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


Temperature
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

Precipitation
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.

Miscellaneous
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 / MemphisWeather.net, Bartlett, TN


Temperature
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

Precipitation
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

Miscellaneous
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.

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