2008: Ninth warmest year on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:05 AM GMT on January 21, 2009

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The temperature statistics are in, and the year 2008 ranks as the ninth warmest year for the globe on record, making it the coolest year since 2000, according to an analysis compiled by NASA. NOAA's National Climatic Data Center rated 2008 the eighth warmest on record, and the British Climate Research Unit rated it tenth warmest. NASA noted that given the uncertainty in the measurements, a range of 7th to 10th warmest was reasonable. Global temperature records extend back to 1880. December 2008 was also the eighth warmest December for the globe on record.

The average global temperature the past five years (and the last ten years) is the highest on record. The top ten warmest years since 1880 have all occurred in the past twelve years. So, despite the impressive cold blast in the Eastern U.S. this winter, the global climate is warming. The relatively cool temperatures of 2008 probably represent a normal year-to-year fluctuation in the weather. Cool weather is to be expected globally during a strong La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, which was present during the first part of 2008 (see the cool blue colors over the Equatorial Pacific in Figure 1). It is no surprise that the last year it was cooler, 2000, was also the last time we had a La Niña event. With La Niña conditions beginning to develop again this year, I'd be surprised if 2009 turns out to be a record warm year. Dr. James Hansen of NASA is predicting a new global record temperature either this year or in 2010, though.


Figure 1. Global temperature anomalies in 2008 compared to the 1950-1980 baseline period. Below-average temperatures are shown in blue, average temperatures are white, and above-average temperatures are red. (Gray indicates no data.) Most of the world was either near normal or warmer than normal. Eastern Europe, Russia, the Arctic, and the Antarctic Peninsula were exceptionally warm (1.5 to 3.5 degrees Celsius above average). The temperature in the United States in 2008 was not much different than the 1951-1980 mean, which makes 2008 cooler than all of the previous years this decade. Large areas of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean were cooler than the long-term average, linked to a La Niña episode that began in 2007. The graph shows the long-term trend in surface temperatures since 1880. The annual average temperatures are shown in light orange, and the jaggedness of the line indicates how much the average global surface temperature varies from year to year. Because climate is so variable from year to year, it can be easier to spot long-term trends through multi-year averages. The dark red line shows the five-year running average, which is an average of five years of annual temperatures centered on a given year. Even this five-year average shows that climate has ups and downs, but the long-term increase in global average surface temperatures is obvious. The gray barbells indicate the range of uncertainty. Not surprisingly, the uncertainty is larger for older measurements than for more recent ones. Image credit: NASA.

A cool and snowy December in the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., December was the 35th coolest December, ranking it in the coldest 30% of all Decembers observed since records began in 1895. December 2008 had near-average precipitation, ranking 43rd wettest. It was the 8th wettest December on record in the East North Central U.S., and 9th wettest for the Central U.S. Only the South experienced below average precipitation during the month. For the year 2008, temperatures in the U.S. were not much different than the 1951-1980 mean, which makes 2008 the coolest year since 1997. U.S. records set in December 2008 (courtesy of http://extremeweatherguide.com/updates.asp):

Spokane, WA: All-time 24-hour snowfall, 19.4", 12/17-12/18
Spokane, WA: All-time single storm snowfall: 23.3", 12/17-12/18
Sandpoint, ID: All-time 24-hour snowfall, 27.0"
Jackson, WY: All-time 24-hour snowfall, 27.0"
Fargo, ND: Snowiest month on record: 33.5"
Spokane, WA: Snowiest month on record: 61.5"
Green Bay, WI: Snowiest month on record: 45.6"
Madison, WI: Snowiest month on record: 40.4"
Wausau, WI: Snowiest month on record: 37.6"
Idaho: All-time 24-hour state snowfall record set at Dollar Hide, 46.5", 12/26-12/27 (not confirmed)

At the end of 2008, 20% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is a decline from the 28% of the U.S. that was under similar drought conditions at the end of 2007. The average precipitation for the U.S. in 2008 was 30.48 inches, which is 1.34 inches above average. 2008 was the wettest year on record for New Hampshire and Missouri, second wettest for Massachusetts, and third wettest for Connecticut, Illinois, and Iowa. Also, 2008 was the fourth wettest year for Indiana, fifth wettest for Maine, Michigan, and Vermont, seventh wettest for New York, and eighth wettest for Kansas and Rhode Island.

Next post
Check out Ricky Rood's latest blog, called Cold in the East: A rant. There is a lot of misinformation circulating in the media right now about climate change, and Ricky and I will be doing our best to try to explain what is fact and what is crap in the coming weeks. I posted one such discussion last week, when I showed that the recent claims that sea ice is back to 1979 levels were a clever bit of cherry picking of the data that hides the critical summertime loss of Arctic sea ice. I'll have a new blog post on Friday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting KoritheMan:


6. Then again, I thought 2008 would start off relatively slow too, and then pick up, so meh.
I asked this last year and some people got it. maybe I'll have a point system.
3pts to those who get it right 1 to those who guessed an adjacent time frame. somebody else did that I forget who
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
Ok lets have a poll on when the first storm of the season will form who thinks Ana will form
1 in January, February, March, or April.
2 May 1-15
3 May 16-31
4 June 1-15
5 June 16-30
6 July 1-15
7 July 16-31
8 After July
I,m going for #5 for now


6. Then again, I thought 2008 would start off relatively slow too, and then pick up, so meh.
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626. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Summary
TROPICAL DEPRESSION SIX-F
9:00 AM FST January 23 2009
================================

At 21:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression SIX-F (1006 hPa) located near 18.2S 164.5W is reported as moving south at 10 knots. Position GOOD based on infrared imagery with animation, peripheral observations, and latest QUIKSCAT Pass. Sea surface temperatures around the region is 29C.

