County and 4-5pm in north MS, becoming all snow by 5-6pm, and ending by 7-9pm. It won't last long.

Impacts: Mostly just pretty! A brief burst of steady snow is probable between 4-6pm for an hour or so before tapering off. I'm sure it'll be delightful to look at. Roads will still be warm and wet, so they should not be a major issue. Use caution on elevated roadways in the metro and rural roads to the north, especially Tipton County. I don't expect huge problems, but just be mindful. Here is the NWS statement:

Confidence: High. Light snow is expected for most of the metro, timing is fairly well locked in, and amounts are agreed on by the vast majority of our model data, including most of the members of the model ensembles, which just means the models are run over and over and the results are all pretty well in line. Meteorologists use this ensemble data to gauge confidence in the forecast and see what the potential is from the "outliers." In this case, well over 80% of all of the available data likes the forecast above.

On Sunday morning, temperatures will be in the mid 20s with wind chills well down into the teens - a major departure from 24 hours previous when temperatures were about 55°! The wind will help dry streets overnight, but again, be cautious on the elevated overpasses and roads as the rain from today could freeze in spots overnight. That results in black ice.

Will this be our only chance this winter? In short - no. See our recent blog that described how cold air will dominate the weather pattern for perhaps as much as the next 4-6 weeks. There are a couple more systems just in the next week or so that will need to be monitored. No major storms on the horizon, but in this pattern, you just never know! Keep an eye on the MWN Forecast (linked below or in the app) for the latest.

Be safe and enjoy!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Arctic airmass intrusions and snow chances

While the cool, damp conditions and overcast skies of late are fairly normal for winter in Memphis, it appears Mother Nature may be poised to send "real" winter our way starting this weekend. While that means the collective antennae of Mid-South meteorologists are "up" for winter precipitation chances, the most likely result of this pattern change will be shots of Arctic air that intrude well into the mid-latitudes, including the Mid-South. Let's dive in!

Today and Friday - mild and mainly dry

Preceding the Arctic air, we'll get a taste of well above normal temperatures the next 48 hours or so, just to re-acclimate you to something semi-pleasant before lowering the Arctic hammer. Today's rain has shifted east for the most part with a weak Pacific cold front moving through late this afternoon. While that will briefly shift our wind around to the north, it won't get too cold behind that front. Look for lows to remain in the 40s overnight - no ice scraping in the morning! Friday will see continued mostly cloudy conditions, but most of the daylight hours will be dry with highs well back into the 50s as wind turns back around towards the south ahead of the next major weather player.

The NWS forecast chart for Friday shows low pressure to our west poised to move east with Arctic air on it's north side. A series of fronts are across the Mid-South. Most of the day will be dry but rain arrives by evening. (NWS)

Friday night through Saturday mid-day - warm and wet

Rain moves in Friday night with wind becoming gusty out of the south, which should hold temperatures up in the 50s during the overnight hours. A rumble of thunder is possible late Friday night into Saturday due to the strength of the incoming low pressure system and accompanying front. Rain continues into Saturday as we see temperatures rise to about 60 Saturday morning.

The NWS/Weather Prediction Center precipitation forecast for Friday at 6pm through Saturday at 6pm calls for more than an inch of rain for Memphis. (NWS/WPC)

Saturday afternoon/evening - the Arctic hammer

By Saturday afternoon though, it'll be as if Memphis was picked up and dropped 1000 miles north in Minnesota! That rude front will bring a doozy of an Arctic blast with temperatures dropping some 25 degrees by evening - into the 30s - and a north wind blows at 30+ mph! That's when things could get interesting for a minute as the Arctic hammer gets dropped...

While some precipitation will linger into the evening, the cold airmass could advance quickly enough to change the lingering precip over to the white variety. As of now (Thursday afternoon), I think we've got better than a 50% chance of seeing snowflakes after dark Saturday evening. However, I don't think it will amount to much. The dry Arctic air will wring out the atmosphere pretty quickly, and precipitation will be quick to exit. Accumulation chances appear to range from none to an inch with most of the metro likely to see 1/2" or less.

