Saturday, August 1, 2020

Notes on July heat, plus a look ahead at pleasant August conditions!

Looking back

For those of you who thought July was hot - you're right! But July is climatologically the hottest month of the year (just barely edging out August). So what made July 2020 different? Was it just our continuing intolerance for more discouraging news, or is there something more to it? It may be a bit of both. Here are some facts.

While July 2020 was indeed hot (averaging about 1.5 degrees above a normal July), the main issue was the persistent heat. Check this out: Memphis hit 90° every day except two in July, and those two days it was 89°! How often does the high temperature reach at least 89° every day in July? Not often! There are only four years out of 146 in Memphis weather records in which every July day reached at least 89°. The last time was 2010. So the heat was persistent

How about the overnight lows? Well, as it turns out, we never dropped into the 60s in July overnight. In fact, all but one morning low was at or above 73° (and the one 71° low we had was on the 1st)! There have only been four years on record in which the low was at or above 73° every day or all but one day. So we also had very little relief from the heat at night.

Temperature anomaly (difference from average) for the U.S. in July. (WeatherBell)

With typical to slightly above average humidity during the month, heat indices eclipsed 100° almost every day as well and touched the danger level of 105° on several days. And while some lucky folks got several days of afternoon thunderstorms, many did not. The airport, and many other places, left the month with less than two inches of total rainfall and in "abnormally dry" condition. I'm OK putting July 2020 in the rearview mirror!

Looking ahead

If you were out last evening, you may have started to notice a change in the air. A pleasant breeze and slightly lower humidity made for a nice evening. This morning, clouds linger over the Mid-South with patchy light rain as low pressure spins over the region. In the wake of a cold front today, and with clouds lingering, we're set for our coolest day since June 26 with highs only near 80° and a pleasant breeze continuing! 

"Day cloud phase" satellite imagery from GOES-16 on Saturday morning shows a swirl of low clouds (in blues/greens) over the area, representative of low pressure. As long as low clouds stick around, temperatures remain in the 70s. (College of DuPage)

But is this one day of relief or a trend? Fortunately, the latter, though not quite to this extent. A large and persistent trough of low pressure will set up over the northeast U.S. but it's effects will cover a large portion of the eastern half of the country. With "northwest flow" set up over the Mid-South for the next week, we're in for less humid days, just spotty rainfall chances, and below average temperatures!

A trough of low pressure at the mid levels (~18,000 feet up) is indicated by the "valley" in the pressure lines over the Midwest and Mississippi Valley. The blue shading shows departure from normal for this time of year. Blue = cool! This map shows the average pressure pattern over the next 5 days from the European ensemble model. (WeatherBell)

This weekend will be a transition to that pattern with warmer weather, but still low humidity and some clouds, on Sunday as highs reach 87° following a morning low in the mid to upper 60s. A reinforcing cold front arrives Monday with a small chance of rain and similar temperatures to Sunday.  Another small rain chance moves in Tuesday with an upper level disturbance rotating around the parent trough. That will knock highs down a couple more degrees, perhaps only the lower 80s north of the city and mid 80s in Memphis and north MS. 

Similar to the map above, the 5-day average temperature anomalies from the European ensemble model shows well below average temperatures the next 5 days over the center of the country. For Memphis, the average temperature departure from normal is 5-6° F, enough to make for pleasant August days! (WeatherBell)

Partly cloudy conditions are expected the rest of the week with highs in the mid 80s, warming back towards 90 by the end of the week, but still pleasant humidity levels. I think you'll especially like the mid 60s every morning as you drink the first cup of coffee on the patio, as well as 70s in the late evenings for a nice walk!


Further into the future

Starting next weekend, it appears we return to a more average August setup with highs back in the low 90s, lows in the 70s, and rain chances re-emerging occasionally. Overall, though, it does not currently appear that the second week of August will see above average, or excessive, heat.

The temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for the second week of August. Temperatures in the Mid-South should be near to slightly below normal. (via PivotalWx)

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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, July 10, 2020

Summer high pressure ridge to take hold, bring very hot temperatures

Overview

Over the past week or so we have been under a repetitive pattern with below or near average temperatures and pop up thunderstorms. As we move into the middle of July, we will really be feeling a 'dog days of summer' vibe with much lower rain chances and above average temperatures. This is due to something we know all too well from past years, the dreaded summer ridge. By the beginning of next week a high pressure ridge will move in and situate itself over the eastern U.S. This will allow  afternoon highs to reach the mid to upper 90s for most of next week. High pressure is also notorious for squishing out any rain chances due to sinking motion of the air under a high. That will definitely be the case heading into mid July!

European model ensemble data showing a high pressure in the mid levels situated over much of the US, including the southeast, beginning by mid-week next week. The color shading represents departure from normal pressure values, so this ridge is "anomalously strong." (WeatherBell)

The European model ensemble shows extremely low rain chances, as often found with a ridge, for the middle part of July. The top half of the graph shows rainfall over time for each member of the ensemble system, while the bottom shows the mean, or average, of the individual members. (WeatherBell)



Saturday - Sunday

This time of year is often referred to as ' MCS', or Mesoscale Convective System, season as most of our rain and thunderstorm activity is produced by these fast-moving complexes. These systems will bring us our last few rain chances on Saturday and Sunday before we dry out next week. Saturday will consist of partly sunny skies afternoon highs in the low 90s, much like Friday. However, due to northwesterly flow, an MCS in northwest Arkansas could approach the area during the afternoon time. This would likely bring a chance of thunderstorms across the metro but whether or not this complex will fall apart as it approaches remains uncertain. [ Saturday morning UPDATE: thunderstorm chances this afternoon will indeed be very minimal. ]

Our best rain chance for the next several days will come early Sunday morning. Most of Saturday night will be dry with lows in the mid 70s but a secondary system will move through the area bring another potential round of thunderstorms. If it materializes and moves through, Sunday would start off wet but throughout the day skies will become partly cloudy with afternoon highs warming into the low 90s once again.  

The Friday mid-day high-resolution NAM model "forecast radar" from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon shows the first potential MCS Saturday falling apart to our west, while another Sunday morning has a better chance of bringing us rain. Model are challenged with these types of systems though, so this likely will change! (WeatherBell.com)


Monday- Tuesday

After the rain chances on Sunday, the dry pattern begins to take hold for early next week as the western ridge begins making its way toward the eastern half of the US. Monday morning will start off in the lower 70s and will be our coolest point for a while as overnight lows stay in the mid to upper 70s over the coming week. The warming trend continues with afternoon highs warming into the lower 90s. Tuesday will be more of the same with plenty of sunshine and afternoon highs in the mid 90s. This makes for early next week to be perfect pool weather! 



Wednesday- Friday

By Wednesday, the high pressure ridge will be fully in place thus continuing the dry pattern but bringing extremely hot temperatures across the metro. A daily pattern of mostly sunny skies with afternoon highs in the mid-upper 90s and lows in the upper 70s is what we expect through late next week. Afternoon highs may even reach 100 Thursday and Friday! Heat indices will also be extremely high, reaching well above 100 and possible reaching the 110s. This will likely prompt heat advisories or warnings. While working out in the extreme heat this coming week, there are a few key things to remember in order to stay safe. Make sure to take frequent breaks from the heat. Drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen! Overnight lows that barely drop below 80 will make the heat even less bearable as there will be little relief overnight.

Forecast temperatures for the third week of July from the European model ensemble. (WeatherBell.com)























Allison Paige
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

June 2020 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

June Climate Recap

For the third consecutive month, cooler than normal temperatures prevailed into June, though by less than a degree for the month. Only 11 of the 30 days in June were above average and only four of those were after the 9th. Drier than average conditions also continued into June but not by much. There were only two days on which more than 1/2" of rain fell.

