Sunday, August 6, 2023

July 2023 Climate Report for Memphis, TN

July Climate Recap

July started and ended with above average temperatures, but the majority of the middle of the month was cooler than typical. So on average, the mean for the entire month ended just below average, much like June. Still, the number of days in which the high temperature met or exceeded 90 degrees was just one day below normal at 21 days. The below average temperature for the month was driven by the average high temperature being just over one degree below average. Overnight low temperatures actually ended just slightly above normal. 

July precipitation was well above normal, and in fact almost record-breaking. The month ended as the 4th wettest July on record, almost four inches above normal. 

Training storms on one particular day (the 21st) resulted in 94% of an average July's precipitation in a single day. That particular day ended as the second wettest July day on record. The Bartlett observing site also recorded over 2.5" of rain on the 21st, but both sites experienced multiple days of heavy rain and storms, resulting in over 8" of rain for the month. However, not far away in southern Crittenden Co and the Mississippi Delta, rainfall was actually below normal for the month.

Departure from average rainfall for the Mid-South in July 2023. Much of the metro finished 2-4" above normal for the month. (NOAA)

As far as severe weather, July was abnormally active. Nearly a month of repeat storms in northwest flow started with the June 25 wind storm and continued for the first few of weeks of July, culminating in severe storms and very heavy rain on the 21st (described above). Multiple wind storms resulted in mass power outages due to downed trees and power poles, including - to varying degrees - the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, followed by two larger-scale events on the 18th and 21st. In all, hundreds of thousands of electrical customers lost power at some point in the month, many on multiple occasions. Tree and utility infrastructure damage was extensive, resulting in clean-up from one storm rolling right into clean-up from the next. After the 21st, the severe weather pattern calmed as heat built back in under upper level high pressure.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 82.3 degrees (0.5 degrees below average) 
Average high temperature: 90.7 degrees (1.2 degrees below average) 
Average low temperature: 73.8 degrees (0.2 degrees above average) 
Warmest temperature: 96 degrees (1st) 
Coolest temperature: 68 degrees (10th, 11th and 23rd) 
Heating Degrees Days: 0
Cooling Degree Days: 543 (7 below average) 
Records set or tied: Record high minimum tied (81 degrees on the 1st)
Comments: 21 days reached 90 degrees, which is 1.1 days below average for the month of July

Monthly total: 8.62" (3.80" above average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 14 (4.5 days above average) 
Wettest 24-hour period: 4.53" (21st) 
Snowfall: None
Records set or tied: 4.53" on the 21st set a daily rainfall record and was also the 2nd wettest July day and the 17th wettest overall day on record
Comments: July 2023 ranked as the 4th wettest July on record

Peak wind: Northwest/69 mph (5th) 
Average wind: 6.6 mph 
Average relative humidity: 73%
Average sky cover: 52%

 Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport. Headquarters, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 81.2 degrees 
Average high temperature: 92.1 degrees 
Average low temperature: 72.3 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 99.9 degrees (1st) 
Coolest temperature: 63.9 degrees (11th) 
Comments: None 

Monthly total: 8.40" (automated rain gauge), 8.38" (CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 14
Wettest date: 2.65" (21st) (via automated gauge) 
Snowfall: None
Comments: None

Peak wind: West/35 mph (21st)
Average relative humidity: 78% 
Average barometric pressure: 29.97 in. Hg
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.93 degrees 
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 71% 
MWN average dewpoint error: 1.79 degrees 
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 76% 

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

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