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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Wow

I definitely can't wait for the upcoming week
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Id rather have an other Isadore again.


Isidore was actually kind of fun... lol
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21304
Quoting hahaguy:


I'd rather have a fay


Id rather have an other Isadore again.
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Sun spots and the solar wind are major contributors to global temp changes less sun spots = a cooler sun hence cooler Mars & Earth

How they effects the Earth is often a matter of what is coming from the sun and how it is absorbed/reflected by the changing albedo of the Earth.

In the present case, I believe the slowing of the solar wind and the 100 year record of number of days with of no sun spots is a primary factor in the cooling trend.

Cosmic rays are less inhibited from our atmosphere and with their cloud forming ability have changed the albedo of the Earth with an increase in low level clouds reported by several sources.

Increased cloud levels of 2% can lower the overall temperature of the Earth nearly .5 C according to some research.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
boy i sure TX and FL and wishing up a Allison right now


I'd rather have a fay
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
boy i sure TX and FL are wishing up a Allison right now
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Quoting hahaguy:
It's getting kind of nasty here skies have been dark since 7am and a cluster of storms are passing by right now.


Nothing to crazy scattered showers should make there southwesterly into southeast florida as the afternoon progresses due to a wind surge.

Adrian
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Is this the supposed cold front that was coming through south florida?
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Quoting futuremet:
it is pouring here in PSL =]

Ya just started pouring here by st lucie west
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
it is pouring here in PSL =]
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Quoting plywoodstatenative:
hit and miss showers is all I can say hahaguy


Ya that's what i meant by passing by lol
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
hit and miss showers is all I can say hahaguy
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It's getting kind of nasty here skies have been dark since 7am and a cluster of storms are passing by right now.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
Complete Blog Refresh, with New Weather/CritterCam
Mirror Site
Current Home weather station data.

Including our newest game... which is easy today... where is Zoo... no clouds or rain covering her today

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Surfmon: I remember last year you were interested in a lightning tracker for the SRQ area. You may already have this, but am sending it just in case you don't.Link
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New Orleans kicks off the first walk for
www.Portlight.org
SHINE ON - SHINE ON

Today I'll be wearing my Portlight Walk shirt w/Hurricane Ike's Picture in solidarity of those walking and raising funds to support this grassroots Hurricane Relief group.....created on this very blog.

Check the Portlight blog out and learn what happens when people get motivated to make a difference in the lives of people affected by the devastation of Hurricanes.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
Good Morning from SWFL - 7:12am - sun just breaking through. 61 degrees, Cardinals are rocking with their morning songs -- Lots of courtship going on!! Love this Spring Fever!
SWFL - Surf - NOT
Dry front to our North will pass by unnoticed except for a slight drop in temps and humidity. Winds to today to pick up from the North in the afternoon providing some action for the kiters. Chunky surf continues Eastside through the weekend as we will remain completely FLAT. Easterly flow will be around well into next week so I just do not see any reprieve for the GC. Hopefully the East wind doesn't blow our upper warm water away, the water feels great right now. Gulf Temp 73 round here......
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
Merry Spring Pre-Season, WU!
Just passing through...
The American Robin - Turdus migratorious
Photobucket
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Hey Taz, been messing around with 9+. 7 is crap, locks up too much and has conflicts with windows lastxp.
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70. Skyepony (Mod)
On the east central coast of FL weather is getting interesting. NE winds are about to kick up. This may help the fire along I-4 to jump it. The waves are expected to rise to 8-10' over the weekend with killer rip currents, just in time for spring break.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39389
the NOLA walk is gonna be the start of something huge....you guys and gals simply rock....
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The triple tone beta
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63. GBlet 5:37 PM PDT on March 20, 2009
But, I am already testing next beta



you are??? what Internet Explorer beta are you testing
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Quoting Tazmanian:
has any one tryed the new Internet Explorer 8 yet????


I heard about it, but I use Google Chrome.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21304



For Directions into the Peace Quad its easy.

Looking at the Front Of Loyola from St. Charles Ave..one can access and drop off folks to the Peace Quad thru the Front of the Main Doors at the Top of the Horseshoe Driveway.

Go thru the doors into the First Quad area with the Sculptures,then continue straight thru the Next Building into the Peace Quad.


To park,coming down St Charles Ave,2 Blocks BEFORE Loyola's Front Building,turn right onto Palmer Ave.

Go down 2 Blocks then turn Left onto Loyola St...continue on and you will run into Calhoun St. and into the Peace Quad.
Park anywhere in the area.
There are 3 Handicap Marked Spots in the circle that leads into the Quad area.

Map
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But, I am already testing next beta.
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But, I am already testing next beta.
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8 is great! 7 was a nonfuctional joke.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
has any one tryed the new Internet Explorer 8 yet????