Severe weather occurred on a couple of days in the first week of the month. Sub-severe hail fell in eastern Shelby County on the late afternoon of the 4th. A more widespread severe weather event, a mesoscale convective system featuring straight line wind that measured 58 mph at Memphis International Airport, struck during the early afternoon on the 5th. Scattered reports of trees down on power lines and small hail were received with power outages scattered across the metro as well. Finally, a slow-moving storms produced flash flooding in southeast Shelby County into Olive Branch on the 9th.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN


Temperature 
Average temperature: 78.9 degrees (0.7 degrees below average) 
Average high temperature: 88.1 degrees (0.8 degrees below average) 
Average low temperature: 69.6 degrees (0.7 degrees below average) 
Warmest temperature: 95 degrees (7th) 
Coolest temperature: 61 degrees (11th) 
Heating Degrees Days: 0
Cooling Degree Days: 423 (15 below average) 
Records set or tied: None 
Comments: The month of June featured 11 days that rose to 90 degrees or higher, or about three days less than average. 

Precipitation 
Monthly total: 3.33" (0.30" below average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 10 (1.0 day above average) 
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.02" (23rd) 
Snowfall: None 
Records set or tied: None 
Comments: None

Miscellaneous 
Peak wind: North/58 mph (5th) 
Average wind: 7.8 mph 
Average relative humidity: 67% 
Average sky cover: 50% 

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions / MemphisWeather.net, Bartlett, TN


Temperature 
Average temperature: 77.2 degrees 
Average high temperature: 88.6 degrees 
Average low temperature: 67.2 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 94.4 degrees (30th) 
Coolest temperature: 57.3 degrees (1st) 
Comments: None 

Precipitation 
Monthly total: 3.07" (automated rain gauge), 3.15" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 12 
Wettest date: 1.03" (21st) (via automated gauge) 
Snowfall: None 
Comments: None 

Miscellaneous 
Peak wind: South/29 mph (9th)
Average relative humidity: 77% 
Average barometric pressure: 29.95 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy


MWN average temperature error: 1.80 degrees 
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 74% 
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.20 degrees 
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 66% 

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

Climate Outlook - July 2020


The July climate outlook for the United States from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Above average temperatures are forecast for the vast majority of the nation, except the interior northwestern U.S. Odds favor above average temperatures for Memphis (49%) versus only a 18% chance of below average temperatures. Memphis' average temperatures for July is 82.7 degrees.




Wetter than normal weather is expected in the southeastern U.S., as well as in the northern Plains. Drier than average weather is forecast for the southern Rockies into the Front Range and western High Plains, as well as portions of the Great Lakes. For Memphis, odds favor average rainfall, which historically is 4.59 inches in July. 

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info! 
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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

Changes coming to the MWN app - Introducing local content in the StormWatch+ app

For nearly a decade, users of MemphisWeather.net (MWN) products and services have turned to the MWN mobile apps for easy access to our local content. The MWN app contains most of our content in one neat package - MWN StormView Radar, the MWN Forecast, engaging social media feeds and blog, and of course SW+ Alerts, for immediate push notifications in the event of inclement weather.

I am pleased to announce the framework of a project that my app developer and I have been working on - conceptually for perhaps a year and "down in the weeds" development for a couple of months. Later this summer, the ultra-local content provided by MWN will become a part of the "for nationwide use" StormWatch+ app!



What is StormWatch+? 

StormWatch+ is also a creation of my company, Cirrus Weather Solutions, LLC, and I have guided its development over the past several years as well. The goal of the content merger is to produce a best-in-class weather app for use nationwide, that also contains the most accurate local content, produced by those who are most familiar with their area - all in one package. Before long, MWN will hopefully be one of several "local experts" that provide their take on weather in the area they serve, using StormWatch+ as vehicle for content distribution.

Below you will find a short video in which I take you behind the scenes on why this is happening, the benefits to having local expert content within a nationwide weather app, and how the merger will affect you - the user of MWN's content. I hope you'll take a few short minutes to watch it.



