Monday, April 13, 2020

March 2020 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

March Climate Recap

Spring began with continued warm and wet weather in March after a similar winter season. In fact, only nine of the 31 days in March were below average, including multiple days in the last week of the month in the 80s. The monthly average temperature ended 4.5 degrees above normal, or 14th warmest on record. As far as precipitation, rainfall totaled over nine inches for the month, or 13th wettest on record. From the 9th through the 24th, a period of 16 days, measurable rainfall occurred on 14 of those days. In fact, 20 days of the month were rain days, tying the record set way back in 1897.

Severe weather occurred on the evening of March 28 with multiple wind damage reports in Shelby County, mainly trees down.

Average temperature anomaly (departure from average) for the month of March 2020 (Data: PRISM. Graphic: WxBell)

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 58.5 degrees (4.5 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 66.8 degrees (2.9 degrees above average)
Average low temperature: 50.2 degrees (6.1 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 85 degrees (26th)
Coolest temperature: 36 degrees (7th)
Heating Degrees Days: 227 (131 below average)
Cooling Degree Days: 31 (14 above average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: The temperatures never fell below freezing. On average, three mornings reach the freezing mark in a typical March.

Monthly total: 9.41" (4.25" above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 20 (5.8 days above average)
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.41" (14th)
Snowfall: None (0.4" below average)
Records set or tied: Number of days with measurable precipitation (20) ties the March record (1897)
Comments: For the period January 1-March 31, Memphis recorded measurable rainfall on 51 days of a possible 91, missing the record of 52 days set in 1882. The next highest figure that occurred in the twentieth or twenty-first centuries was 41 days which occurred just two years ago (2018).

Peak wind: South/41 mph (1st)
Average wind: 9.5 mph
Average relative humidity: 72%
Average sky cover: 80%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 57.3 degrees
Average high temperature: 66.2 degrees
Average low temperature: 48.7 degrees
Warmest temperature: 87.1 degrees (26th)
Coolest temperature: 29.7 degrees (7th)
Comments: None

Monthly total: 8.34" (automated rain gauge), 9.60" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 21
Wettest date: 1.04" (14th) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: None
Comments: Rain fell on 14 of 15 days between the 9th - 24th and 12 consecutive days from the 9th - 20th.

Peak wind: South/30 mph (1st)
Average relative humidity: 79%
Average barometric pressure: 30.07 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.66 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 52%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.54 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 60%

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

Climate Outlook - April 2020

The April climate outlook for the United States from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Above average temperatures are again forecast for the eastern half of the U.S., with highest odds across the Deep South and Gulf Coast. Below average temperatures are expected in the northwestern quarter of the U.S. Odds favor above average temperatures for Memphis, at 48% (versus only a 19% chance of below average temperatures). Memphis averages 62.9 degrees for the month.

Wetter than normal weather is expected across the southeast U.S. into the eastern Plains, and north into the Upper Midwest. In addition, the western U.S. is expected to be wetter than average. For Memphis, odds favor above average rainfall, at a 45% chance, versus just a 22% chance of below normal precipitation. Memphis historically averages 5.50 inches in April, the second wettest month of the year.

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