9th warmest February on record; La Niña conditions continue but weaken

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:35 PM GMT on March 20, 2009

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Global temperatures in February remained about where they've been the past year, with Earth recording its 9th warmest February on record, according to statistics released by the National Climatic Data Center. This past winter was the eighth warmest winter on record (December-February), and the January-February year-to-date period was also the eighth warmest. The most notable extreme February heat occurred February 7 in southern Australia. Many locations set new all-time hottest temperature records, including an all-time state record for Victoria when temperatures reached 48.8°C (119.8°F) in Hopetoun, shattering the previous record of 47.2°C (117.0°F) set in January 1939. The extreme heat was accompanied by very dry conditions that contributed to the development of deadly wildfires that killed 210 people. The most notable cold conditions for the winter of 2008/2009 occurred in the United Kingdom, which had its coldest winter since 1995/1996.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for the month of February 2009. Image credit: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

A dry and warm February for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., February temperatures were the 27th warmest in the 114-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The month was very dry, ranking as the 8th driest February. New Jersey and Delaware had their driest February ever recorded. The winter of 2008/2009 (December - February) ranked as the 5th driest winter on record, and the year-to-date January - February period was the driest ever such period. Texas recorded its driest winter. Thanks to all the dry weather, the U.S. has only seen about 50% of normal tornado activity in 2009, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. On March 19, 2009, 21% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is unchanged from January.

La Niña conditions continue
La Niña conditions continued in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in February, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is continuing their 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 anomalies peaked at -1.1°C below average in the Niña 3.4 region during early January. It appears that La Niña has peaked, as ocean temperatures in the Niña 3.4 region have warmed to -0.4°C below average as of March 15. Nearly all the model forecasts for the Niño 3.4 region show that La Niña will dissipate between May - July 2009, and neutral conditions are expected for the August - October peak of hurricane season. Only three out of 16 El Niño models are predicting an El Niño event for hurricane season. The number of Atlantic hurricanes is typically reduced in an El Niño year, due to increased wind shear from strong high-level winds, but that doesn't look like it will happen this year.

Expected impacts of the current La Niña conditions during during March - May 2009 inlude above-average precipitation over Indonesia, and below-average precipitation over the central equatorial Pacific. Compared to the Northern Hemisphere winter, La Niña impacts over the United States are typically less pronounced. For the contiguous United States, potential impacts include below-average precipitation across the southern states. Other potential impacts include below-average temperatures in the Pacific Northwest and above-average temperatures across much of the southwestern and south-central United States.

Sea ice extent
February 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 4th lowest on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and is currently near its annual maximum. The record February low was set in 2005. Since today is the Spring Equinox, the sun will rise at the North Pole, bringing 24-hour daylight and warming conditions that will begin melting Arctic sea ice.

Portlight Relief Walk this weekend
Saturday March 21 in New Orleans marks the inaugural event in a series of 18 fundraising Relief Walks sponsored by Portlight.org. A hearty thanks go to all the organizers and participants in this effort!



Jeff Masters

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IT's on....
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Wow look at this.....

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Redoubt Volcano Latest Observations
2009-03-22 23:02:22

An eruption of Mt. Redoubt began at approximately 22:38 AKDT, March 22, 2009 (0638 UTC). AVO is raising the aviation color code to Red and the alert level to Warning. Initial height of the eruption cloud is estimated at less than 20,000 ft above sea level at present. Further reports will be issued as more information becomes available.
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Redoubt Activity - Color Code RED : Alert Level WARNING
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Hmmmm...

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I would suggest that Lava is on its way up.....

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alaska_avoNo eruption has yet occurred, however at these heightened levels of seismicity, there could be a quick escalation to eruptive activity.
2 minutes ago from TwitterMail
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Nature has a funny way of toying around.

The last time they dropped Redoubt to yellow, it was increased the very next day because of increased unrest. Now this happens:


Tremor amplitude has increased over the last several hours.

2009-03-19 11:08:29
The large seismic event seen on the Redoubt Webicorder plots shortly after 19 March at 10:30 AM AKDT is from a distant M7.7 earthquake near Tonga. The event is seen on stations throughout Alaska and is not related to activity at Redoubt Volcano.

2009-03-18 10:33:49

The Alaska Volcano Observatory has lowered the Aviation Color Code to YELLOW and the Alert Level to Advisory for Mount Redoubt.

AVO will continue to monitor Redoubt closely, but will no longer be formally staffed 24 hours per day.

This will be the last hourly (or bi-hourly) update until further notice.



Right after that Tonga quake the volcano woke back up.
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Why do I get a feeling that global warming is not occurring in my area--the Pacific Northwest. We are on our 20th day of being below seasonal norms for temperature.