The NWS/WPC forecast as of Thursday morning for the "most likely" snowfall expected Saturday morning through Sunday morning. Note the 1" area sits just northwest of Memphis. (NWS/WPC)

The NWS/WPC forecast for a "reasonable worst case" (or best case?) for snowfall totals Saturday morning through Sunday morning. These values have only a 10% chance of being exceeded. So 1-2" is likely the most we could expect to receive and even that is not considered likely. (NWS/WPC)

Nearly all models are on board with the "less-than-an-inch" solution at this point. The holdout of late, our typically-esteemed European colleague, has lowered the potential as of this morning. The situation can still change of course, but that move brings it more in line with the American-bred models, raising confidence in the solution. More impact-ful snow totals and some ice is expected north of the Memphis region.

Sunday chill

By Sunday morning, all precipitation will be gone and clouds will be departing as well, but not the cold air! A brisk north wind will keep temperatures from rising much above freezing despite sunshine. That means wind chills in the teens in the morning and 20s in the afternoon. Brrr! One thing to be on the lookout for. especially Sunday morning, will be patchy ice. Temperatures drop quickly, after dark, immediately behind departing rainfall. It's conceivable that a "flash freeze" could result in spotty black ice. With lows in the mid-upper 20s and a stiff breeze blowing, I think our chances of that occurring are fairly low, but it's worth keeping an eye on.

Sunday night will be the coldest night of the forecast period as high pressure quickly builds in and shuts off the wind machine, allowing the mercury to dive, possibly into the teens outside the city.

Longer term - more of the same?

As quick as it turned cold, the Arctic high shifts east, "return flow" (southerly wind) re-engages, and we warm back up on Tuesday in time for an aftershock - more rain, warmer temperatures, and another Arctic front Tuesday night that could have us watching precip types again Tuesday night!

The week 2 (Jan 25-31) temperature probability outlook for the U.S. indicates well below average temperatures are likely for the eastern half of the nation. For Memphis, the Climate Prediction Center puts those odds at 77% for Memphis specifically. (NWS/CPC via PivotalWx)

The European model seasonal forecast indicates enhanced odds of below normal temperatures for the eastern half of the country during February. (

It appears that this pattern of rising and diving temperatures may continue a while, as we head into a period of generally (on average) below normal temperatures that continues well into February according to most semi-reliable data. Like I stated in a previous blog, the long-range trends continue to show below normal temperatures for the eastern half of the country from next week through the end of the winter season. We'll see what the groundhog has to say about that in a couple weeks!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A weather smorgasbord this week, with an eye towards an Arctic air intrusion

We had a few nice days this past week with mild temperatures and some sunshine that allowed the ground to dry out a bit. Of course, that was followed quickly by more rain and, today, cold weather and dreary cloud cover. Looking ahead, we'll get a mix of clouds, some sun, cold weather, warming temperatures, and rain - all in the next 5 days. By next weekend, a significant pattern change is on the horizon.

Sunday night - Monday clouds

Despite high pressure building in, as we sometimes experience in winter with low sun angles and lots of low-level moisture, clouds will stick around tonight into Monday. We stayed near 40 today with a cold wind, but decreasing dewpoints on that north wind means temperatures will drop to near or just above freezing tonight. The clouds will keep the mercury from rising much Monday with highs very near what they were today, but just a bit less wind.

Sunday afternoon visible satellite imagery shows the Mid-South locked under widespread cloud cover. The clouds will persist through Monday at least. (College of DuPage)

The cloud party should break up Monday night as high pressure moves overhead with calm conditions and lows near 30.

Tuesday - Wednesday sun

For now, we believe abundant sunshine is ahead on Tuesday with highs back into the upper 40s. The NAM model, which is typically-more-aggressive with low clouds, thinks otherwise, but I feel optimistic.

Despite some high clouds moving over on Wednesday, south wind should finally being our temperatures back above normal. Morning lows in the upper 30s will rise to the mid 50s Wednesday afternoon and conditions remain dry.

Thursday rain - Friday dry

Thursday appears to be our next wet day as a weak system moves by in fast westerly flow at the jetstream level. It will be above normal temperature-wise though with lows in the 40s and highs in the upper 50s. Rain should not be heavy on Thursday. Thursday night into Friday looks dry and mild as we sit between systems, keeping a wary eye to the west. A few showers may arrive Friday evening, but not before highs climb above 60 degrees on south wind.

