October climate data and forecast accuracy


October continued the trend started in September by being much wetter than normal – in fact, record wet! The excess clouds and precipitation contributed to cool temperatures for the month. Following are climate summaries for Memphis and Bartlett, TN.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN
At Memphis Int’l Airport, the average temperature was 60.7 degrees, which was 3.1 degrees below normal. The highest temperature for the month was 85 degrees on the 8th and the lowest was 38 on the 18th. No temperature records were set in October. Though October is climatologically the driest month of the year in Memphis, October 2009 went into the books as the wettest October on record. The airport recorded 10.56″ of rain for the month, which was over 7.25″ above normal and bested the previous record by 0.43″. There were 14 days with measurable rainfall, 6 days with over 1″ of rain recorded, and one day with more than 2″ of rain (2.12″ on the 30th). The peak wind gust was 36 mph, recorded on the 9th. Click here for the NWS climate recap for October.

Bartlett, TN
WXLIVE! also recorded a very wet month with below normal temperatures. The average temperature for October was 58.9 degrees, with a maximum of 84.7 on the 8th and a minimum of 31.9 degrees on the 18th, one of 4 days for the month that dropped into the 30s. October precipitation totaled 9.79″ at the automated WXLIVE! gauge, while a co-located manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program measured 10.71″. (An adjustment to the calibration of the automated gauge was implemented in the last week of the month.) The peak wind gust was 29 mph on the 30th. Click here for the MWN recap.

MWN Forecast Accuracy
The MWN Forecast continues to best the available computer models and the National Weather Service. In October, the average temperature error in all MWN forecasts was 2.37 degrees, or about 0.20 of a degree better than the NWS and almost a half degree better than the best computer model. In addition, the number of forecasts produced for the month (47) was the just a couple short of the September total, which was the highest in a decade. So, the quantity of forecasts remained well above average, as did the overall quality! More detailed accuracy statistics can be found here.

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