Snow just last Monday-a week ago and no extension for getting studded tires off! Go figure! Early am temp was below freezing!

Still keeping the fires going...

Puddled in the pnw
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Sulli every webicoder is nearly a solid bar of Blue.....I would love to go to bed.....but i don't want to miss if something is happening as it appears.
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Maybe I'll get some good pics at sunset, like I did for Kasatochi.
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Definitely looks like harmonic tremor to me. I'm no expert or novice at analyzing a seismograph but it looks like that volcano is ready to erupt.
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I'm going to stick my neck out and suggest that something has happened or about to happen on Redoubt! Nothing confirmed from AVO but, wow the above is very impressive.
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Redoubt Volcano Latest Observations
2009-03-22 21:32:08

Over the last two hours, seismicity at Redoubt has increased significantly.
No eruption has yet occurred, however at these heightened levels of seismicity, there could be a quick escalation to eruptive activity.
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Bad news for Anchorage if Redoubt erupts now.....

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Redoubt Volcano Latest Observations
2009-03-22 19:45:39

Over the last hour, the rate of seismic events has increased to the highest levels seen within the last 48 hours. We are watching the events closely and continue to staff the observatory 24 hours per day. The webcam view is still obscured by clouds.
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I just updated my Web site if anyone would like to view! Severe Weather in the forecast!

TampaSpins Wed Link
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173. Skyepony (Mod)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37420
Hey everyone its not often i post out of season but i just wanted to see how everyone was doing....hope we have a fun but not too dangerous season coming up....After feeling the effects of Gustav and Ike i hope it is a quiet year here in south Louisiana
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A Severe Weather Threat seems very likely starting early tomorrow for Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas first. Followed by late evening in the Northern parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama! These areas need to monitor this developing Threat! Turn your Weather Radios on tonite before going to Bed!
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Redoubt Summit Glacier Melting....
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Redoubt is looking a lot more active......

REDOUBT VOLCANO (CAVW #1103-03-)
6029'7" N 15244'38" W, Summit Elevation 10197 ft (3108 m)
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH

AVO raised the aviation color code to Orange and the alert level to Watch last night at 10:09PM AKDT (March 21) based on an increase in the rate of discrete seismic events. Shallow earthquake activity under the volcano has been as high as 26 events per 10-minute period. Activity is primarily seen on the stations nearest the summit, though some events are also recorded at farther-out stations. This activity likely represents either the upward movement of magma or pressurization of the system. No eruption has occurred.

It is possible for unrest at the volcano to change rapidly, and seismic activity or other signs of unrest could escalate culminating in an eruption within days to weeks.
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Quoting Ossqss:


Sweet, watch out for that Gator !


FISH ON!


ROTHFLMBO!!!!!!!! I wonder if I could Fedex one up, w/glitter!! along with the shark you sent down here.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Blast from the Past...

ZCZC MIATCDAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012008
100 PM EDT SAT MAY 31 2008

THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN
BECAME A TROPICAL STORM AS IT WAS CROSSING THE COAST OF BELIZE
EARLY THIS MORNING. THIS IS BASED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY...SHIP DATA
AND A NOAA BUOY 42056 WHICH REPORTED SUSTAINED WINDS OF TROPICAL
STORM FORCE. INITIAL INTENSITY IS SET AT 35 KNOTS BUT BECAUSE
ARTHUR IS ALREADY INLAND..WEAKENING IS ANTICIPATED. THERE IS A
POSSIBILITY THAT ARTHUR REGAIN TROPICAL STORM STATUS IF IT MOVES
BACK OVER WATER IN THE BAY OF CAMPECHE.

BEST ESTIMATE OF THE INITIAL MOTION IS 290/07. ARTHUR IS ALREADY
SOUTH OF A DEVELOPING RIDGE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO...THEREFORE A
GENERAL WEST-NORTHWEST TO WEST TRACK IS FORECAST. NONE OF THE
AVAILABLE MODEL GUIDANCE BRINGS ARTHUR NORTHWARD AWAY FROM THE BAY
OF CAMPECHE.

THIS SYSTEM IS NOT DESIGNATED TROPICAL STORM ALMA BECAUSE THE
SURFACE CENTER OF ALMA DISSIPATED OVER THE HIGH TERRAIN OF CENTRAL
AMERICA YESTERDAY.





Wow lol
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
Blast from the Past...