Weekend pattern shift

The "wary eye" mentioned above is because we'll be seeing an Arctic airmass drop into the Plains late this week that pushes into the Mid-South on Saturday. Timing of that cold air arrival is still TBD, but for now, we project a fairly wet day Saturday with a chance of thunderstorms due to the strength of the front moving in and a fair amount of wind. Temperatures will drop precipitously behind the front, potentially during the day Saturday, but very likely by Saturday night.

The Sunday morning GFS model forecast of surface features and precipitation from this Thursday night through next Sunday shows next Saturday's storm system moving through with rain and a potential for some light snow. At this point, various models disagree on the timing of cold air and moisture departure, and thus snow chances. The nature of the system though doesn't lend itself to more than light snow, if anything. (WeatherModels)

Will all the precipitation be gone before the cold air arrives? Model solutions vary on that as well. We'll be monitoring. Needless to say, behind that front, a bitterly cold airmass arrives, sending temperatures well below freezing by Sunday morning. Even with sunshine on Sunday, we may not reach the freezing mark for highs! That will be some 20-30 degrees colder than Saturday.

The European Model ensemble system predicts about a 25% chance that Memphis will get above freezing next Sunday, based on 50 runs of the European model this morning. (WeatherBell)

Winter arrives!

The long-range outlook indicates that next Sunday is the beginning of an overall pattern shift that brings in a run of below normal temperatures, perhaps continuing into early February. It's a pattern that will make precipitation forecasting somewhat tricky with each front/low pressure system that affects the area after that. Winter is NOT over snow-lovers! Do not give up hope just yet!

The NOAA temperature outlook for the end of January and first week of February indicates more cold air is likely on the way for the eastern half of the U.S. Stay tuned!

As always, look to the web or our MWN mobile app for the latest forecast information and to our social media platforms for the most up-to-date current trends. All links are below.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Friday, January 11, 2019

Memphis, TN Annual Climate Summary for 2018

2018 Annual Recap

Overall, despite some periods of very hot and extreme cold temperatures, and some excessively wet spells and a few dry months, 2018 ended with very close to average temperatures and precipitation that was well above average.

January started the year on a temperature roller coaster with warm spells in the 60s interrupted by extreme cold, including two separate periods that dropped as low as 10 degrees, one to start the year and another mid-month. The lowest temperature of the year occurred on the 17th (7 degrees) following a five-day period in which snow was recorded on four days and totaled 2.5". February was marked by excessive rainfall totaling 13.43" (the wettest February on record by over 2") and 19 rain days. Despite all the rain, temperatures were also well above average. March was fairly typical for springtime in the Mid-South with temperatures right at average despite some fairly pronounced swings. The month ended drier than average, and perhaps well below average considering that over two-thirds of the month's rain occurred on two days.

April was remarkably cool overall, ending as the 3rd coolest on record, but that was followed by the warmest May on record - quite the dichotomy! April was also quite wet, but the excess rainfall was completely swallowed up by a large deficit in May. June continued the hot/dry trend with multiple days reaching the mid 90s. It seemed summer started early in 2018!

July was fairly typical (a.k.a. HOT with multiple days in the mid 90s) with slightly above normal rainfall at Memphis International Airport, though it varied fairly widely due to the scattered nature of summertime thunderstorms. The dog days of summer continued in August with temperatures that averaged just slightly below normal and precipitation that was below the average for a normally dry month. Summer finally broke after the Labor Day, as the 90s departed and pleasant weather appeared. Overall, September was a bit warmer than usual with precipitation near average.

However, as October arrived, summer made one last return with multiple days near or just above 90 degrees for the first week of the month. Once again, the rest of the month was a reprieve as fall kicked in for good. November finally saw the Mid-South atmosphere turn cool with nine days that dropped to freezing or below and the earliest snow of more than 0.5" in over 25 years on the 14th. The month ended in the top 10% coolest on record. Finally, the year ended with temperatures that were above normal in December by a couple degrees and precipitation that would have been just below average if over 3" of rain didn't fall on the last two days of 2018. The two-day total ended up being just about what the departure from normal was for the month. For the year, the precipitation total was more than 10" above average and ranked #16 in the wettest years in recorded history.

