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 theshepherd:
Yeah, I know how. Rob taught me and I still can't do it.
Not convinced Vista Premium plays the game well. Probably just me. LOL


Do you mean on the blog as a post?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
Quoting charlottefl:
Anyone know how to post a pic?
Yeah, I know how. Rob taught me and I still can't do it.
Not convinced Vista Premium plays the game well. Probably just me. LOL
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10163
Good Morning Folks,

We are be back to January norms. The recent cold has been annoying, but for us in Charleston will have very little economic impact.
One of my many sisters works a farm in Manning, which is more in the center of the state (South Carolina). They had a devastating growing season last year with the drought, and the 'winter' crop is damaged now as well. It is a very poor county and I worry about the people in those rural, farming counties. Been a tough couple of years.

As to Florida... this from a few minutes ago
Growers go to great lengths to protect crops

WBBH-TV

HENDRY COUNTY: The coldest temperatures are expected in Southwest Florida’s inland communities Wednesday night and farmers frantically did whatever they could to protect their plants from freezing temperatures.

At Campo Fresh Farms, workers went through the larger adult plants and taking as many mature tomatoes as they can.

They went row by row filling each basket and then driving those tomatoes to a warehouse where they will be out of the elements and warm Wednesday night into Thursday morning And for all the premature plants, they simply placed Styrofoam cups over them which should keep them a little warmer.

"It keeps them at least five or six degrees warmer," said Joel Salazar of Campo Fresh Farms.

Agriculture brings in big business to Southwest Florida and the freezing temps could potentially ruin the season.

"If it does get to 27, it could wipe out a lot of the young vegetable plants," said Les Baucum, an agriculturalist with the University of Florida Hendry County Extension Office

He says it essentially works like a trickle down effect.

The cold weather affects the crops in the field which has a direct impact on what you see at the grocery stores and how much you pay for those items.

But it’s not all about tomatoes; citrus growers are also going to great lengths to protect their crops.

Desoto County is home to three of the largest citrus growers in Florida, and the cold weather has orange grove caretakers worried.

"A long duration freeze, six hours of freezing, will freeze the orange and after that the juice goes bad," said Valencia Grove caretaker Carl Wayne.

Wayne says he will be outside throughout the night monitoring the temperature and the plants.

"You're looking at 1.3 million boxes of food. I'd say that serves a pretty good sized purpose," he said.

And he says the best weapon for beating the cold snap is actually lots of water.

"We'll flood the ditches and get water high enough and of course, the water out of the ground is warmer and we're hoping it will create a fog," he explained.

Whether tomatoes or oranges, growers just want their plants to make it through the night.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
475. Skyepony (Mod)
concy~ mine don't wanna leave the barn..

My guess is it got a little too low for most the local citrus. Wierd seeing frost on the veggie garden. The winter stuff looks for the most part okay. The fall gamble of summer crop is dead. Haven't looked at the tomatos yet. Still patches of frost on the ground.
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Cot -- a quickie Good Morning to you.... I woke up this morning and a bird was calling your name....said you need to plan a vacation off your cold, wintery Isle and visit the Sunny Shores of my peninsula -- it'd be a great Graduation Present!!! I'm off Zooooooom
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
Counchy - good morning - delighted to read:

"The warming trend is now on it's way"


I'm off for an attempted run -- takes a while to get this engine warmed up enough to really move - first 1/2 mile is NOT a pretty sight - Thankfully, so thankfully-- the SUN is shining bright and strong -- it'll at least charge my solar battery and keep spirit warm. Later All
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536


Satellite image of the powerful low.
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Looking very strong. Will thankfully retrograde before going over Iceland. Next system here probably around on Sunday, with a 960 low going across southern England, but seems to also not be as strong before going across.

Here, forecast seems to be cloudy, bit of rain, bit of sun... nothing too spectacular. :)
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Morning! 27 this morning and lawn all covered in frost. Noticed the last few days no one has had their horses out - must be keeping them in the nice warm barns. The warming trend is now on the way.
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Anyone know how to post a pic?
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Actually that 26 degrees was in Lee County. I live there now lol.. And being on the Gulf or very close you get the "heat" off the GOM to moderate your temp


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Quoting theshepherd:
This happens frequently to Sparrow's wenches after a full moon followed by a temp drop.
g'nite


Priceless & Brilliant Shep!! LOL - absolutely priceless - this just toasted me right up !
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
Quoting theshepherd:
Lake City,Fla
18.5F outside
woodstove cherry red inside


Want company??? I got coffee with fresh ground Cinnamon.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
Lake City,Fla
18.5F outside
woodstove cherry red inside
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10163
Poor Port Charlotte -- wondering why you're colder then me here in SRQ -- probably so I don't whine.