ZCZC MIATCDAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012008
100 PM EDT SAT MAY 31 2008

THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN
BECAME A TROPICAL STORM AS IT WAS CROSSING THE COAST OF BELIZE
EARLY THIS MORNING. THIS IS BASED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY...SHIP DATA
AND A NOAA BUOY 42056 WHICH REPORTED SUSTAINED WINDS OF TROPICAL
STORM FORCE. INITIAL INTENSITY IS SET AT 35 KNOTS BUT BECAUSE
ARTHUR IS ALREADY INLAND..WEAKENING IS ANTICIPATED. THERE IS A
POSSIBILITY THAT ARTHUR REGAIN TROPICAL STORM STATUS IF IT MOVES
BACK OVER WATER IN THE BAY OF CAMPECHE.

BEST ESTIMATE OF THE INITIAL MOTION IS 290/07. ARTHUR IS ALREADY
SOUTH OF A DEVELOPING RIDGE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO...THEREFORE A
GENERAL WEST-NORTHWEST TO WEST TRACK IS FORECAST. NONE OF THE
AVAILABLE MODEL GUIDANCE BRINGS ARTHUR NORTHWARD AWAY FROM THE BAY
OF CAMPECHE.

THIS SYSTEM IS NOT DESIGNATED TROPICAL STORM ALMA BECAUSE THE
SURFACE CENTER OF ALMA DISSIPATED OVER THE HIGH TERRAIN OF CENTRAL
AMERICA YESTERDAY.



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Quoting MissNadia:
Redoubt

2009-03-22 11:08:29
Seismicity rates have increased dramatically over the last 48 hours. Currently, the earthquake rate is about 40 to 50 events per hour. Many of these events are large enough to be recorded at the more distal stations of the Redoubt network, including NCT and DFR.

At present, much of the volcano is in view in the hut web camera and small steam/gas plume is visible.

It is amazing that a mountain that looks so cold and formidable, can be so hot at it's core.
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Redoubt

2009-03-22 11:08:29
Seismicity rates have increased dramatically over the last 48 hours. Currently, the earthquake rate is about 40 to 50 events per hour. Many of these events are large enough to be recorded at the more distal stations of the Redoubt network, including NCT and DFR.

At present, much of the volcano is in view in the hut web camera and small steam/gas plume is visible.

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Furthermore, SSTs don't matter as much as atmospheric conditions do. As long as El Nino remains absent, an active season is almost a certainty, given that we have been in an active phase since 1995.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 557 Comments: 19977
Quoting Orcasystems:


Based on what has happened so far this year... NADA. BY this time in that last 2 years we had already had some action.. so far this year.. nothing.

We have had unusually cold weather in the GOM, and Surfmom even came close to snow.

I know, I can't back it up with fancy diagrams and charts, but thats the feeling I have.


Cold air during the winter has no correlation to the season as a whole.

I've reiterated this statement numerous times on here, and I will do so again, because apparently it is required: SSTs have plenty of time to heat up once warmer air begins to move in -- at least consistent bouts of warm air. Incidentally, this has been the pattern for a few weeks now, and with winter officially over, I see no reason for this to change. Sure, occasional bursts of upper 30 nights may occur, but even that's iffy. If they do occur, they will likely be few and far between, since it is almost April.

Also, it's a known fact that SSTs heat up faster than they cool down.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 557 Comments: 19977
Quoting Orcasystems:


Based on what has happened so far this year... NADA. BY this time in that last 2 years we had already had some action.. so far this year.. nothing.

We have had unusually cold weather in the GOM, and Surfmom even came close to snow.

I know, I can't back it up with fancy diagrams and charts, but thats the feeling I have.


It was 86 Degrees in Florida in the early part of February were I lived. Action isn't suppose to happen in Jan-March.
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Quoting Ossqss:


Please forgive me, I just could not resist.



Ohhhhhh your in trouble... I'm telling on you.
SWMBO'ed may have a comment for you later :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Orcasystems:


I have some Koi in that pond that would run close to 5 lbs.


Please forgive me, I just could not resist.

That song just sticks in the head. ARG. Link
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting Ossqss:


Sweet, watch out for that Gator !


FISH ON!


I have some Koi in that pond that would run close to 5 lbs.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Ossqss:


Sweet, watch out for that Gator !


FISH ON!

I setup the the two cameras, its a lot of fun to be able to log into them from work and see whats going on..... SWMBO'ed has one aimed at the Front house area.. you can see the birds playing in the garden...I will aim it and the humming bird feeder later in the spring.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
156. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Perth
High Seas Warning
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE ILSA (CAT 3)
9:50 PM WDT March 22 2009
===========================

At 9:00 PM WDT, Severe Tropical Cyclone Ilsa, Category Three [981 hPa] located at 16.9S 98.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 65 knots with gusts of 90 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west-southwest at 8 knots.

