March 2012 Climate Data and MWN Forecast Accuracy


Following the 7th warmest meteorological winter (December-February) on record, March upped the ante!  The month ended up as the warmest March in recorded history in Memphis and many other locations across the eastern U.S. The average temperature of 64.8 degrees was 10.8 degrees above normal, more than 2 degrees warmer than the second warmest March (2007). With no low temperatures at or below freezing, the growing season officially started on February 21, or a little over a month earlier than normal. Memphis missed the earliest “last freeze” by 9 days (February 12, 1878).

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN
As mentioned, the average temperature for the month of March was 64.8 degrees, 10.8 degrees above normal. The average high temperature was 75.2 degrees and the average low was 54.5. The coolest temperature of the month was 34 degrees on the 4th, while the highest temperature was 85 degrees reached on the 20th and 31st.  There were only 3 days during the month on which the average daily temperature was below normal and 19 days on which the average daily temperature was 10 degrees or more above normal. There were 11 days in which the high reached 80 degrees or higher.

Precipitation for the month totaled 4.35″, which was 0.81″ below average.  There were only 7 days with measurable rainfall but four of those had 0.50″ or more. The maximum 24-hour amount was 1.44″ on the 8th. The peak wind gust was 44 mph (from the south) on the 21st with an average wind speed for the month of 9.5 mph. Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions, Bartlett, TN
The average March temperature at Cirrus Weather Solutions in north Bartlett was 64.6 degrees with a maximum of 89.0 degrees on the 31st and a minimum of 31.5 degrees on the 4th.  March precipitation totaled 3.85″ in the automated gauge. A co-located manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program measured 4.07″.  The peak wind gust was 33 mph on the 2nd. Average relative humidity was 61%. Click here for a daily recap on

MWN Forecast Accuracy
For the month of March, the average temperature error in all MWN temperature forecasts was 2.59 degrees. 55% 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 averaged 3.26 degrees of error and fell within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint nearly 49% of the time. Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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