This weather isn't good for tourism, snook, all our farmers, nurseries --our agriculture industry,and our outdoor critters. This isn't a time for added stress -- as far as I'm concerned this weather isn't good for anyone.

My Chickens look ok this morning.... but they're quiet -- no morning songs of joy greeting the sun.

Worried for the migrant farm workers, and all those in Florida who don't have the money for heat, the means of getting heat and enough clothes to deal with this.... and it must be far worse for those farther north.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
26 degrees here in SWFL. Honestly can never remember seeing it this cold... well ..ever!
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and today in SWFL 31degrees - unbelievable - I just want to hibernate
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
Morning everyone. Just a quick comment before I head out to work.

Yesterday was the coldest DAY we've had for a while. It didn't even get up to 65 F yesterday! It hasn't been that cold here in the winter in at least 10 years (prolly more like 15).

This is our current forecast. I don't know if we will even make it to 70 if that wind doesn't die down.

Public Forecast Northwest Bahamas
PUBLIC FORECAST
BAHAMAS FORECAST FOR TODAY AND TONIGHT THURSDAY 22ND JANUARY 2009

GENERAL SITUATION: A COLD AIRMASS IS SITTING OVER THE ISLANDS AS A HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS THROUGH THE WEEKEND

FOR ALL AREAS: WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY TO CLOUDY AND COOL BECOMING PARTLY CLOUDY AND COLD TONIGHT

WINDS: NORTHEASTERLY AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS FALLING LIGHT AND VARIABLE AT TIMES

SEAS: 3 TO 5 FEET WITH HIGHER SURF ALONG THE MOST EASTERLY ISLANDS

DAYTIME HIGH TEMPERATURE: 70ºF 21ºC

OVERNIGHT LOW TEMPERATURE:59ºF 15ºC

SUNRISE:06:56 AM SUNSET:05:48 PM

MOONSET:02:42 PM MOONRISE:05:02 AM(FRI)

LOW TIDE: 11:34 AM HIGH TIDE:05:13 PM LOW TIDE:11:16 PM

EXTENDED WEATHER: TEMPERATURES WILL BEGIN TO CLIMB AS THE HIGH PRESSURE BEGINS TO DROFT EASTWARD THROUGH SATURDAY

WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY AND COOL

WIND: NORTHEASTERLY AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS FALLING LIGHT AND VARIABLE AT TIMES IN THE EXTREME NORTHWESTERN ISLANDS

SEAS: 3 TO 5 FEET

FORECASTER: M. ANASTASHIA FERNANDER/rf


I'm bundling up and heading out. Check u guys later!
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Does anyone know how Fanele effected Madagascar yet? I would really like to know.
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Currently 23 degrees to the north of Tampa Bay. We'll be bottoming out in the next 2 hours at around 20. Pipes frozen with heavy frost.
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Please check out my contest!!
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455. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Warning Number SEVENTEEN
DEPRESSION TROPICALE, EX-FANELE (07-20082009)
10:00 AM Réunion January 22 2009
===========================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression, Ex-Fanele (997 hPa) located at 24.4S 49.1E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving southeast at 12 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Near-Gale Force Winds
======================
40 NM radius from the center extending up to 140 NM in the eastern semi-circle and up to 160 in the southwestern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 25.9S 50.3E - 35 knots (Tempête Tropicale Moderée)
24 HRS: 27.5S 51.7E - 35 knots (Devenant Extratropical)
48 HRS: 30.8S 56.2E - (EXTRATROPICAL)
72 HRS: 32.6S 58.9E - (EXTRATROPICAL)

Additional Information
========================
The system is back over seas in the southeast of Malagasy. It seems that Fanele has a small window (12-18 hrs) for some intensification with a better tradewind inflow as some ridge is temporarily rebuilding southward. It stays however inthe northern edge of a northwesterly upper level jet. This jet could make some good poleward outflow, but could generate a little shear constraint in the same time which is expected to be limitant...

Most of the available NWP models are in good agreement with the forecast track.

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

FOR YOUR INFORMATION : EXTRATROPICAL DEPRESSION [1000 HPA] 45/50KT EX-ERIC
IS CENTERED NEAR 34.5S/62.4E MOVING SOUTHEASTWARDS AT 35KT.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46906
30.9 and still falling


SWFL- might break a record today
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Orca.... I agree w/ Surf, go wade in that pool of yours, w/o the funky pants. Heard you look good with Blue....

WU people, Floridians, unite! This man is promoting FREEZING temps for Florida! He uses the term "redneck" and "cracker" in a derogatory manner. He has continued to "wishcast" snow upon this paradise peninsula we call Florida. If he was an American, it would be considered treason! Oh! MY! Maybe he's some sort of "Weather Terrorist"!

BTW, if I were into hunting.... I would dress accordingly and stylishly!