Three takeaways

I will be communicating much more detail as the transition gets closer, including specific steps you need to take. For now, you don't need to do anything. I'll leave you with three key points from this video:

  1. I am committed to continuing to provide you with the best ultra-local weather coverage for the Memphis area.
  2. These changes are staying in-house. Your data is safe and your privacy is paramount.
  3. There will be no charge to those who already own the MWN app or those who have purchased SW+ Alerts within the MWN app.
If you are interested in checking out the StormWatch+ app for "local weather, nationwide," you can download it for free in your phone's app store. It includes multi-layered national radar and NWS forecasts for free. Just search "StormWatch+" and look for this icon:


NOTE: If you have purchased SW+ Alerts in the MWN app, do not do so again in the StormWatch+ app. Continue to use your MWN app for nationwide severe weather alerts. The alerting feature is identical in both apps.

Have questions or comments? Email me: Erik (at) MemphisWeather.net

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Saharan dust to visit the Mid-South

The next in a string of unusual events in 2020 may be the arrival of Saharan dust in the United States, and more specifically, the southeast U.S. and Mid-South!

Before you start fearing the worst... though this seems to be a fairly noteworthy event as Saharan dust storms go, it actually is likely to have minimal harmful effects on Mid-South weather for the majority of people. But it could indeed be noticeable if you are paying attention!

Background

Saharan dust storms (or more accurately, the "Saharan Air Layer [SAL]") are not uncommon and occur every year, mainly in the summer months, when large storms that generate a great deal of wind in the equatorial regions of Africa pick up dust from the Sahara desert and spew it into the atmosphere. The easterly trade wind then transports that dust over the Atlantic Ocean and westward. It is not uncommon either for dust to make it as far as the Caribbean and more tropical regions of the U.S. (think Florida for example). What makes this storm different seems to be its intensity - the amount of dust it contains and the lengthy path it is taking, following the prevailing wind right into the southeast U.S., with enough dust still suspended to be noticeable.

The image below was taken by one of the astronauts that just rode the SpaceX vehicle to the International Space Station a couple of weeks ago, showing the extent of the dust coverage over the central Atlantic.



Forecast

The current dust cloud has moved across the Atlantic and is arriving in the far southeastern U.S. now. The forecast loop below shows the path the dust is likely to take over the coming days, specifically from Thursday evening through Saturday evening. We could see some of the dust over the Mid-South Friday and Saturday.


While we aren't likely to see as poor of conditions as were observed in San Juan, Puerto Rico a couple of days ago, here's what was observed there this week:



Effects of the SAL

As you can see from the image above, the density of the dust in the Caribbean was quite high. However, after a couple thousand more miles of travel, it isn't likely to be as noticeable to the naked eye here. That doesn't mean it won't be noticed at all though! The most common effects of Saharan dust in the sky are:

  • More brilliant sunrises/sunsets - particularly in the orange/red realm if dust remains suspended high in the atmosphere
  • Hazy sky - if the dust settles out a bit lower, than our typical blue skies may be more muted or even a bit "hazy" with a tinge of brown.
  • Higher air pollution levels - especially if you notice a haze in the sky that seems to start near the ground. This would indicate that the dust is more prevalent in our little section of the atmosphere (the lowest 6 or so feet), which could be a mild irritant to those who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other breathing difficulties. Keep this in mind if it appears hazy out and take precautions if you are in a sensitive group.
  • Reduced visibility - in the most severe cases, and not likely here in the Mid-South, visibility can be reduced, almost like a smog scenario
  • Suppression of tropical activity - one of the side effects of Saharan dust is it also suppresses tropical storm formation in the Atlantic as the atmosphere is filled with a drying agent that keeps these systems from tapping into the moisture necessary to survive, as well as reflecting heat back into the atmosphere.

So be on the lookout (when it is not cloudy or raining) the next couple of days for signs of the Saharan dust!



Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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, June 23, 2020

Cold front brings some relief tomorrow, but the summertime pattern is not far off!

Tuesday night into Wednesday 

While we have had a rather active afternoon across western Tennessee today, things have finally started to calm down. The remainder of the light rain has left the metro area and the skies are starting the clear up as we continue into Tuesday night as the cold front finally moves through. This will also shift our winds from southerly to more west-northwesterly but Wednesday morning and drop our overnight low into the upper 60s. Thankfully drier air will also usher in behind the cold front allowing for a very pleasant late June Hump Day with partly sunny skies and afternoon highs only in the mid 80s!  