Severe weather

Severe weather was fairly limited in 2018. Fortunately, the Mid-South recorded just 17 tornadoes, most weak. There was a single EF-2 tornado (in Clay County, AR and Dunklin County, MO on April 24) with the rest rated EF-0 or EF-1. Over half of the year's tornadoes occurred on that evening of February 24 (nine) and all but three occurred north of I-40. None occurred in the eight-county Memphis metropolitan area.

Tracks of all 17 tornadoes in the Mid-South in 2018.
The following represents a statistical recap of the weather for 2018 in Memphis. Another recap of  weather across the Mid-South for 2018, produced by the National Weather Service in Memphis, will be published soon.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 63.2 degrees (0.1 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 72.3 degrees (0.2 degrees below average)
Average low temperature: 54.2 degrees (0.6 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 97 degrees (July 5, 11, and 13)
Coolest temperature: 7 degrees (January 17)

Heating degree days: 3121 (156 above average)
Cooling degree days: 2568 (310 above average)
Days at or above 90 degrees: 89 (24.7 days above average)
Days at or below 32 degrees: 48 (5.2 days above average)
Last freeze/first freeze: April 8-November 10 (216 day growing season)

Records set or tied: April was the third coolest on record, while May was the warmest on record. The period May-July ranked third warmest on record. Eight daily warm weather records and two daily cold weather records were set in 2018. These included:

  • February 15 (65°, record high minimum)
  • February 18 (77°, record high)
  • February 20 (66°, record high minimum)
  • May 10 (90°, record high)
  • May 14 (93°, record high)
  • May 15 (93°, record high)
  • October 4 (92°, record high tied)
  • October 16 (50°, record low maximum)
  • November 14 (30°, record low maximum)
  • November 30 (64°, record high minimum)

Comments: After the previous two years ranked in the top 6 warmest on record in Memphis, 2018 was just a bit warmer than the 30-year climate average for temperature, and ranked in the top 25% warmest (tied for 34th) in the 145-year historical record at Memphis. 89 days saw high temperatures at or above 90 degrees (12th most on record). 48 days experienced freezing or sub-freezing temperatures.

The year started on a roller coaster with brutal cold around New Year's Day and another very cold spell at mid-month, both which saw lows drop to 10° or colder. However, between and just after these spells, temperatures reached the mid 60s. Moving into spring, April was the third coldest on record, but the switch flipped in May, which ended as the warmest May on record, and remained hot into early summer. The period May-July was 3rd warmest on record. (June was the 12th warmest on record.) September also ranked in the top 25 warmest on record, while November was very cool, ranking 13 coolest.

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: 64.15" (10.47" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 137 (29.3 days above average)
Days with 1"+ precipitation: 19 (1.6 days above average)
Wettest day: 3.12" (February 28)

Total Snowfall: 3.1" (0.7" below average)
Days with a trace or more snowfall: 9
Greatest snow depth (6am CST): 2" (January 16)

Records set or tied: The month of February (13.43") was the wettest on record. Snowfall of 0.6" on November 14 was the most that early in the year since 1991. Daily record included:

  • February 28 (3.12")
  • April 14 (3.02" - tie)

Comments: Overall, 2018 ended well above average for precipitation, the 16th wettest year in the 147-year record, or just outside the top 10%. Nineteen days had an inch or more of liquid precipitation; six days had more than 2" (nine is the record).

The year was led by February, which ranked #1 for that month. April was also wet, ranking in the top 25. Summer was a see-saw precipitation-wise with June and August ranked in the top 50 driest and July and September in the top 35 wettest. Fall was generally near normal, while December was wet, particularly the end of the month, ending 16th wettest in the 147-year record. Snowfall totaled just over 3" with perhaps the most notable snow being the 0.6" that occurred on November 14, the most snow that early in the season in over 25 years. The other 2.5" occurred in a very cold five-day period in mid-January, with four of the five days recording snowfall.

Precipitation accumulation for 2018 is plotted as the dark green line, compared with a normal year in brown. Precipitation was near normal until a very wet spell in the latter half of February (two of the three wettest days of the year were in the last week of February). From then on, precipitation remained well above average. The surplus was reduced a bit in the summer months, but continued wet spells in fall and early winter resulted the year ending more than 10" above average.

