April 2011 Climate Data and MWN Forecast Accuracy

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Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN
Overall, April was warmer and much wetter than average in Memphis and was marked by multiple severe weather events in the region. This included lines of storms on the 4th and 19th that caused widespread power outages, followed by an extended period of severe weather April 25-27, during which the Mid-South was under a High Risk of severe weather for two days.  April 27th will go down in weather lore for the massive outbreak of tornadoes that swept across portions of at least 5 southeastern states, including a violent tornado that struck both Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, AL.

The average April temperature was 65.8 degrees, which was 3.7 degrees above normal. The average high temperature was 76.3 degrees and the average low was 55.3. The coolest temperature of the month was 40 degrees on the 5th and the highest temperature was 88 degrees, recorded on the 9th and 19th.

Precipitation for the month of April totaled 11.76″, which was 5.97″ above (or more than double) the normal of 5.79″. There were 8 days with measurable rainfall (on 4 of those days more than an inch fell) and the maximum 24-hour total was 4.98″ on the 26-27th. The peak wind gust was 64 mph on the 4th during a severe thunderstorm with an average wind speed for the month being a brisk 11.3 mph. Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International for April.

Bartlett, TN
The average temperature for April at the WXLIVE! station in north Bartlett was 66.2 degrees with a maximum of 91.4 degrees on the 9th and a minimum of 34.9 degrees on the 5th.

April precipitation ended well above normal with a total of 10.95″. A co-located manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program measured 11.65″. The peak wind gust was 51 mph on the 4th. Average relative humidity was 64%. Click here for a daily recap on MemphisWeather.net.

MWN Forecast Accuracy
For the month of April, the average temperature error in all MWN temperature forecasts was 2.55 degrees, lower than all compared computer models, including the National Weather Service. Over 60% of the MWN temperature forecasts for the month were within 2 degrees of the actual temperature. MWN’s forecasts extend out five periods (or 2.5 days). For dewpoint accuracy, the MWN forecast beat all data sources, averaging 3.12 degrees error and falling within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint nearly 50% of the time. Detailed accuracy statistics can be found here.

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