March 2015 Climate Data and Forecast Accuracy


March Recap

The cold and wet pattern that started mid-February continued into early March with well below normal temperatures and one more significant winter weather event. On March 4-5, a widespread accumulating event brought 3-6″ of snow and sleet metro-wide, including 3.6″ at Memphis International Airport. In addition, a low of 15° on March 6 was the 4th coldest March reading on record. The middle half of the month finally featured some warmer weather, but the month ended with another trace of snowfall on the 28th and more cold temperatures. There was no severe weather and even no thunder in March, which is highly unusual for Memphis. Slightly above average precipitation ended lingering drought conditions from the winter months.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 52.7 degrees (1.3 degrees below average)
Average high temperature: 62.4 degrees (1.5 degrees above average)
Average low temperature: 43.0 degrees (1.1 degrees below average)
Warmest temperature: 80 degrees (31st)
Coolest temperature: 15 degrees (6th)
Records set or tied: None.
Comments: A record low temperature of 15 degrees was set on March 6, breaking the previous record set 95 years ago by 5 degrees. That reading was also the 4th coldest March temperature on record. One day had a high temp below freezing and 5 days had lows below freezing (two more than average).

Monthly total: 5.48″ (0.32″ above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 19 (8.5 days above normal)
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.35″ (4th)
Total Snowfall: 3.6″ (3.2″ above average)
Records set or tied: A daily record 3.1″ of snow fell on March 5 and a trace of snow on March 28 tied the daily record. The 3.6″ event total from March 4-5 ranks #8 on the list of biggest March snowfalls.
Comments: Four days had precipitation above 0.50″. There was no thunder reported at the airport (highly unusual for March), making this the fourth straight month with no thunder. There were two days with snow reported, one day with freezing rain, and two days with sleet.

Peak wind: Southeast/41 mph (10th)
Average wind: 6.8 mph
Average relative humidity: 71%
Average sky cover: 70%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions /, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 51.0 degrees
Average high temperature: 62.3 degrees
Average low temperature: 40.0 degrees
Warmest temperature: 85.6 degrees (31st)
Coolest temperature: 8.9 degrees (6th)
Comments: None

Monthly total: 6.20″ (automated rain gauge), 6.72″ (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 19
Wettest date: 1.09″ (13th) (via automated gauge)
Total Snowfall: 4.0″
Comments: Winter precip occurred on 3 days (4th-5th, 28th) totaling 1/2″ of freezing rain and sleet and 3.5″ of snow. All of the measurable winter precip fell on March 4-5 (sleet/freezing rain on the 4th, changing to snow about 2am on the 5th). A trace of snow/graupel occurred on March 28.

Peak wind: North/22 mph (4th)
Average relative humidity: 81%

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 3.32 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 46%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.55 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 63%

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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