May 2009 climate stats and forecast accuracy

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May 2009 was a very wet and warm month in Memphis, which most of you know without any statistics to prove it. Following are climate summaries for Memphis International Airport and Bartlett, TN.

Memphis International Airport
At the official recording station for Memphis, the average temperature was 71.6 degrees, which was 1.0 degrees above normal. The highest temperature for the month was 91 degrees (the only day at or over 90 degrees), recorded on the last day of May, and the lowest was 52 on the 18th. However, even though the average temperature was above normal, the average high temp was 0.7 degrees below normal. This was offset by an average low temperature that was 2.8 degrees above normal. The average high and low can be explained by above normal cloud cover (17 cloudy days) and precipitation, which kept highs down but lows up.

Precipitation totaled 7.73″, which was over 2.5″ above the normal of 5.15″. There were 13 days with measurable rainfall recorded (plus 5 days with a trace of precipitation), two days with more than an inch of rain, and one of those days had more than two inches of rain. Nine days recorded thunder. The peak wind gust was 38 mph on the 27th. Click here for the NWS recap.

WXLIVE! in Bartlett
In Bartlett, WXLIVE! recorded an average temperature was 70.0 degrees, with a max of 92.1 on the 31st (the only day above 90) and a min of 45.2 degrees on the 18th (note that is 7 degrees colder than the airport). Precipitation totaled 6.29″. The peak wind gust was 30 mph on 5/13. Click here for the MWN recap.

May Accuracy
The MWN Forecast accuracy statistics are finalized as well. For the month of May, the MWN forecast beat out the computer models and the NWS forecast in the dewpoint category, but narrowly came in second in the temperature category, 0.12 degrees behind the National Weather Service average. This is only the 4th month in the past 18 that MWN has not beaten every model in the temperature category. MWN temperature error for May was 2.05 degrees, which was the most accurate month by MWN in 8 months.

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