Saturday, June 5, 2021

May 2021 Climate Report for Memphis, TN

May Climate Recap

May continued the cooler and drier pattern compared to normal that began in April. Temperatures averaged about two and one-half degrees below normal with no 90 degree readings for the month, though the high temperature did reach 89 a couple of times at the end of the month. (The average first date of 90 degrees is May 24.) There were 12 days with daily average temperatures above average, most of those in the latter third of the month, but none well above average. On the other hand, the high temperature on the 29th of 61 degrees tied the record for coolest on that date. 

Precipitation ended below average (76% of normal), even though the number of rain days and number of one-inch-plus rain days for the month was very nearly average.  In fact, 83% of the total May rainfall fell in the first 11 days of the month. Following a very quiet severe weather month in April, severe weather in May was also almost non-existent with only one day in which severe weather reports were received. On the late afternoon of the 9th, a broken line of strong to severe storms affected the metro with a few wind damage reports in Tunica and Tate County and a brief tornado touchdown in Tipton County near Drummonds that caused EF-1 (95 mph) damage along a roughly five-mile path. Fortunately there were no injuries or casualties.

Radar imagery as the Tipton County tornado moved just east of Drummonds, TN on May 9.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 69.5 degrees (2.6 degrees below average) 
Average high temperature: 78.6 degrees (3.1 degrees below average) 
Average low temperature: 60.4 degrees (2.0 degrees below average) 
Warmest temperature: 89 degrees (24th, 25th, 27th) 
Coolest temperature: 49 degrees (7th) 
Heating Degrees Days: 30 (9 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 175 (65 below average) 
Records set or tied: May 29 - daily record low maximum (61 degrees)
Comments: There were no days with high temperatures above 90, nor any days with low temperatures below freezing. The average first 90 degree day is May 24.

Monthly total: 4.01" (1.26" below average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 10 (0.6 days below average) 
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.53" (2nd-3rd) 
Snowfall: 0.0"
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Two days recorded precipitation of more than an inch, right at average for May.

Peak wind: North/38 mph (6th) and Southwest/38 mph (9th) 
Average wind: 8.7 mph 
Average relative humidity: 64% 
Average sky cover: 62% 

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 68.0 degrees 
Average high temperature: 79.2 degrees 
Average low temperature: 57.6 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 92.0 degrees (27th) 
Coolest temperature: 44.6 degrees (14th) 
Comments: None 

Monthly total: 3.62" (automated rain gauge), 4.04"(manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 11
Wettest date: 1.16" (4th) (via automated gauge) 
Snowfall: 0.0"
Comments: None

Peak wind: South/27 mph (9th)
Average relative humidity: 74% 
Average barometric pressure: 30.04 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.96 degrees 
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 73% 
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.11 degrees 
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 68% 

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

Climate Outlook - June 2021

The June climate outlook for the United States from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Above average temperatures are forecast for much of the northern and western U.S. Below average temperatures are forecast in the Southern Plains to Lower Mississippi Valley. Odds favor near average temperatures for Memphis (34%) versus a 33% chance of above or below normal temperatures. The average temperature for June is 79.9 degrees.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal for the Southern Plains and southeast U.S., stretching into the Mid-Atlantic, with highest odds in eastern TX into LA. Below average precipitation is forecast for the northwestern U.S. For Memphis, odds favor above average precipitation (51%) versus only 16% chance of below average precipitation. Rainfall historically averages 3.99 inches.

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

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