Sunday, February 4, 2024

January 2024 Climate Report for Memphis, TN

January Climate Recap

The month of January was colder than normal as a whole due to widespread snow cover around mid-month. The year started out with high temperatures in the mid to upper 40's, climbing to the low 50's by the 7th and to the 60's on the 11th. It all went downhill afterwards, with snow moving in on the 14th. The resulting snowpack caused temperatures to fall drastically, with highs in the teens and lows in the single digits. Record cold low temperatures were set on the 15th and 16th, breaking records from 1888 and 1927 respectively. Highs rose back above freezing on the 17th & 18th before falling back below freezing for a couple more days. A rapid warm-up resulted in temperatures back in the low 60s by the 24th for a couple of days. A bit of a cool-down followed a cold front on the 26th before highs reached back into the 60s by the end of the month. In sum, 20 of the 31 days in January featured temperatures that were at or below average and only three times since the year 2000 has January been colder.

Departure from normal temperatures for January for the Lower 48 states

Above normal precipitation was recorded for the month with the wettest 24-hour period starting on the 8th, when over 1.75" of rain fell. Of course, the mid-month snowfall was the biggest story, with the entire metro receiving multiple inches of snow from a storm on the 14th-15th. Memphis International Airport officially recorded 3.4", while at MWN Headquarters in Bartlett 5.6" fell. The snowpack lingered for several days, finally disappearing by the 22nd when rain melted and washed away what remained. The rain continued until the 27th, with over 3" falling. Over one inch of rain on both the 23rd and 27th. Dry conditions finally moved back in to finish out the month. For more on the snow event, see our winter storm wrap-up post.

Estimated snowfall accumulation across the Mid-South on January 14-15, 2024 (NWS Memphis)

As far as the drought goes, there was improvement across the metro thanks to a wet month and snowpack for several days. Portions of Northwest Mississippi were still in exceptional drought conditions, while Shelby County improved to moderate drought conditions. Below images show the conditions as of January 30th and December 26th.

Drought conditions as of January 30, 2024

Drought conditions as of December 26, 2023

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 37.6 degrees (4.5 degrees below average) 
Average high temperature: 45.7 degrees (5.4 degrees below average) 
Average low temperature: 29.5 degrees (3.8 degrees below average) 
Warmest temperature: 66 degrees (11th) 
Coolest temperature: 2 degrees (17th) 
Heating Degrees Days: 841 (131 above average)
Cooling Degree Days: 0 (1 below average) 
Records set or tied: Record low maximum of 14 degrees (15th), record low maximum of 16 degrees (16th)
Comments: None

Monthly total: 6.63" (2.49" above average) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 14 (4 days above average) 
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.76" (8th-9th) 
Snowfall: 3.4" (2.2" above average)
Records set or tied: Record daily snowfall of 1.8 inches (14th)
Comments: None

Peak wind: Southwest/49 mph (9th) 
Average wind: 8.2 mph 
Average relative humidity: 72%
Average sky cover: 60%

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

Average temperature: 36.2 degrees 
Average high temperature: 44.5 degrees 
Average low temperature:  27.0 degrees 
Warmest temperature: 64.5 degrees (30th) 
Coolest temperature: -1.2 degrees (17th) 
Comments: None

Monthly total: 7.45" (automated rain gauge), 7.53" (CoCoRaHS rain gauge) 
Days with measurable precipitation: 12
Wettest date: 1.72" (8th) (via automated gauge) 
Snowfall: 5.6" (4.3" on 15th, 1.3" on 16th)
Comments: Snow depth of 5.5" measured on 16th, 3" still remaining on 20th

Peak wind: Southeast/36 mph (12th)
Average relative humidity: 78% 
Average barometric pressure: 30.14 in.
Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

Average temperature error: 2.24 degrees 
Forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 64% 
Average dewpoint error: 2.20 degrees 
Forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 67% 

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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