Monday, September 7, 2020

August 2020 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

August Climate Recap

After a July that featured persistent heat - in which every day featured high temperatures of at least 89 degrees and lows were in the 70s every day - August cooled off relative to normal. The signal emerged on the first day of the month with a high of just 79 degrees and the first week of the month averaging five degrees below normal. From there, temperatures warmed above average for week 2 but then cooled for the second half of the month. Overall, the average temperature was 1.3 degrees below normal with several mornings dropping into the upper 60s. 

Precipitation for August, a typically dry month, was a marked departure from a dry July and ended up 12th wettest on record. Multiple systems brought areas of heavy rain, including the remnants of Major Hurricane Laura that made landfall in southwest LA near the end of the month and then re-curved to pass by to our north. Tropical Depression Laura also brought our windiest day of the month with wind gusts into the 30s to mid 40s mph on the 27th-28th. 

Severe weather was nearly negligible during the month of August, with the exception of a few Tornado Warnings spawned by the remnants of Laura on the evening of the 27th in northwest MS. These storms did not produce tornadoes, although there were a few weak tornadoes in northeast AR and far northwest TN from Laura. Scattered tree and power pole damage was observed in Tunica County on the 28th from Laura's remnants. Finally, flash flooding occurred in eastern Tipton County on the early morning of the 30th. Flash Flood Warnings were issued on multiple slow moving storms throughout the month with heavy downpours common.

NWS-Memphis map of tornadoes produced by the remnants of Hurricane Laura. 

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 80.7 degrees (1.3 degrees below average) 
Average high temperature: 89.6 degrees (1.7 degrees below average) 
Average low temperature: 71.7 degrees (1.0 degrees below average) 
Warmest temperature: 97 degrees (9th, 10th, 11th) 
Coolest temperature: 65 degrees (5th) 
Heating Degrees Days: 0
Cooling Degree Days: 492 (35 below average) 
Records set or tied: None 
Comments: None

Monthly total: 6.47" (3.59" above average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 13 (6.2 days above average) 
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.93" (13th) 
Snowfall: None 
Records set or tied: None 
Comments: This month was the 12th wettest August on record.

Peak wind: South/46 mph (28th) 
Average wind: 6.7 mph 
Average relative humidity: 69% 
Average sky cover: 50% 

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 77.6 degrees 
Average high temperature: 88.8 degrees 
Average low temperature: 68.8 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 98.4 degrees (10th) 
Coolest temperature: 59.6 degrees (5th) 
Comments: None 

Monthly total: 6.87" (automated rain gauge), 7.45" (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 12 
Wettest date: 2.06" (28th) (via automated gauge) 
Snowfall: None 
Comments: None 

Peak wind: South/30 mph (28th)
Average relative humidity: 83% 
Average barometric pressure: 29.93 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.76 degrees 
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 74% 
MWN average dewpoint error: 1.72 degrees 
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 80% 

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

Climate Outlook - September 2020

The September climate outlook for the United States from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Above average temperatures are again forecast for areas in and west of the Rocky Mountains, as well as the Florida peninsula. Cooler than average temperatures are forecast for the eastern Plains into the Midwest and Ohio Valley and sections of the Mid-South. Odds slightly favor below average temperatures for Memphis (35%) versus only a 32% chance of above average temperatures. Memphis' average temperatures for September is 75.2 degrees.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal in the southeast U.S. with a strong signal for anomalously wet conditions in portions of the south-central Plains east into the middle Mississippi Valley. Drier than average weather is forecast for much of the Great Plains into the western U.S. For Memphis, odds favor above average rainfall (a 52% chance) versus only a 15% chance of below average rainfall. Precipitation historically averages only 3.09 inches in September. 

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