Average Weather in Memphis Tennessee, United States
In Memphis, the summers are long, hot, and muggy; the winters are chilly, wet, and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 34°F to 91°F and is rarely below 20°F or above 97°F.
The hot season lasts for 4.0 months, from May 23 to September 23, with an average daily high temperature above 82°F. The hottest day of the year is July 20, with an average high of 91°F and low of 74°F.
The cool season lasts for 2.9 months, from November 28 to February 26, with an average daily high temperature below 58°F. The coldest day of the year is January 16, with an average low of 34°F and high of 50°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
In Memphis, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Memphis begins around June 13 and lasts for 4.9 months, ending around November 10. On August 15, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 70% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 30% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 10 and lasts for 7.1 months, ending around June 13. On January 3, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 51% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 49% of the time.
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Memphis varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 5.1 months, from February 28 to July 30, with a greater than 31% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 39% on May 10.
The drier season lasts 7.0 months, from July 30 to February 28. The smallest chance of a wet day is 22% on October 1.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 39% on May 10.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Memphis experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Memphis. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around April 27, with an average total accumulation of 5.2 inches.
The least rain falls around August 24, with and average total accumulation of 2.1 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent quantity of snowfall in Memphis does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 0.1 inches of 0.1 inches throughout.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Memphis varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 47 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 32 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:45 AM on June 12, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 39 minutes later at 7:24 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 4:47 PM on December 5, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 31 minutes later at 8:18 PM on June 29.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Memphis during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
Memphis experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 4.7 months, from May 10 to October 1, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 23% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 22, with muggy conditions 88% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is January 14, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
Humidity Comfort Levels
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Memphis experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.4 months, from October 14 to May 25, with average wind speeds of more than 4.5 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is April 1, with an average hourly wind speed of 5.8 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 4.6 months, from May 25 to October 14. The calmest day of the year is July 28, with an average hourly wind speed of 3.3 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Memphis varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the north for 1.9 months, from January 2 to February 26 and for 2.9 weeks, from September 12 to October 2, with a peak percentage of 36% on February 16. The wind is most often from the south for 6.5 months, from February 26 to September 12 and for 3.0 months, from October 2 to January 2, with a peak percentage of 47% on May 18.
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 4.6 months, from April 14 to September 2, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.8 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 12, with an average of 6.7 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 2.9 months, from November 10 to February 6, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.3 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 23, with an average of 2.4 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Memphis are 35.150 deg latitude, -90.049 deg longitude, and 236 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Memphis contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 121 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 238 feet. Within 10 miles also contains only modest variations in elevation (187 feet). Within 50 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (545 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Memphis is covered by artificial surfaces (68%) and water (29%), within 10 miles by artificial surfaces (53%) and cropland (24%), and within 50 miles by cropland (68%) and trees (17%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Memphis, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Memphis.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Memphis according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Memphis is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Memphis and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Memphis International Airport (54%, 12 kilometers, southeast); West Memphis Municipal Airport (31%, 17 kilometers, west); and Millington, Millington Municipal Airport (15%, 28 kilometers, northeast).
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.