Tropical Depression SIX lies along a monsoonal trough, under a 250 HPA diffluent region in a moderately sheared environment. Low level circulation center slightly obscured with pulsating convection to the east. The depression is expected to continue in a general southward direction towards cooler sea surface temperatures. Another low level circulation lies embedded in the trough, northwest of Tropical Depression SIX,

Global models [US/UK/EC] has picked up tropical depression SIX and continues to move the system south with little intensification

POTENTIAL FOR TD 06F TO DEVELOP INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE IN THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS IS LOW.
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Love this cool weather! Warming trend on the way..forecast high for West Palm next Thursday is 85, which would tie the record high set in 1991...Then a cool down again!
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Quoting all4hurricanes:

Do you rrally think we'll have three years in a row with a pre-season storm? no to shoot you down, it could happen

I change my mind to between 3 and 4.
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Quoting Bobbyweather:

I say 3.

Do you rrally think we'll have three years in a row with a pre-season storm? no to shoot you down, it could happen
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
Ok lets have a poll on when the first storm of the season will form who thinks Ana will form
1 in January, February, March, or April.
2 May 1-15
3 May 16-31
4 June 1-15
5 June 16-30
6 July 1-15
7 July 16-31
8 After July
I,m going for #5 for now

I say 3.
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Temperture forecast for next Thursday....Hopefully the SuperBowl activities get in before the front gets to Tampa.....

Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Ice breaking off Antarctica


A huge shelf of ice is on the brink of splitting from the continent at the bottom of the world

take a look on whats on yahoo news right now


Link
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Ok lets have a poll on when the first storm of the season will form who thinks Ana will form
1 in January, February, March, or April.
2 May 1-15
3 May 16-31
4 June 1-15
5 June 16-30
6 July 1-15
7 July 16-31
8 After July
I,m going for #5 for now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This animations shows the storms observed by the GOES satellite from July to September,2008


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Year 2008 Storm Events Link
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616. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO AUSTRALIA


Issued by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) at 07:45 AM EDT

on Friday 23 January 2009


********************************************************************************

SUMMARY:


The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre has detected an earthquake that has

also been reported as being felt near Darwin.


The earthquake of magnitude 6.1 has occurred at 2016 UTC on 22 January 2009 in

the Banda Sea.


Based on the magnitude and location of this earthquake THERE IS NO TSUNAMI

THREAT

TO THE AUSTRALIAN MAINLAND, ISLANDS OR TERRITORIES.


No further updates will be issued unless the situation changes.

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615. GBlet
I guess I will take my toys and go home now...
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614. GBlet
Hoping the same thing. Man it's so dry here the old folks are farting dust. I hope this aproaching system brings something our way. It's 69 here, but that will change tonite.
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May just have to do that. Let's hope gas prices remain static or fall...
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612. GBlet
Come join us for the chase this season, I personally think it's gonna be jumpin here!! I am ready this year, got a quality camera, just waiting patienlt for winter to pass.
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Quoting GBlet:
Yes TF, plenty!! I now have my Masters in duckin and dodgin!!!


Envious, I am.
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610. GBlet
Yes TF, plenty!! I now have my Masters in duckin and dodgin!!!
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609. GBlet
I have to admit that I miss the water, that's why I going to Tx in June. Gonna stay a whole month!
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603. GBlet 12:52 PM PST on January 22, 2009
What scares you Amy?


being land-locked....I get claustrophobic....need to see the ocean....
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Quoting GBlet:
I've been here almost 12 years. The cost of living is low and the people are friendly. Lots of clear skies and rolling plains.


Lots of tornadoes too, right?
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605. GBlet
I've been here almost 12 years. The cost of living is low and the people are friendly. Lots of clear skies and rolling plains.
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just testing u guys,lol i no there is no convection over the area of circulation nor is the conditions ripe for development but thanks for ur input i appreciate it im new here i just signed up i am in college for my last year of schooling hope to be on t.v. some day i have the skill for it maybe you will see me when your flipping through the channels on the weather channel but id rather get a job with the local news center in boston.I will try my hardest to be as accurate as i can be,anytime there is a possible storm or is i will post my thoughts and predictions on the situation that develops good weather bores me lol
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603. GBlet
What scares you Amy?
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just checking in fellow wunderbloggers!!!,its been a bit chilly here in swfl the last 48hrs,but it'll be 75 by sat.,finally got my computer fixed now,I'll be checking in from time to time until may,then i'll be back on every day full force!!!!!take care stay warm and safe everyone!!!!-
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that would freak me out....
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600. GBlet



most land locked place on earth..
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ok, thanks!

