January 2009: 7th warmest January on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:58 PM GMT on February 23, 2009

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Earth recorded its 7th warmest January on record, according to statistics released by the National Climatic Data Center. The most notable extreme temperatures were recorded in southern Australia January 28-31, when the hottest weather since 1939 occurred. January 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent is unknown, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. A sensor error in January caused underestimation of the ice coverage during the month, and a correction needs to be applied to the data. At worst, January 2009 had the 6th lowest Arctic ice extent on record. The record January low was set in 2006. The sensor error does not affect months prior to January, and does not affect the records lows observed in September 2008 and 2007.

A dry January with average temperatures for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., January temperatures were near average. It was the 59th warmest January in the 114-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The month was very dry, ranking as the 5th driest January on record. Only ten (preliminary) tornado reports were logged by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in January, making it the quietest January for tornadoes since 2004, when only three tornadoes were recorded. U.S. records set in January 2009 (courtesy of http://extremeweatherguide.com/updates.asp):

Waterloo, IA: All-time coldest temperature record tied on 1/16, -34°F
Maine: All-time coldest temperature -50°F at Big Black River

At the end of January, 21% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is an increase from the 19% figure at the end of December.


Figure 1. Forecast El Niño/La Niña conditions for a number of computer models. El Niño conditions are forecast when the SST anomaly in the Niño 3.4 region goes above 0.5°C (upper red line). La Niña conditions are forecast when the SST anomaly in the Niño 3.4 region goes below -0.5°C (lower red line). Nearly all of the computer models are forecasting neutral conditions during the 2009 hurricane season (August-September-October, ASO). Image credit: Columbia University's IRI.

La Niña conditions continue
La Niña conditions continued in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in January, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Niña Advisory. They define La Niña conditions as occurring when the 1-month mean temperature anomaly in the equatorial Eastern Pacific (the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region") cools below -0.5°C and is expected to persist for three consecutive months. In addition, the atmospheric response typically associated with a La Niña must be observed over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Sea surface temperatures were 1.0°C below average in the Niña 3.4 region during January, an increase from the -0.73°C anomaly observed in December. However, it appears that La Niña has peaked, as ocean temperatures in the Niña 3.4 region have warmed since late January. Many El Niño forecast models predict a continuation of La Niña conditions through May of 2009. Despite the unusually late start to this La Niña, expected impacts during Spring 2009 include above-average precipitation over Indonesia and below-average precipitation over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. For the contiguous United States, potential impacts include above-average precipitation in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and below-average precipitation across the South, particularly in the southwestern and southeastern states. Other potential impacts include below-average temperatures in the Pacific Northwest and above-average temperatures across much of the southern United States.

Jeff Masters

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Happy Mardi Gras, Pat, all.

We didn't make it to the southshore for Endymion. No baby sitter. Thanks for the offer, anyway.


Here's a lil peek back at Saturday Atmo..

Krewe of Endymion
The Superkrewe Endymion Rolls on Saturday
Uploaded by mdemocke on 02/21/09 Link

You can watch Mardi Gras roll Past the Cam here on St. Charles Ave,..and on Bourbon St. too,..

Parade Cam,..LIVE! Link

Bourbon Street CAM Link
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Record summer rain drenches Townsville
Tuesday February 24, 2009

Townsville in north Queensland has recorded its wettest summer on record, with 1,725 millimetres of rain falling during the December, January and February period.

The previous record was set in 1952 with 1,701mm.

It is still raining over much of the north and forecaster Doug Fraser expects more records to tumble before the wet season ends.

"We're very close to setting the all-time February rainfall record as well which was 904mm - we're up to 890 now - so only another 14mm or so to break that February record," he said.

- ABC
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Mardi Gras Day arrives clear and chilly in NOLA.

Happy Mardi Gras, Pat, all.

We didn't make it to the southshore for Endymion. No baby sitter. Thanks for the offer, anyway.
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Quoting surfmom:
50 in SWFL - parched, dry and crunchy fields and grass. Myakka river is very, very low..... water holes in the pastures down more then half. We're needing rain here.


