Monday, January 1, 2024

December 2023 Climate Report for Memphis, TN

December Climate Recap

The month of December was warmer than normal, averaging over 4 degrees above normal. The month started with highs in the 60's, which rose to the low 70's on the 9th, but a cold front moved in and low temperatures dropped to the 20's the following night. Temperatures warmed back to the mid 60's by mid-month, cooling slightly for a few days, then back up to the mid to upper 60's in the lead-up to Christmas. Christmas Day high temperatures were near 60. Temps cooled off the next few days, with the high on the 29th only near 40. By New Year's Eve, highs were near 60 once again.

Departure from normal temperatures for December for the Lower 48 states

Below normal precipitation trends continued in December with only 2.60 inches of rain falling, which is almost 3 inches below the average for December of 5.49 inches. The ongoing drought was exacerbated by the lack of rainfall with much of north Mississippi worsening to exceptional drought status and severe to extreme drought in place for the remainder of the area. The image below highlights the drought conditions as of December 26th, while the second shows the downward trend over the course of the month. Thunderstorms occurred on the 9th with large hail, ranging from quarter to softball size, reported across the northern MS counties in the greater Memphis metro. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and one Tornado Warning were issued by NWS Memphis that afternoon. 

Drought conditions as of December 26, 2023

Change in drought conditions from November 28 to December 26, 2023

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 49.0 degrees (4.2 degrees above average) 
Average high temperature: 58.8 degrees (5.4 degrees above average) 
Average low temperature: 39.1 degrees (2.9 degrees above average) 
Warmest temperature: 73 degrees (9th) 
Coolest temperature: 29 degrees (11th & 19th) 
Heating Degrees Days: 487 (141 below average)
Cooling Degree Days: 0 (2 below average) 
Records set or tied: None
Comments: The average high temperature of 58.8 degrees was 7th warmest on record.

Monthly total: 2.60" (2.89" below average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 7 (3.2 days below average) 
Wettest 24-hour period: 0.98" (11/30-12/1) 
Snowfall: None (0.2" below average)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: None

Peak wind: Southwest/39 mph (9th) 
Average wind: 7.4 mph 
Average relative humidity: 64%
Average sky cover: 52%

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

Average temperature: 46.5 degrees 
Average high temperature: 56.9 degrees 
Average low temperature: 36.3 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 71.9 degrees (9th) 
Coolest temperature: 22.4 degrees (19th) 
Comments: None

Monthly total: 2.12" (automated rain gauge), 2.14" (CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 8
Wettest date: 0.82" (25th) (via automated gauge) 
Snowfall: None
Comments: None

Peak wind: South/27 mph (16th)
Average relative humidity: 71% 
Average barometric pressure: 30.15 in.
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

Average temperature error: 2.17 degrees 
Forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 63% 
Average dewpoint error: 1.96 degrees 
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.

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