:)
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598. GBlet
Central Ks Amy, about 40ish mile from geographical center of US.
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low level cloud deck no dev at this time
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We are beyond dry here.


where is "here"?
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595. GBlet
I sure hope we can squeeze some moisture out of the system blowing in tomorrow. We are beyond dry here.
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594. GBlet
VORT!!!
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There is no currently analyzed low pressure area in the Carib:



Photobucket

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mike here,was wondering,what does everybody think about the area of low pressure of the coast of belize?Looks like this disturbance stands a chance of developing into a tropical depression or even a storm,it has a well defined area of circulation mostly in the mid level atmosphere but i can see a low level swirl as well closer to the surface if you look at the visible satellite.
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Quoting GulfPoet:



i will cheat
Good. Cheat. Hurry up and finish the stupid thing. I want you to read Aztec next.
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Quoting GulfPoet:
Cuba would have been a suburb of Miami many many years ago without the Embargo, and the Castro brothers probably Hotel owners on the beach.
Nix. You don't know the Cubans very well. Let Fidel stick his murdurous head up amongst the free Cubans and see what happens. The embargo saved Fidel's murderous sorry scalp.
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I have just updated my blog with
Regular everyday products made in the USA

These are ones I thought of off hand - some times companies change manufacturers etc, so you still need to check the labels.

Would love for you to add to the list
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Quoting theshepherd:
How did you like the "lame" excuse for the Blackberry? And the "elected withholding of info" from the Freedom of Information Act??? Gregory would have jumped all over that one in his "other life".


Great way for a President to commuinicate without making public knowledge......is it different then any other President Yes....I have no problem....as i don't believe everything needs to be public knowledge to begin with.....The poor guys has a life outside of being President that should be Private...
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
(slap).... not again.. sticking that song in my head

better than MMMMM-bop by Hansen....

;)
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Poor dear...round and round and round


like a record, baby, right round, round round....
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Quoting GulfPoet:
working on about 3/4 of the way through shep
Poor dear...round and round and round.
Skip to page 1000. The book could have started there as well.
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Quoting atmoaggie:


First, you need to demand your congressman pass a bill about clear packaging detailing the source.

The only way I know that Tree Top, Musselman's, and Lucky Leaf all use concentrate from China to make apple juice is that I eventually noticed the words "CONC CHINA" in 1/8 inch tall dot-matrix print on the bottle itself (not the label).
Shockingly, the only reasonably priced all USA apple juice I found was Sam's not-from-concentrate USA apples only juice at freaking WalMart! Floored me that a WalMart brand would be far more local than Musselmans, Lucky Leaf, Tree Top, and a couple more I cannot remember at the moment. (Mott's, maybe?) In fact, that juice (as I do have a 4yr old and a 2yr old) is the only reason I am willing to go to that aforementioned place.
(Quota for the number of times in a day I can think, write, or say WalMart has been exhausted). Damn. Exceeded now.

Thanks - I was looking for apple juice from apples grown in USA. Never thought to try Wal-Mart.

When labels are unclear, I have emailed manufacturers/producers. Usually they respond.

Congress has quite a bit to accomplish right now - so I think that will be on hold for a while

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Quoting TampaSpin:


Gregory is a pupet to the Agency he represents and works for.......NO SURPRISE is it......LOL
How did you like the "lame" excuse for the Blackberry? And the "elected withholding of info" from the Freedom of Information Act??? Gregory would have jumped all over that one in his "other life".
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Quoting KEHCharleston:
For me BUY LOCAL means
1) Local Market - if not available then
2) South Carolina - if not available then
3) Southeast USA - if not available then
4) USA - if not available then
5) Canada,Central & South America; Great Britain - if not available then
6) Countries that do not already own a large amount of our economy

The less energy used to transport goods the better it is for all of us


First, you need to demand your congressman pass a bill about clear packaging detailing the source.

The only way I know that Tree Top, Musselman's, and Lucky Leaf all use concentrate from China to make apple juice is that I eventually noticed the words "CONC CHINA" in 1/8 inch tall dot-matrix print on the bottle itself (not the label).
Shockingly, the only reasonably priced all USA apple juice I found was Sam's not-from-concentrate USA apples only juice at freaking WalMart! Floored me that a WalMart brand would be far more local than Musselmans, Lucky Leaf, Tree Top, and a couple more I cannot remember at the moment. (Mott's, maybe?) In fact, that juice (as I do have a 4yr old and a 2yr old) is the only reason I am willing to go to that aforementioned place.
(Quota for the number of times in a day I can think, write, or say WalMart has been exhausted). Damn. Exceeded now.
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Quoting GulfPoet:



oh come now Shep. be nice.
Remember we have not quite finished Atlas Shrugged yet. ;)
Which chapter now?
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.