Yeah surfmom, it is bad on the east side as well. Everything is brown here from those two cold snaps and lack of rain.
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It may be warm in Australia but my heat bill was the highest one I have ever had in January and in watching the temps on this web site i9t seems that most of the USA was colder than normal.
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50 in SWFL - parched, dry and crunchy fields and grass. Myakka river is very, very low..... water holes in the pastures down more then half. We're needing rain here.
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Mardi Gras Day arrives clear and chilly in NOLA. Link


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I do doubt this will be another 05 but remember it only takes one storm, the thing about recent years is that it's been more than one storm that is really destructive
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
46. HadesGodWyvern 9:48 PM GMT on February 23, 2009
Wow the Dow Jones is getting closer.. and closer to that 7,000 mark.

Not good



but its all so fun too watch too see how low it gos cant wait too see what they do on tusday ok am shuting up now
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78. all4hurricanes 2:24 AM GMT on February 24, 2009
Sorry to bring this up but wasn't 05 neutra



yup



and oh now may be 09 will be a other 05
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Quoting presslord:
I was sure I read that as "feet"....I'm gettin' old....


Heh, we're weird here. Still using imperial and metric in some sort of hybrid. Probably defeats the object.

Metres and miles for most things; nobody uses km here, and the only thing feet is used on a regularly basis is on height. 'I'm 1.79 metres!' just never sounds right...
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Quoting atmoaggie:


I think the words "state governments must pass law" have no place in US congresses bills. Frankly, that should be a law.


There was a war fought over that. Your side lost.
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Quoting presslord:
I was sure I read that as "feet"....I'm gettin' old....


Yup.. few more days and your "F I F T Y"
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Yeah, 05 was neutral.

Bad news: A comparable season has and will happen again.

Good news: Not for another 50 years, if we take into account the previous times an out of the ordinary season took place (1887 and 1933.)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
05 was a season like all other seasons that follow with its own outcome and just as the season which lays ahead will be unique in its own way


ya it's even hard to come up with a word to describe it
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Quoting hahaguy:


yes it was
Quoting all4hurricanes:
Sorry to bring this up but wasn't 05 neutral
05 was a season like all other seasons that follow with its own outcome and just as the season which lays ahead will be unique in its own way
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Getting off now. Goodnight all.

Will leave you with a thought, though.

If so much ice has been lost since 1970s (not disputing, but reserve the right after looking closer. ;) ), again, doesn't seem too bad right now.

And, wouldn't that mean more precipitable water if drought is a concern due to warming?

Just thinking out loud. Gotta get some shuteye.

Goodnight.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
89 aspectre

I was referring to this:

A 50% increase in 2008's maximum Arctic winter ice thickness would still be considerably thinner than the numbers derived from direct sonar measurements made by USNavy submarines back in the early 1970s.

Need to work on that editing. ;)
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
82. Seastep "We'll see..." [Arctic ice thickness]"...it'll come back, imo. And, really don't want it to come back too much...THAT will be troublesome. Exponentially more so than warming."

That "13metres/~43feet" was in reference to presslord's #77 question concerning yacht size (now linked in #80). But other responses intervened before my posting, so I edited a bit.

Yeah, it'd be "Run for the beaches. The glaciers are coming. The glaciers are coming..." if 2009's Arctic winter sea ice regained all of the thickness lost in the 30years before 2000.
Thing is, snow in DC is translating into mud in Moscow. Couldn't even do any decent herring fishing in Archangel cuz the ice was too thin for snowmobiles.

70. N3EG "So what is the "official" requirement before man-made GW could be discounted..."

When it becomes apparent that GlacierNationalPark will still be properly named in 2030.

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I was sure I read that as "feet"....I'm gettin' old....
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86. HTV
Quoting TampaSpin:


Troubled times..for sure! I tried telling everyone that a Democratic lead Congress and President would not be good for WallStreet and I got Hammered on this Blog in November as I said the Stockmarket would tumble. And many said the Market would go up the second Obama took office.
Does not matter what party you are, Our Government just keeps railroading the People. This stimulus Package was a Joke and obviously WallStreet thinks so also. Whats the answer now will only be TIME WILL CURE ITS SELF. And Painfull it may become for MANY! Yes, we need to stay positive but, what is the reality also!