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: 61.9 degrees
Average high temperature: 72.7 degrees
Average low temperature: 51.8 degrees
Warmest temperature: 97.2 degrees (June 28)
Coolest temperature: 1.9 degrees (January 17)

Heating degree days: 3490
Cooling degree days: 2363

Annual total: 65.91" (automated rain gauge), 72.04" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Wettest date: 2.49" (June 21) (CoCoRaHS)

Total Snowfall: 3.3"
Days with a trace or more snowfall: 3
Greatest snow depth: 3.0" (January 17)

Peak wind: South/33 mph (June 1)
Average relative humidity: 77%
Average barometric pressure: 30.07" Hg

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

Number of MWN forecasts produced and verified in 2018: 531
MWN average temperature error: 2.03 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 69.0%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.23 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 65.0%

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.

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Cool conditions continue, rain returns Friday

2019 has already seemed to have it all with multiples days of both above average and below average temperatures as well as sunshine and rain-filled days. After reaching 68 yesterday, we only reached up to 49 today for our high. Almost a 20 degree difference in our high temperatures! Additionally, we have yet to fall below freezing so far in 2019, but that will be changing tonight as we are expecting our first sub-32 degree night.

Tonight and Tomorrow

After what was a much cooler day today, expect for an even colder evening tonight. Skies will remain clear throughout the evening and overnight hours, allowing temps to fall down into the upper 20s.

Temps will rebound a bit tomorrow, although highs will only reach near 45. Mostly sunny skies through the day should help it feel a bit warmer than the thermometer will read, but nonetheless it will be rather cool again tomorrow. Temps will fall down to near 29 tomorrow night.

Friday & Saturday

We will begin to see a slight pattern shift on Friday as we say goodbye to sunshine and hello to increased rain chances through the first half of the weekend. While we should remain dry through the first half of Friday, expect for showers to begin drifting our way by the afternoon hours with coverage increasing by the evening and overnight hours. It will remain on the cooler side Friday with highs only expected to reach near 43.

You may be wondering, yes it will be pretty cold on Friday and Friday night, however, it probably won't get cold enough for there to be any winter weather worries. Overall, temps are expected to remain above freezing and drop down to 37 overnight on Friday. While a few flurries or sleet pellets could try to mix in late Friday afternoon into the early evening hours, there should be no winter mix accumulation from this. Folks well to our north will have a very different story thanks to the track of the low pressure system that will be bringing us this very cold rain.

GFS loop from Friday afternoon through early Sunday morning shows showers moving through the Mid South with wintry precipitation falling to our north. Additionally, you may notice the low pressure system drift by to our south. The track of this pressure system is one of the reasons why we only expect rain and not a wintry mix. If it were further south, it would be a different story! (Pivotal Weather)

Into Saturday, a cold rain will hang around through the majority of the day. Highs will reach near the mid 40s, but will probably seem a little more dreary and colder than that. If you have any weekend plans, Sunday definitely appears to be the better, outdoor-friendly day compared to Saturday. Regardless, if you do go outside on Saturday, have the umbrella ready to go.

Next Week

The weather is expected to remain on the cooler side next week with no major changes in our temperatures expected. The first half of the week highs will remain in the lower 40s with temps nearing 50 by the middle of next week. Additionally, there does not appear to be any rain chances through at least the first half of next week, so enjoy some of that sunshine while you can.

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist

Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!
MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

December 2018 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

December Climate Recap

December flipped the script after a very chilly November that averaged over 5 degrees below normal. A couple days in the 60s to end November was a harbinger of things to come in December as the month ended 2 degrees above normal, despite a week-long cold streak early in the month. After the 11th, all but three days were above normal and six days reached 60 degrees. Nine days saw temperatures drop below freezing, compared to an average of over 12, and there were two days that reached 70 degrees - the first and last days of the month! A large portion of the contribution to above average temperatures was from overnight lows, which were nearly 3 degrees above average.