Thursday through Saturday

These pleasant conditions stick around for most of Thursday with morning temperatures starting off near 70 under a mostly sunny sky, but by the afternoon a warm front will approach the area from the south. This will bring highs in the upper 80s and humid conditions with pop up showers. Much of the same continues into Friday the warm front moves further north and high pressure situates over eastern Tennessee. This will lessen our chances for widespread rainfall but scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible for much of Friday and into Saturday. This will set us up for a much more seasonable pattern with overnight lows in the lower 70s and afternoon highs near 90 returning Friday and Saturday. 

Loop showing forecasted precipitation rates across the southeast for Thursday through Saturday at midnight from the European Model (EURO). This loop shows moisture moving through the region before a high pressure situates over eastern Tennessee on Friday.  (PivotalWeather.com)

Sunday through Tuesday

Sunday morning will start off with temperatures in the low 70s but afternoon highs will quickly warm into the low 90s. Higher humidity levels will return and lead to the possibility for scattered pop up thunderstorms or showers. Monday will bring much of the same with pop up thunderstorms and afternoon highs in the low 90s. Notice a pattern? 



Thanks to a typical summer time ridge, our weather will be stuck on repeat through mid-week. We will have mild mornings but hot and humid afternoons with scattered showers and thunderstorms especially after 2:00pm. Thankfully this pattern will limit widespread rain activity and severe storms but an isolated strong thunderstorm is never out of the question on a humid summer afternoon! 

Loop showing forecasted precipitation rates across the southeast for Sunday through Tuesday at midnight from the European Model (EURO). This loop highlights that we will see very little widespread rain over western Tennessee early next week with limited local pop up showers possible. (PivotalWeather.com)

An early look at the first week of July

While a typical summer pattern is likely through mid-week next week to end June, the Climate Prediction Center suggests that an slight shift is in store for the first week of July. Thankfully this pattern shift will not include a heat wave but is more indicative of near average temperatures continuing. It also suggests that July will start off rather soggy with an above average precipitation pattern through the 7th. Hopefully we can squeeze out a drier day on next Saturday for Independence Day! 

Climate Prediction Center's 8-14 Day Precipitation Probability highlighting that the southeast will likely see an above average pattern through the first week of July. (PivotalWeather.com)

Climate Prediction Center's 8-14 Day Temperature Probability highlighting that the southeast will likely see near to slightly above average temperatures through the first week of July. (PivotalWeather.com)

Allison Paige
MWN Meteorologist Intern

----
Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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, June 16, 2020

How long will the sun last? Will it always be this hot and steamy?

Over the last week we saw relatively nice conditions outside, but over the weekend it was quite steamy. It looks like sun and warm temperatures will continue throughout this week. Our next decent chance of rain is going to be late this weekend and into the next. 

Weather through this week

After topping out in the mid 80s Tuesday, Tuesday night temperatures will drop to the mid 60s under clear skies. Wednesday will start out rather sunny before some cloud cover moves in making for a partly cloudy day. During Wednesday temperatures will top out in the mid to upper 80s, while Wednesday night will have clear skies and temperatures dropping to the mid 60s. Thursday will most likely be partly cloudy with steamy temperatures, as we will top out near 90. Overnight heading into Friday temperatures will drop to the upper 60s. 

Unfortunately, Friday will start a little heat wave as temperatures are going to top out in the low 90s. Friday night and heading into Saturday temperatures will only drop to around 70. During Saturday temperatures will reach a hot and steamy mid 90s temperature, thankfully there will be some cloud cover so hopefully that helps. Saturday night and into Sunday temperatures will only drop to the low 70s under some overnight cloud cover. 



What's the cause of our dry and hot weather?

We will be under the influence of the Bermuda High this week and heading into the early part of the weekend. A high pressure system usually brings warm, dry, and rather sunny conditions...which is what we'll be seeing!