Hurricane Force Winds
======================
20 NM from the center

Storm Force Winds
==================
30 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
================
70 NM from the center

Dvorak Intensity: T4.0/4.5/W0.5/24HRS

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 17.2S 095.9E - 60 knots (CAT 2)
24 HRS: 17.9S 093.2E - 50 knots (CAT 2)
48 HRS: 19.3S 088.1E - 40 knots (CAT 1/"Moderate Tropical Storm")

Remarks:
============
Ilsa persists as a severe TC with microwave imagery maintaintaining a reasonably well defined inner core of deep convection. Continuing good upper level outflow especially
poleward, and reasonably light shear is assisting the intensity of the system.

However, microwave imagery shows the overall extent of very cold cloud is decreasing though the size of the CDO in the VIS imagery still remained at about 1.75 degrees through the afternoon. TPW shows the system is becoming more isolated from deep tropical moisture and system is tracking towards cooler SSTs.

Dvorak: DT=4.5 based on Embedded Centre pattern [LG surround] and Vis CDO pattern, but MET/PT=4.0 which is FT. CI held higher at 4.5.

More consistent weakening should now become apparent over the next 12 hours as the inner core weakens and the system tracks over increasingly unfavourable waters, and as the upper level flow becomes less favourable. The system may retain gale-force intensity beyond 48 hours as motion [-13 knots] may assist in
keeping gales in southern quadrants.

A general west southwest track is expected in the next 72 hours under the influence of a persisting mid-level ridge to the south.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Here is the live cam feed from my ahhhhh Dock :)


Sweet, watch out for that Gator !


FISH ON!
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting Orcasystems:


Wind chill?? 78??
No wind here and its 4.1 Celsius..



You get the meds and we get the threads.

Canada 2
USA 1
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Here is the live cam feed from my ahhhhh Dock :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Ossqss:


Dock side TV awaits. Wind chill problem here however. Current wind chill is 78, might need a sweater. ()


Wind chill?? 78??
No wind here and its 4.1 Celsius..

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Ossqss:


Dock side TV awaits. Wind chill problem here however. Current wind chill is 78, might need a sweater. (º¿ª) §


Lol gotta get the beer ready
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
Quoting hahaguy:


Yep pens vs flyers 12:30 lol


Dock side TV awaits. Wind chill problem here however. Current wind chill is 78, might need a sweater. (º¿ª) §
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting Ossqss:


Orca, my question was two fold.
How do you get to be a refugee, and how many of them will there be? Do we get 25% of 100 or 1 billion? Then lets look at the motivation side of the house. The free lunch senario.

OK, no more stirring from me. Its time to fish and watch hockey simultaneously. ( the only multi-tasking I can actually do aside from Beer and pretzels) Go Pens !


Yep pens vs flyers 12:30 lol
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
Quoting Ossqss:


Orca, my question was two fold.
How do you get to be a refugee, and how many of them will there be? Do we get 25% of 100 or 1 billion? Then lets look at the motivation side of the house. The free lunch senario.

OK, no more stirring from me. Its time to fish and watch hockey simultaneously. ( the only multi-tasking I can actually do aside from Beer and pretzels) Go Pens !


Hockey? who/where/when??
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Yikes!
Check it out at AKSnowLvr's blog
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144...well said Adrian
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Quoting Orcasystems:


You get what you pay for :)
If you created 25%, then you get 25%. How could you possibly argue with that?


Orca, my question was two fold.
How do you get to be a refugee, and how many of them will there be? Do we get 25% of 100 or 1 billion? Then lets look at the motivation side of the house. The free lunch senario.

OK, no more stirring from me. Its time to fish and watch hockey simultaneously. ( the only multi-tasking I can actually do aside from Beer and pretzels) Go Pens !
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting Orcasystems:


Based on what has happened so far this year... NADA. BY this time in that last 2 years we had already had some action.. so far this year.. nothing.

We have had unusually cold weather in the GOM, and Surfmom even came close to snow.

I know, I can't back it up with fancy diagrams and charts, but thats the feeling I have.


Well for starters your correct about the cold air intrusions this winter season in the gulf but those waters have plenty of time to heat up before we get into cane season.The caribbean for example has got the head start this season as sea surface temps are already on the rise down there and the MDR region is also slightly warmer.Iam not one of seasonal predictions but the way iam seeing things shape up i think were going to be in for a pretty active season with neutral conditions around come the heart of the season.

Remember numbers predicted are not of any importance as the ones that hit land have the greatest impact.

Adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13632
Quoting KEHCharleston:
I took it back. How's your fin?


Not to bad.. the drugs they gave me that are shaped like a house, are very good :)
CYCLOBENZAPRINE, take one at bedtime..and have a great sleep.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
The GOM heats up very rapidly
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Ossqss, borrowed your stir stick, get it back please... he seems intent on getting me in trouble.... we are suppose to use it on others... hehe not us
I took it back. How's your fin?
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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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