We'll need tax cuts for businesses and the working person to pay for this latest "Stimulus" package. Ironic as heck.
Not on a soapbox, just another voice in the crowd.
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Skyepony and AtmoAggie among others discussed the sensor malfunction a couple of blogs back. Here's a link.
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Knock that 2005 crap off, now! ;)

If you compare apples to apples, forecast at the time to forecast, much more comparable to 2006.

See my earlier post.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Quoting all4hurricanes:
Sorry to bring this up but wasn't 05 neutral


yes it was
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Quoting aspectre:
13metres, a bit under 43feet

N3EG "So what is the "official" requirement before man-made GW could be discounted..."

A 50%increase in Arctic winter ice thickness would still be considerably thinner than those derived from direct sonar measurements made by USNavy submarines back in the '70s.


We'll see, but interesting that the focus has shifted.... it was AGW and the IPCC models that were the basis for the alarm... it'll come back, imo. And, really don't want it to come back too much, if at all (seems A-OK right now) because when it starts expanding... THAT will be troublesome. Exponentially more so than warming.



Modified to correct scale (can't stand that).

Modified again for more acurate scale -.8 to .8
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Perhaps this explains the 8% below mean (1979-2000) sea ice coverage observed in Jan.:


Arctic Sea Ice Underestimated for Weeks Due to Faulty Sensor
Email | Print | A A A

By Alex Morales

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That’s when “puzzled readers” alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.

“Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality- control measures prior to archiving the data,” the center said. “Although we believe that data prior to early January are reliable, we will conduct a full quality check.’’

The extent of Arctic sea ice is seen as a key measure of how rising temperatures are affecting the Earth. The cap retreated in 2007 to its lowest extent ever and last year posted its second- lowest annual minimum at the end of the yearly melt season. The recent error doesn’t change findings that Arctic ice is retreating, the NSIDC said.

The center said real-time data on sea ice is always less reliable than archived numbers because full checks haven’t yet been carried out. Historical data is checked across other sources, it said.

The NSIDC uses Department of Defense satellites to obtain its Arctic sea ice data rather than more accurate National Aeronautics and Space Administration equipment. That’s because the defense satellites have a longer period of historical data, enabling scientists to draw conclusions about long-term ice melt, the center said.

“There is a balance between being as accurate as possible at any given moment and being as consistent as possible through long time-periods,” NSIDC said. “Our main scientific focus is on the long-term changes in Arctic sea ice.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: February 20, 2009 08:15 EST
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77. presslord "...the article says their boat was 13 feet....that can't be right..."

13metres, a bit under 43feet

70. N3EG "So what is the "official" requirement before man-made GW could be discounted..."

A 50% increase in 2008's maximum Arctic winter ice thickness would still be considerably thinner than the numbers derived from direct sonar measurements made by USNavy submarines back in the early 1970s.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Glad to see Louisiana Gov. Jendal not going to take the unemployment increase from the stimulus pacakage. Hooryay! Things are better in the state than the media is reporting and the state has recovered from Katrina. Why is our governor Crist taking all the money???


When the feds say that the state has to pass laws for the permanent increase in unemployment benefits to get the temporary money, it makes me wonder why we have state legislatures at all. We could just have our beloved US congress pass all of our laws since that is what they really want to do...until we really need something done.

I think the words "state governments must pass law" have no place in US congresses bills. Frankly, that should be a law.

Alternatively, couldn't we save some serious money if we did away with the state legislatures?
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Sorry to bring this up but wasn't 05 neutral
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
Cottillion....the article says their boat was 13 feet....that can't be right....must be 31 feet....interesting, though.....
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Quoting Drakoen:
Jeff Masters has not posted the latest model forecast of ENSO from this month from Columbia University's IRI; the models that do cross the threshold for El Nino are a little rapid with the warming over the coming months; nevertheless, it will be interesting to monitor the Nino 3.4 region.


It appears that the season will be neutral, since the model consensus is split. However, it is too early to tell. It is best to remain conservative for the time being.

And sorry guys, I can't upload a video today...too much homework.