ROFLMCAO


If you think he's bad just wait until you see what I'll do! I'll send a blizzard through the I-4 corridor! 60 inches baby! Waaaaaa!!!
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KOG,

I am hoping it warms up here sooner than May! However, I have high hopes that it snows until July, an average of 5 ft. per day, on Orca!

Night all.... Stay warm!

Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
well it should warm up by may
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29385
Conditions at Clearcona Orlando, FL.

Conditions: Clear

Temp: 33F

Humidity: 47%

Dew point: 15F

Winds: calm

Pressure: 30.33 Inches(high pressure right over us)

Would not be surprised if we tie or even beat 1985's records! For Orlando it was 20F!
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well it should warm up by may
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Night y'all.. I am off watching a documentary of the Corp of Eng and the Mississippi River
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Bet it had a snow shovel too! LOL
Quoting geepy86:
It did have red high heels and was walking a polar bear..lol
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29385
Quoting geepy86:
It did have red high heels and was walking a polar bear..lol


Gasp.. BF and SM together.. we are in trouble now.. Winter has definitely arrived.
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It did have red high heels and was walking a polar bear..lol
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The Penguin had neither....

But the Foxx had both red heels and a snow shovel and was looking for a whale!
Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm did it have red shoes and a snow shovel?
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29385
No, but I bought a used snow shovel for pennies today! They told me it was the perfect accessory to go with the red heels and the camo clothing!
I said, "Thank you, very much. If I cannot wear flip flops, I suppose red heels and a snow shovel are appropriate!!"

LOL
Quoting Orcasystems:


Brrrrrrrrr
I am really really sorry to hear that (snicker)
Is it snowing yet??
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29385
Quoting geepy86:
I think I just seen a penguin.

(I think the cold is getting to me) :)


Umm did it have red shoes and a snow shovel?
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37 degrees here in Lee county.. Almost unheard of this early at night this far south. And falling rapidly...
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Quoting RTLSNK:
What did I tell you, make em mad, brains start sending out angry hot brain waves, interconnected hot brain waves all over the state start rising, artic air slams farther south than was possible, moisture slams in from the GOM and the east, bingo, snow.


Your the master... I bow in your presence.. umm as long as BF is not behind me with that snow shovel
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I think I just seen a penguin.

(I think the cold is getting to me) :)
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What did I tell you, make em mad, brains start sending out angry hot brain waves, interconnected hot brain waves all over the state start rising, artic air slams farther south than was possible, moisture slams in from the GOM and the east, bingo, snow.
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Quoting presslord:
Please dont forget to check out our Portlight Disaster Relief featured Wunderblog...

Thanks!!


???
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Oh, and its 29 here.... (and its Orca's fault!)


Brrrrrrrrr
I am really really sorry to hear that (snicker)
Is it snowing yet??
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Oh, and its 29° here.... (and its Orca's fault!)
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29385
Geez, I hope you get 5 feet of snow tomorrow and the next day and day day after that and it continues to snow until July!

LOL
Dang, I bet a G.R.I.T.S would look good in red heels and a bow in her hand! LOL
Quoting Orcasystems:



Hmmmm lower the temperature.. and some people get a little nippy and cool towards people :)
I must be doing something right.. I got you three to agree on something :)

Not to bad.. RTLSNK's plan to ask for snow worked.. I bow to his mastery of the female mind at work :)

Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29385
Here in Lakeland, its going to be the coldest night of the year. Already 36 F and dropping like a rock, forcasted to be 22 F.
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Please dont forget to check out our Portlight Disaster Relief featured Wunderblog...

Thanks!!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
28.8 degrees here in Odessa, fl, north of Tampa. Temp was only supposed to fall to a low of 24... well, it looks like that will be wrong, There is absolutely no reason why the temperatures will rebound at all for the rest of night. Hope all the strawberries were picked!
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Quoting zoomiami:


yea -- me too



Hmmmm lower the temperature.. and some people get a little nippy and cool towards people :)
I must be doing something right.. I got you three to agree on something :)

Not to bad.. RTLSNK's plan to ask for snow worked.. I bow to his mastery of the female mind at work :)

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BRRRRRRRRRRR it's cold out!
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Wooooow! Already 30.9 F in Port Orange! Supposed to be 23 by morning. This will be the coldest day I will have ever seen (only 19 years old).
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428. Skyepony (Mod)
geepy~ My baby tomatoes were looking rough this morning too even though I covered them. They are coming inside tonight. Thanks for reminding me. All my cool season stuff is taking this cold in stride~ uncovered. DId bed the potatos & herbs in some old hay & leaves, kissed the okra & squash plants goodbye. It's all good 2nd round of cabbage, brocolli, lettuse & brussels are looking for a place to get big. Looks like a hard freeze tonight.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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