May 2018 Climate Data for Memphis, TN

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May Climate Recap

After an April that will be remembered as the third coldest on record, averaging over six degrees below normal, May flipped the script and went into the record books as the warmest on record, nearly six degrees above the long-term average! The average temperature for the month was over 21 degrees warmer than April. Averaging the first five months of the year together, Memphis is right at “normal” year-to-date, which just goes to show you that there is no such thing as normal! Three May days saw high temperatures set or tie their daily records, while only a single day (the 5th) recorded a below average daily temperature, and that was by a single degree. The warmth began when the calendar turned to May and was persistent.

Officially, precipitation for the month was below average by nearly two inches, however scattered thunderstorms on several days resulted in a wide range of precipitation amounts. As an example, MWN in Bartlett recorded nearly 3″ more rain than the airport from localized deluges under these storms. Severe weather was not widespread, though a few of the scattered “summertime” cells that formed in the May heat produced severe reports. Hail fell in Shelby County on the 19th and 20th and there were wind damage reports in Crittenden County (20th) and Tate County (31st). There were multiple Severe Thunderstorm and Flash Flood Warnings during the month in the metro, but no Tornado Warnings. Most Flash Flood Warnings were in Shelby County for urban flooding from localized heavy downpours.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Temperature
Average temperature: 77.4 degrees (5.7 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 87.0 degrees (5.8 degrees above  average)
Average low temperature: 67.8 degrees (5.6 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 93 degrees (14th, 15th)
Coolest temperature: 56 degrees (1st, 6th)
Heating Degrees Days: 0 (19 below average)
Cooling Degree Days: 390 (226 above average)
Records set or tied: The month was the warmest May on record. Record high temperatures were set on May 14 and 15 (both 93°). A record high temperature was tied on May 10 (90°).
Comments: Eight days recorded high temperatures at or above 90 degrees, which is 6 days above average. The May average temperature was more than 20 degrees warmer than the April average temperature.

Precipitation
Monthly total: 3.32″ (1.93″ below average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 11
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.06″ (17th)
Snowfall: 0.0″
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Only a single day recorded more than 1.0″.

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: Southwest/41 mph (19th)
Average wind: 7.0 mph
Average relative humidity: 70%
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: 76.1 degrees
Average high temperature: 87.7 degrees
Average low temperature: 66.2 degrees
Warmest temperature: 94.2 degrees (15th)
Coolest temperature: 50.8 degrees (1st)
Comments: None

Precipitation
Monthly total: 5.76″ (automated rain gauge), 6.21″ (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 13
Wettest date: 1.60″ (20th) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: None
Comments: None

Miscellaneous
Peak wind: South/26 mph (20th)
Average relative humidity: 75%
Average barometric pressure: 29.96 in. Hg

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 1.79 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 75%
MWN average dewpoint error: 1.87 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 73%

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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