Precipitation also did an about-face in December after a dry November. Officially, nearly 9 inches of rain fell in Memphis, which is roughly 50% above normal. There were 16 "rain days" (6 above average), four of which recorded more than an inch of rain. Severe weather was minimal during the month with the only severe reports or warnings issued on the two day that the temperature reached 70 degrees. On the 1st, a few Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued for north MS with no reports of damage. On the 31st, minor tree damage was reported in Millington from a strong storm. No warning was issued. A trace of snow fell on the 9th, marking the only frozen precipitation recorded for the month.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 45.6 degrees (2.0 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 53.3 degrees (1.2 degrees above average)
Average low temperature: 37.9 degrees (2.8 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 73 degrees (1st)
Coolest temperature: 22 degrees (11th)
Heating Degrees Days: 594 (71 below average)
Cooling Degree Days: 1 (1 below average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: None

Monthly total: 8.84" (3.10" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 16 (6.3 days above average)
Wettest 24-hour period: 2.12" (31st)
Snowfall: Trace (0.2" below average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Eight days recorded more than 0.5" of rain, four of which were over 1".  16th wettest December on record.

Peak wind: West/45 mph (31st)
Average wind: 8.2 mph
Average relative humidity: 77%
Average sky cover: 70%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 44.7 degrees
Average high temperature: 53.4 degrees
Average low temperature: 35.9 degrees
Warmest temperature: 74.3 degrees (1st)
Coolest temperature: 19.2 degrees (11th)
Comments: None

Monthly total: 7.29" (automated rain gauge), 7.15" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 16
Wettest date: 1.77" (31st) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: 0.0"
Comments: None

Peak wind: South-southwest/32 mph (31st)
Average relative humidity: 81%
Average barometric pressure: 30.10 in. Hg

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.88 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 69%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.29 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 67%

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

Climate Outlook - January

The December climate outlook for the United State from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Temperatures are forecast to be above normal for the northwestern half of the nation and below normal in New England. For Memphis, odds don't favor above or below normal temperatures, with a 33% chance of above normal temperatures, a 34% chance of near normal temperatures, and a 33% chance of below normal temperatures. Memphis typically averages 41.2° degrees for the month of December.

A wet January is forecast for the southeastern and southwestern U.S, while drier than average conditions are expected across the northern tier of states. For Memphis, odds are about even (just like temperatures) with above normal precipitation in January at 34%, near normal 33% and below normal 33%. January historically averages 3.98" of precipitation and just under 2" of snow.

Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!
MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

Friday, January 4, 2019

You asked for sunshine?? You got it!

Happy New Year, MWN fans and followers!

We've had a wet and dreary end to 2018 and start to 2019, so much so that many of you are starting to question whether the sun really does come up each morning! With 5.18" of rain officially recorded in the past 10 days (not counting today's "bleh"), I feel your pain. However, there is good news on the horizon!

Today's cold, clammy weather with a bit of dampness is brought to you courtesy of an upper-level low pressure system that is moving overhead. New MWN intern Jennifer had a great visual in her mid-day social media post:

Once that upper low moves by though, the skies will open up (no, not more rain - less clouds!) and there will be stars in the night sky and abundant sunshine in the weekend forecast!

We may also deal with some morning fog on Saturday as all of the moisture in the ground will combine with clear skies and light wind to promote potential dense fog formation, especially given that we'll start the evening off with very high relative humidity as the sky clears. After any morning fog burns off though, I expect an "Extreme Sun Warning" will verify. Temperatures rise from the mid 30s to the mid 50s on light southwest wind under high pressure. It'll be a good drying out and carwash day!

Sunday will see even warmer temperatures, though a slight increase in high clouds during the day ahead of our next system. Look for 60s in the afternoon! Speaking of the next system, don't get too worried about it. Monday presents our only decent chance of rain after today until late next week. Scattered showers will move through while highs again reach the 60 degree mark. Model trends have also been backing off precipitation amounts on Monday, with the European more bullish than the GFS, so we'll see how much we end up getting.

The GFS model from Friday morning for the period Saturday evening through next Thursday shows one potential rainmaker grazing the Mid-South on Monday. Otherwise, it's dry weather dominated by a couple of high pressure systems. (PivotalWx)

The system will be pretty progressive though, so once it's gone, expect more sunshine for the mid-week period with highs in the 60s Tuesday and cooler 50s Wednesday and Thursday. The end of the week sees a return of cloudiness and rain chances.

The NWS temperature forecast for Memphis for the next week shows well above average temperatures. (

Given the long-range outlook below, I wouldn't expect any January snow in the next couple of weeks. But fear not! Winter is but 2 weeks old and we've gotten our share of late February/early March snow storms in recent history!

Get the latest forecast for the Mid-South on via our website or mobile app!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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