Saturday, January 20, 2024

2023 Yearly Climate Review for Memphis, TN

Climate Recap

2023 will go into the history books as the fourth warmest year on record in Memphis with near average precipitation for the year. However, those overall statistics do now tell the entire story, particularly with respect to precipitation. Below is a summary of monthly temperature and precipitation data. On average, spring and summer were near to cooler than average. However, the cool season from fall to winter was much warmer than average. This resulted in an overall annual departure from normal of +1.7 degrees. There were 16 warm weather records set in 2023 and no cool temperature records.

On the precipitation side, with the exception of a dry May, precipitation ran above to well above average. The back half of the year, though, saw that surplus disappear, resulting in severe to extreme fall and early winter drought across the metro, and exceptional drought in north MS. In 2023, NWS-Memphis issued 372 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, 83 Tornado Warnings, and 54 Flash Flood Warnings for their 5-county coverage area over the Mid-South. 

Precipitation accumulation graphic for 2023, showing total accumulation (green) versus average. (NOAA Regional Climate Centers)

Drought conditions as of December 26, 2023

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 65.1 degrees (1.7 degrees above average) 
Average high temperature: 74.5 degrees (1.5 degrees above average) 
Average low temperature: 55.8 degrees (2.0 degrees above average) 
Warmest temperature: 102 degrees (August 25-26) 
Days that reached 100 degrees for a high: 3
Coolest temperature: 25 degrees (January 31, February 1, March 19-20) 
Days that dropped below 25 degrees for a low: 0
Heating Degrees Days: 2250 (625 below average)
Cooling Degree Days: 2426 (112 above average) 
Records set or tiedRecord highs: Feb. 22 (77), April 4 (87 - tied), August 24 (100), August 25 (102), October 24 (86), November 6 (81), November 7 (83), November 8 (84).
Record warm lows: April 4 (68 - tied), June 29 (81 - tied), July 1 (81), August 22 (80 - tied), August 23 (81), August 25 (80), August 26 (80), October 24 (69). No low temperature records were set in 2023.
Comments: January was the 11th warmest on record. February was the 9th warmest on average. December was the 16th warmest on record. December 2022-February 2023 (meteorological winter) was the 7th warmest on record (48.2 degrees). The period September 1-December 31 was the 6th warmest on record. The year 2023 was the 4th warmest on record.

Yearly total: 55.48" (0.54" below average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 113 (1.6 days above average) 
Wettest Day: 4.53" (July 21)
Snowfall: 0.2" (2.25" below average)
Records set or tied: June 16 (1.75"), July 21 (4.53").
Comments: January was the 14th wettest on record. March was the 19th wettest on record. July was the 4th wettest on record. The period September 1-December 31 was the 13th driest on record.

Peak wind: Northwest/69 mph (July 5) 
Average wind: 7.5 mph 
Average relative humidity: 67%
Average sky cover: 52%

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

Average temperature: 62.9 degrees 
Average high temperature: 74.6 degrees 
Average low temperature: 53.2 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 99.9 degrees (July 1) 
Days that reached 100 degrees (rounded) for a high: 4
Coolest temperature: 22.4 degrees (December 19) 
Comments: None

Yearly total: 60.34" (automated rain gauge), 58.92" (CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 118
Wettest date: 3.78" (January 3) 
Snowfall: 0.3"
Comments: None

Peak wind: Northwest/47 mph (June 2nd)
Average relative humidity: 73% 
Average barometric pressure: 30.03 in.
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

Average temperature error: 2.06 degrees 
Forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 67% 
Average dewpoint error: 2.23 degrees 
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.

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