Surface pressure map showing that there is a high pressure system off of the east coast of the United States, that is centered over Bermuda. 

Surface temperature anomaly late on Friday. An anomaly is a difference from average or normal, and temperatures will be 5-7 degrees above normal that evening.  

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday

Sunday will be another steamy one as temperatures are expected to top out in the lower 90s, under partly sunny skies. Thankfully there is a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms on Sunday, so hopefully that comes in the evening and cools us off. Overnight heading into Monday, temperatures will again only drop to the lower 70s. Monday will again be pretty warm as temps are expected to top out near 90. Thankfully, there is again a chance of showers and thunderstorms on Monday, so hopefully it'll cool us off. Heading into Tuesday overnight temperatures will drop to the low 70s. Tuesday we will top out into the upper 80s, with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible.  
 
Looking at Week 2

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is predicting that From June 23rd - June 29th we will see near normal temperatures in our area and a chance of above average precipitation amounts for that week. 

Temperature outlook from the CPC showing temperatures will be near normal for the week of June 23rd to June 29th. 

Precipitation outlook from the CPC showing precipitation amounts could be above normal for the week of June 23rd to June 29th.

Max Magness
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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, June 9, 2020

May 2020 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

May Climate Recap

After cooler than normal temperatures in April, May continued the trend, featuring only one day with a high that reached 90 degrees and an average temperature that was more than two degrees below normal. The coolest portion of the month, relative to normal, was a week-long spell from the 6th-12th that averaged 12.5 degrees below normal with highs in the 60s and a few lows in the low 40s. The first quarter of the year was wet, but drier weather from April continued in May with only 2" of rain recorded for the month. Nearly half of that fell on the 8th. 

Severe weather was limited in May. There were two events that resulted in severe weather reports. A thunderstorm on May 3 produced penny size hail in northeast Shelby County. A much more destructive event, on the afternoon of May 22, produced widespread damaging wind across Crittenden and Shelby Counties. Tress and power lines were downed from a wind storm that tracked across the area from AR. Over 52,000 Memphis Light, Gas and Water customers in Shelby County lost power in the storm as the Memorial Day weekend started.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN


Temperature
Average temperature: 69.4 degrees (2.3 degrees below average)
Average high temperature: 78.7 degrees (2.5 degrees below average)
Average low temperature: 60.0 degrees (2.2 degrees below average)
Warmest temperature: 91 degrees (25th)
Coolest temperature: 43 degrees (9th, 10th)
Heating Degrees Days: 54  (35 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 198 (28 below average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: The month of May featured only one day that rose above 90 degrees, or one day less than average.

Precipitation
Monthly total: 2.00" (3.25" below average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 8 (2.3 days below average)
Wettest 24-hour period: 0.84" (8th)
Snowfall: None
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Only one day recorded more than one-half inch of rain, versus a May average of 3.7 days.

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: Northwest/46 mph (22nd)
Average wind: 8.5 mph
Average relative humidity: 67%
Average sky cover: 50%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions / MemphisWeather.net, Bartlett, TN


Temperature
Average temperature: 68.5 degrees
Average high temperature: 79.2 degrees
Average low temperature: 58.3 degrees
Warmest temperature: 90.9 degrees (25th)
Coolest temperature: 40.1 degrees (9th)
Comments: None

Precipitation
Monthly total: 2.20" (automated rain gauge), 2.18" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 12
Wettest date: 0.93" (8th) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: None
Comments: None

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: West/52 mph (22nd)
Average relative humidity: 76%
Average barometric pressure: 29.96 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.97 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 73%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.31 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 66%

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

Climate Outlook - June 2020

The June climate outlook for the United States from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Above average temperatures are forecast for the vast majority of the nation, with highest odds centered over the Great Plains. Odds favor above average temperatures for Memphis (50%) versus only a 17% chance of below average temperatures. Memphis' average temperatures for May is 79.6 degrees.




Wetter than normal weather is expected along the Gulf Coast and in the Pacific Northwest. Drier than average weather is forecast over the center of the country and in the I-95 corridor from the Mid-Atlantic to southern New England. For Memphis, odds favor average rainfall, which historically is 3.63 inches in June.

