January 2020 Climate Data for Memphis, TN


January Climate Recap

December started the winter of 2019-2020 four degrees above average and January continued the trend, and in fact, built on it – ending 5.5 degrees above average. So, for the first two months of meteorological winter (December-January), the average temperature ranks eleventh warmest on record. Only six days in January ended below normal, most in the third week of the month. There were eleven days that reached at least 60 degrees, while only five dropped below freezing (nine less than usual).

The U.S. temperature anomaly (departure from normal) for the month of January shows well above normal temperatures across much of the nation east of the Rocky Mountains except for the Northern Plains. The Rockies and western U.S. were a mixed bag of above and below average temperatures. (WeatherBell)
January precipitation typically averages four inches, but that was also exceeded by nearly two and one-half inches, making for a warm and wet month with no snowflakes falling. There were three days that recorded more than an inch of rain and they were spaced out over the course of the month.

Thunderstorms occurred on the 10th, 11th, and 15th (coincidentally, the three days that also reached at least 69 degrees). There was one severe weather event, on the morning of the 11th, which resulted in a flurry of mainly weak tornadoes across the Mid-South as a squall line moved through the region. A total of 13 tornadoes were documented in the NWS-Memphis warning area, six of which occurred in the greater Memphis metropolitan area and MWN coverage area. These include an EF-2 that passed east of Hernando to south of Olive Branch in DeSoto County, causing the most damage, two EF-1’s (one on either side of Arkabutla Lake), and EF-0’s in far southwest Marshall County and southern Fayette County. Windspread wind damage from the associated line of storms also swept through the metro with about 40,000 MLG&W customers losing power as trees and a few power lines were felled.

Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN

Average temperature: 46.7 degrees (5.5 degrees above average)
Average high temperature: 54.7 degrees (4.9 degrees above average)
Average low temperature: 38.6 degrees (6.0 degrees above average)
Warmest temperature: 72 degrees (11th)
Coolest temperature: 23 degrees (20th)
Heating Degrees Days: 559 (179 below average)
Cooling Degree Days: 0 (1 below average)
Records set or tied: Record high minimum set on the 15th (59 degrees)
Comments: Five days recorded a low temperature at or below freezing, 9.5 days less than average for the month.

Monthly total: 6.44″ (2.46″ above average)
Days with measurable precipitation: 16 (6.5 days above average)
Wettest 24-hour period: 1.80″ (11th)
Snowfall: None
Records set or tied: None
Comments: Three days had rainfall exceeding one inch. The average for January is one.

Peak wind: South/44 mph (10th)
Average wind: 8.4 mph
Average relative humidity: 72%
Average sky cover: 70%

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

Cirrus Weather Solutions / MemphisWeather.net, Bartlett, TN

Average temperature: 45.4 degrees
Average high temperature: 53.8 degrees
Average low temperature: 37.5 degrees
Warmest temperature: 70.1 degrees (11th)
Coolest temperature: 22.7 degrees (20th)
Comments: None

Monthly total: 5.84″ (automated rain gauge), 6.25″ (manual CoCoRaHS rain gauge)
Days with measurable precipitation: 14
Wettest date: 2.05″ (11th) (via automated gauge)
Snowfall: Trace
Comments: A few snow flurries fell on the morning of the 20th.

Peak wind: South/30 mph (11th)
Average relative humidity: 79%
Average barometric pressure: 30.15 in. Hg

Comments: None

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

MWN Forecast Accuracy

MWN average temperature error: 2.34 degrees
MWN forecast temperatures within 2 degrees of actual: 66%
MWN average dewpoint error: 2.88 degrees
MWN forecast dewpoints within 2 degrees of actual: 51%

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

Climate Outlook – February 2020

The February climate outlook for the United States from the Climate Prediction Center is shown below. Above average temperatures are forecast for the eastern and southwestern U.S. Below average temperatures are expected in the northern Great Plains. Odds favor above average temperatures for Memphis, at 39% (versus only a 28% chance of below average temperatures). Memphis averages 45.5 degrees for the month.

Wetter than normal weather is expected for the southeast U.S, as well as the northern Great Plains. Below average precipitation is forecast for the eastern Plains and California. For Memphis, odds favor very slightly above average rainfall (34% chance), which historically averages nearly 4.39 inches.

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MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

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