December 2011 Climate Data and MWN Forecast Accuracy


December continued the trend started in November of above average temperatures and rainfall in the Mid-South, despite an early-season snowfall that blanketed the area with 1-2″ of wet snow.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

The average temperature for the month of December was 46.5 degrees, which was 2.9 degrees above normal. The average high temperature was 55.3 degrees and the average low was 37.7. The coolest temperature of the month was 27 degrees on the 8th and 11th, while the highest temperature was 70 degrees set on the 14th.  There were 10 days in which the low temperature dropped to, or below, the freezing mark (32 F).

Precipitation for the month totaled 8.85″, which was 2.81″ above average.  There were 10 days with measurable rainfall (8 of those recorded at least 0.10″) and 6 of those days had more than 0.50″. The greatest 24-hour total was 4.98″ on the 4th-5th. The peak wind gust was 38 mph (from the south) on the 15th with an average wind speed for the month of 6.9 mph. Snowfall for the month totaled 1.3″, all of which fell on the 7th.  Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions, Bartlett, TN

The average December temperature at Cirrus Weather Solutions in north Bartlett was 44.6 degrees with a maximum of 70.3 degrees on the 14th and a minimum of 20.5 degrees on the 11th.  December precipitation totaled 8.17″ in the automated gauge, which was likely biased low due to snowfall early in the month. A co-located manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program measured 9.36″. Snowfall totaled 1.7″ on the 7th. The peak wind gust was 26 mph on the 14th. Average relative humidity was 74%. Click here for a daily recap on

MWN Forecast Accuracy

For the month of December, the average temperature error in all MWN temperature forecasts was 2.23 degrees, lower than all compared computer models including the NWS by at least 8%. Over 63% 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 2.82 degrees error and falling within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint almost 56% of the time. Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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