October 2013 Climate Data and MWN Forecast Accuracy

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The weather was fairly benign for the month of October until the last day of the month, Halloween, produced some excitement. Fortunately predicted rain ended prior to trick-or-treating, though scattered storms just north of the metro produced one tornado touchdown – an EF-1 in Caraway, AR, east of Jonesboro – in the Mid-South. Overall temperatures were slightly above average and precipitation below average for the month. For the year, temperatures are averaging 65.4 degrees, or 0.5 degrees below normal.  Climate details for October can be found below.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

The average temperature for the month of October was 64.6 degrees, or 0.5 degrees above normal, driven by well above average overnight low temperatures. The average high temperature was 73.7 degrees (0.7 degrees below normal) and the average low was 55.6 degrees (1.8 degrees above normal). The coolest temperature of the month was 37 degrees, reached on the 25th, while the highest temperature was 88 degrees on the 5th. There were 2 days which saw low temperatures below 40 degrees and one day in which the high did not reach 60 (55 on the 25th).

Precipitation for the month totaled 3.30″, which was 0.68″ below the average monthly rainfall for Memphis International. There were ten calendar days with measurable rainfall, but only two which recorded at least 0.5″ and one which saw 1″ or more.  Through October 30, annual precipitation at Memphis is 51.94″, which is 9.49″ above the 30-year average.  The maximum 24-hour rainfall was 1.21″ on the 31st.

The peak wind was 45 mph from the south on the 31st with an average wind speed for the month of 6.5 mph. The average relative humidity was 69 percent and average sky cover was 50 percent. The maximum pressure for the month was 30.53″ on the 25th and the lowest was 29.57″ on the 31st.  Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions, Bartlett, TN

The average October temperature at Cirrus Weather Solutions was 62.4 degrees with a maximum of 87.5 degrees on the 5th and a minimum of 32.2 degrees on the 25th. There were 5 days with lows below 40 degrees and 3 days with highs below 60.  Monthly precipitation was lower than at the airport and measured 2.81″ via the Cirrus automated gauge and 2.85″ in a manual gauge used for the CoCoRaHS program. Maximum daily precipitation was 0.88″ on the 31st. For the year, the CoCoRaHS gauge at MWN has recorded 48.93″ of precipitation, or almost exactly 3″ less than the airport. The measured peak wind gust was 22 mph on the 31st (likely underestimated by 10-15 mph due to sheltering of the anemometer to the south). Average relative humidity was 82%. Click here for a daily recap on MemphisWeather.net.

MWN Forecast Accuracy

For the month of October, the average temperature error in all MWN temperature forecasts was 2.00 degrees, lower than all available computer data models and the National Weather Service forecasts with the exception of the LAMP short-range model, which only extends 25 hours into the future. MWN’s forecasts extend out five periods (2.5 days, or roughly 60 hours). Over 71% of the MWN temperature forecasts for the month were within 2 degrees of the actual temperature. For dewpoint accuracy, the MWN forecast averaged 2.39 degrees error and fell within 2 degrees of the actual dewpoint nearly 65% of the time. Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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