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Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: MemphisWeather.net 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

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Tropical Storm Cristobal takes aim at the Gulf Coast, and Mid-South

As we just finish the end of the first official week of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, the THIRD named storm of the year will become the SECOND U.S. landfall in what is expected to be an active season overall. Previously, Tropical Storm Arthur made a close approach to the North Carolina Outer Banks on Monday, May 18. That was followed by Tropical Storm Bertha, which formed and gained tropical storm strength an hour before making landfall on the South Carolina coast on May 27.

Tropical Storm Cristobal moves towards the Gulf Coast

Now, all eyes turn toward the Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Cristobal churns towards the Louisiana coastline with a Sunday evening landfall projected. Due to recent interaction with the Yucatan peninsula and dry air wrapping around the system, rapid strengthening is not forecast and the system likely won't have time to gain hurricane strength before making landfall.

Saturday morning visible satellite imagery of T.S. Cristobal as it heads for the LA coastline (COD)

Primary threats from the central Louisiana coastline eastward through the MS, AL, and FL panhandle coastal areas this weekend into Monday are torrential rain that is likely to cause freshwater flooding, wind gusts to near hurricane force, up to 5 feet of storm surge, churning waters with high waves and rip currents, and isolated tornadoes.

The official track for T.S. Cristobal as of Saturday morning, via the National Hurricane Center.

Once Cristobal makes landfall, it will move north-northwest across Louisiana into Arkansas on Monday, then accelerate north and northeast into Missouri Tuesday morning and across the Corn Belt into the western Great Lakes by Wednesday morning. The main impacts in the Lower Mississippi Valley and north as far as the Mid-South are likely to be gusty wind shifting from east to south, heavy rainfall, and isolated tornadoes.

Forecast tracks from multiple models are in fairly good consensus Saturday morning, as shown by this "spaghetti plot" of model solutions. (Tropical Tidbits)

Remnants of Cristobal to impact the Mid-South

While we won't notice anything out of the ordinary this weekend (mostly sunny with highs in the 90s), initial impacts in the Memphis area will begin Monday as clouds thicken, rain arrives around lunchtime into the afternoon and breezes pick up from the southeast.

Forecast rain amounts from the NOAA Weather Prediction Center show up to 3" in the Memphis metro, while higher amounts will occur just to the east of the center's path with lesser amounts further away. (WeatherBell)

The period of heaviest rainfall in the metro is likely to be Monday evening through Tuesday morning when 2-3" of rain could fall (heaviest in east AR) as the center of Tropical Depression Cristobal is likely to move through central AR. A few embedded thunderstorms are possible overnight and the tornado threat will bear watching (though they are typically more common in these scenarios during the daytime hours when the sun's rays provide a little more instability). In addition, wind will pick up out of the southeast to 25-30 mph with gusts reaching 30-40 mph Monday evening and overnight.

According to the early Saturday run of the European model, maximum wind gusts through Tuesday evening will be in the 50-60 mph range just to the east of the storm's path, while we could see 40+ mph peak wind. (WeatherBell)

By Tuesday morning, with the center of the storm into central Missouri, steady rain should taper off but showers and a few thunderstorms remain possible, especially in the morning hours. Wind will likely remain gusty from the south Tuesday, in the 30-35 mph range. By Tuesday night, a cold front will push through, bringing the potential for another round of showers and thunderstorms, but also escorting a drier and less humid airmass for the remainder of the week.


Preparation and cleanup weather

We recommend using this weekend to prepare for heavy rain and prolonged strong wind Monday PM into Tuesday. Make sure gutters and storm drains are clear and ready for a couple of inches of rain. Secure outdoor objects or bring them in. A few wind gusts Monday night will exceed 40 mph, but a lengthy period of 30-40 mph wind gusts is expected (up to 24 hours). Once it all passes, pleasant early summer weather with low humidity, highs in the mid 80s, and lows in the mid 60s for several days will make for ideal conditions for any cleanup that is necessary.



Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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