This series will likely have 5 videos at least

The next video will cover the basics of baroclinic zones. The evaluation will be deeper on the next one.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Glad to see Louisiana Gov. Jendal not going to take the unemployment increase from the stimulus pacakage. Hooryay! Things are better in the state than the media is reporting and the state has recovered from Katrina. Why is our governor Crist taking all the money???
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61. calusakat

I stand corrected... I thought he had, but must have just been a blogger... and it certainly wasn't from the perspective of "acknowledgement" but it was discussed.

Don't think you've read my posts on the subject calusakat... I've read yours and know where you stand...

Just read what I've said tonight and you'll get a hint.

Know folks before you attack. ;)
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
See this graph... if I remember off the top of my head, by 2020, the models are at the top of that scale and only get steeper... even if temperatures rise some, still going to be improbable for them to catch up.

Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Quoting N3EG:
So what is the "official" requirement before man-made GW could be discounted, or at least a little less hyped? 10 years of normal temperatures? Record highs and lows being equal? Ice pack rebuilding to 1970 levels? Al Gore's retirement? A visit from Klaatu?


I'd say the next 5-10 years. The IPCC models really get steep (basis for alarm) and unless temps are significantly higher, it will be nearly impossible to catch up to the forecast.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Quoting N3EG:
So what is the "official" requirement before man-made GW could be discounted, or at least a little less hyped? 10 years of normal temperatures? Record highs and lows being equal? Ice pack rebuilding to 1970 levels? Al Gore's retirement? A visit from Klaatu?


Probably at least 100 years of global cooling with 6-7 days on average per week of record global Temperature Lows......
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70. N3EG
So what is the "official" requirement before man-made GW could be discounted, or at least a little less hyped? 10 years of normal temperatures? Record highs and lows being equal? Ice pack rebuilding to 1970 levels? Al Gore's retirement? A visit from Klaatu?
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The lack of decent winter weather is also a concern heading into spring. Gotta get busy soon painting the bullseye.
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haha, with the action north, it puts me in it. Greensburg, ks is 50ishs mile to the southwest and Chapman, ks to my northeast. Odds are beginning to stack against us here.
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Little Puff of Smoke

Complete Blog Refresh
Mirror Site



I am also trying something new with these link
Display Current
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Jeff Masters has not posted the latest model forecast of ENSO from this month from Columbia University's IRI; the models that do cross the threshold for El Nino are a little rapid with the warming over the coming months; nevertheless, it will be interesting to monitor the Nino 3.4 region.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30578
Quoting GBlet:
haha, thank you. So if I am right La Nina ramps up tornado season correct?


During La Nina the severe weather tends to be farther north
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haha, thank you. So if I am right La Nina ramps up tornado season correct?
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Quoting GBlet:
What was the la nina/ el nino situation in May of 2007? Just how much effect does this have on tornado season?


2007 was a La Nina year
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Quoting IceEmQuick:

Here is something I think EVERYONE should find important... artic sea ice grossly underestimated due to faulty sensor....

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=aIe9swvOqwIY

Area the size of CALIFORNIA... HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Thats pretty dang large... wunder how long before Mr. Master acknowlegdges this HUGE issue...


Quoting Seastep:

He already did. ;)

Check a couple blogs back.



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

Oh really?

Could you point us to it?

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What was the la nina/ el nino situation in May of 2007? Just how much effect does this have on tornado season?
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Quoting trunkmonkey:
Tampaspin with all the doom and gloom coming out of Washington and the media, no wonder the market is doing lower everyday.

Former president Clinton told President Obama, to start speaking postive, and not so negative.
The stock market if fragile, any bad news coming from the whitehouse will reflect how the market reacts, remember when Greenspan was the Fed chairman, and he spoke, the market was like a rollercoaster with his comments, Obama please take notes my 401 depends on it.


Troubled times..for sure! I tried telling everyone that a Democratic lead Congress and President would not be good for WallStreet and I got Hammered on this Blog in November as I said the Stockmarket would tumble. And many said the Market would go up the second Obama took office.
Does not matter what party you are, Our Government just keeps railroading the People. This stimulus Package was a Joke and obviously WallStreet thinks so also. Whats the answer now will only be TIME WILL CURE ITS SELF. And Painfull it may become for MANY! Yes, we need to stay positive but, what is the reality also!
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Very true...they usually never pan out towards the end of the forecast period.
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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.