January 2014 Weather Recap and MWN Forecast Accuracy

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January Recap

No one would argue that January was unusually cold, marked by multiple intrusions of polar air into the Mid-South.  Though not in the top 10, this month was the coldest January since the mid 1980s and 20th coldest in the nearly 140 year recorded history of Memphis. Despite the bitter temperatures, only one record was broken – a record cold maximum temperature on January 6.  In addition to being very cold, the month was also drier than a typical January.  There were no severe weather reports in the metro this month.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Temperature
Average temperature: 36.1 degrees (5.1 degrees below average, 20th coldest on record)
Average high temperature: 47.6 degrees
Average low temperature: 24.6 degrees
Warmest temperature: 64 degrees (20th & 26th)
Coolest temperature: 8 degrees (7th, coldest low temp since Jan. 11, 1997)
Records set or tied: January 6th coldest maximum temperature (18 degrees)
Comments: Four days had high temperatures below freezing, 24 days had low temperatures below freezing, and two days had low temperatures below 10 degrees.

Precipitation
Monthly total: 3.16″ (0.82″ below average)
Snow/ice total: Trace (1.9″ below average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 8
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.51″ (January 10-11)
Records set or tied: None
Comments: One day with more than 1″ of rain and only 2 days with more than 0.50″. The last day with measurable precipitation was the 13th. A trace of snow (not measurable) was recorded on three days.

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: Northeast/43 mph (27th)
Average wind: 9.9 mph
Average relative humidity: 53%
Average sky cover: 50%

Click here for a daily statistical recap for Memphis International Airport.

Cirrus Weather Solutions/MemphisWeather.net, Bartlett, TN

Temperature
Average temperature: 35.6 degrees
Average high temperature: 47.2 degrees
Average low temperature: 23.4 degrees
Warmest temperature: 65.5 degrees (20th)
Coolest temperature: 6.2 degrees (7th)
Comments: Four days had high temperatures below freezing, 25 days had low temperatures below freezing, and 5 days with low temperatures below 10 degrees.

Precipitation
Monthly total: 2.73″ (automated rain gauge), 2.72″ (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Snow/ice total: Trace
Days with measurable precipitation: 8
Wettest date: 0.88″ (January 10th)
Comments: Zero days with more than 1″ of rain and only 2 days with more than 0.50″. The last day with measurable precipitation was the 16th. A trace of snow (not measurable) was recorded on five days.

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: West/32 mph (18th)
Average relative humidity: 63%

Click here for a daily statistical recap for Bartlett, TN.

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.78 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 52%
MWN average dewpoint error: 3.41 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 48%

MWN’s forecasts extend out five periods (2.5 days, or roughly 60 hours). Historical accuracy statistics can be found here.

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