Who uses internet explorer lol j/k
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
has any one tryed the new Internet Explorer 8 yet????
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its funny i just looked and were only under
a moderate drought, yet there is no green grass
anywhere near here. Eh.
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Us in central georgia are dry, too. We haven't had any precipitation since the snow of March 1st, which was a blessing :)

We were supposed to get a full weekend of rain
last week, with several days that said 100% chance of rain, but every rain blob dodged smoothly around us, and we never got any rain.
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46, 47
Somebody playing a practical joke with the Auto-correct. LOL
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La Nina results are heavily showing in West Central Florida, we havent had measurable rain since March 1st...20 days!! >.<.

Drought continues in Florida.
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Quoting NEwxguy:


Or someones attempt at humor


Bad and obvious attempt.
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Quoting CeBas:
another year with a named storm in May?


It's very likely.

I mean, the Indian Ocean, West Pac and East Pac seasons are all going on during May...

Awkwardness out the way, it's always possible. I don't know though, my initial instinct - for some reason - is that this season will start later. Perhaps the latest since 2004.

But that's just gut feeling.
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45

Fragmented Alaskan Regional Transverse Sector --a very well known acronym %u266B%u266B
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Quoting Skyepony:
They still cloud seed. There's regulations in like 2/3rds the states. There's a govt branch that has no online acsess that deals with it. There was alot going on the last few years out west. I really haven't seen what is going on with it lately. Though a friend said they are currently concentrating on CA & were in FL for the winter growing season. I think they're more of an avid chemtrail watcher within a network than inside info. There's some neat pics in that link. There's more info out on the web.
Your right on target Skyepony. I had a chance to do a search and cloud seeding is not extinct and exactly the opposite exists. Everything from the Olympics last year to making snow in Nevada. Tib bit for anyone interested.
Link


search results Link
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Quoting NEwxguy:


Or someones attempt at humor


April 1st is close...
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Drak that is a strange typo,but I found it in the NWS extended forcast
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Quoting Drakoen:


Is that really a typo? The F is so far away from the P on the key board.


Or someones attempt at humor
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Gotta love typos

IT APPEARS THAT WE ARE DEALING WITH A MORE
AMPLIFIED AND SHORTER WAVELENGTH VERSION OF THAT TELECONNECTION.
ALL OF THE MAJOR 12Z/20 MODELS HAVE COME ON BOARD A SOLUTION WHICH
SPLITS A VORTEX OVER FAR SW ALASKA INTO TWO FARTS.


Is that really a typo? The F is so far away from the P on the key board.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gotta love typos

IT APPEARS THAT WE ARE DEALING WITH A MORE
AMPLIFIED AND SHORTER WAVELENGTH VERSION OF THAT TELECONNECTION.
ALL OF THE MAJOR 12Z/20 MODELS HAVE COME ON BOARD A SOLUTION WHICH
SPLITS A VORTEX OVER FAR SW ALASKA INTO TWO FARTS.
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Days to keep an eye on in the next few weeks:

March 20th: Spring Equinox.

April: Keeping an eye on tropical waves as around in this month, perhaps in May, they begin to roll off the West Coast of Africa.

April 7th: Klotzbach and Gray issue their first forecast in 2009.

April 20th: Tropical Storm Ana (Coincidentally, the first name of this year also) in 2003 formed on this date, one of the earliest starts ever, and the first ever April storm.

April 24-28th: The hurricane conference in Nassau, Bahamas. This is where we'll hear if any hurricanes from yesteryear are to join the retired list, along with their replacements for 2014.

Further afield, as the Southern Hemipshere's season winds down, the gaze turns to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Remember, Cyclone Nargis (Estimate of 150,000 perished... though even that staggeringly tragic total may be an underestimate) was born on April 27th.

In 2007, a Cat 3 Typhoon Kong-rey was in the West Pacific as early as March.
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It is 72 days, 5 hours, 10 minutes and 0 seconds until Monday, June 1, 2009 at 12:00:01 AM (Praia time)...
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Quoting KoritheMan:
I don't think El Nino is going to develop this year, although we will definitely see the warm side of neutral conditions. Keep in mind that neutral conditions have been some of the nastier years in the Atlantic, and IIRC, if 1969 didn't have an El Nino, it certainly did have a warm sided neutral phase. Needless to say, 1969 will be long remembered by many, so don't let your guard down, even when/if La Nina dissipates.


1969, 2005, 2008 were all sided with neutral phase. They tend to be more active than a La Nina or an El Nino, stronger hurricanes and more destruction.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24575
As much as people don't like it hurricanes help to balance the atmosphere for lack of a better word or description, as well as all other storms. I'm sure there are ramifications to upsetting that balance.
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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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