Fourth warmest May on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 10:01 PM GMT on June 16, 2009

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The globe recorded its fourth warmest May on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The period January - May tied with 2003 as the sixth warmest such period on record. Global temperature records go back to 1880.

A warm and wet May for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., May temperatures were the 24th warmest in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The Southeast region experienced its second wettest May in 115-years of record-keeping. In contrast, the West North Central region had their sixth driest May. Both Florida (9.86 inches) and Arkansas (10.91 inches) experienced their all-time wettest May. The last time Florida saw a record wet May was in 1976 when 9.15 inches of precipitation fell. Arkansas experienced its last record wet May in 1930 when 10.07 inches of precipitation fell. U.S. tornado activity was below average in May, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center.

On June 9, 2009, 14% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is a drop from the 19% figure observed at the beginning of the year. The amount of the U.S. in the highest levels of drought, extreme to exceptional, decreased from 2.6% on May 12 to 1.5% on June 9. These extreme drought regions were in South Texas.

El Niño watch issued
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued an El Niño Watch last week, saying "that conditions are favorable for a transition from neutral to El Niño conditions during June - August 2009". The pattern of changes in surface winds, upper-level winds, sea surface temperatures, and deeper water heat content are all consistent with what has been observed during previous developing El Niños. We are currently experiencing neutral conditions, with ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Eastern Pacific just 0.2°C below the threshold for El Niño. In the week since the El Niño watch was issued, ocean temperatures have remained nearly steady in the Eastern Pacific, so we are not rushing into an El Niño just yet. As discussed in detail in an earlier blog post, most of our more advanced El Niño computer models are predicting a weak El Niño event for the coming Atlantic hurricane season. If this indeed occurs, it is likely that Atlantic hurricane activity will be suppressed due to the strong upper-level winds an El Niño usually brings to the tropical Atlantic, creating high wind shear that tears hurricanes apart.

Sea ice extent in the Arctic near average during May
May 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was near average in May, coming in at 15th lowest (16th highest) since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The record May low was set in 2004. The rate of ice decline in May accelerated, and by the end of the month the decline rate was equal to last year's rate. Warmer than usual temperatures over the Arctic during May contributed to this acceleration. The Arctic remains vulnerable to near-record melting this summer if much warmer than average temperatures occur over the region, since the ice is at record thinness this summer. Thin ice requires less energy to melt, and it also tends to be more fractured, with increased open water amid the ice. Since water absorbs more sunlight than ice, heat from the sun can more rapidly melt this fractured ice.

Jeff Masters

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1953. WhereIsTheStorm
7:04 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
New Blog up
Member Since: August 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 440
1952. GBguy88
6:57 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Our high tomorrow here in Pensacola is 101 degrees...in June. I'm afraid of what July and August will do to us. Not to mention the Gulf is already hot soup, and only getting hotter. Another Ivan would break a lot of spirits.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 482
1950. Drakoen
6:56 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Looks exactly like what the GFS predicted Fairly large circulation:
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
1949. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:46 PM GMT on June 20, 2009


gom sst run till jun 17
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1948. futuremet
6:42 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
WOW SSTs are skyrocketing.

TCHP
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
1947. 2010hurricane
6:41 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
I'm no expert, but.... it seems to me that if the high pressure over the GOM does not break down soon, the SST are going to skyrocket. That could really strengthen anything that does move into the area substantially later in the season.




High Pressure systems does make alot of hot weather and the GOM is very clear. the SST maybe on the rise?
Member Since: June 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 82
1946. futuremet
6:38 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Tropical Update June 20th (In Video)

Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
1945. PanhandleChuck
6:36 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Heat index here in the panhandle right now is 104. We have not had rain in a long time and the ground is getting dryer and dryer. this in turn will aloow the heat to build even more. el nino / la nina will not matter if the GOM SST reach upper 80's / low 90's
Member Since: May 13, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1402
1944. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:29 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
I'm no expert, but.... it seems to me that if the high pressure over the GOM does not break down soon, the SST are going to skyrocket. That could really strengthen anything that does move into the area substantially later in the season.
if this heat and humity builds and expands into july ya a powerhouse storm may not be out of the question
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1942. extreme236
6:26 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Quoting WeatherStudent:
Guys, when will all of this activity in the E-Pac translate to the ATL?


It may not actually translate over here unless conditions are favorable, however I would expect to be watching the Atlantic once we get into July.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1941. PanhandleChuck
6:25 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
I'm no expert, but.... it seems to me that if the high pressure over the GOM does not break down soon, the SST are going to skyrocket. That could really strengthen anything that does move into the area substantially later in the season.
Member Since: May 13, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1402
1940. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:25 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
18 UTC TEMP OBSERVATIONS NORTH AMERICA

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1938. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:20 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
iam ok ws
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1937. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:19 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
heat looks to last and get further north next week we are surpose to be in high 80's with humidexs in mid 90's by middle of the week so looks to be no break anytime soon only expanding area of coverage
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1935. nrtiwlnvragn
6:18 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Quoting hurricane2009:
pretty good looking circulation there nrti


Ya, SHIPS has a hurricane in 48 hours.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10453
1932. StormSurgeon
6:17 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Is the Open rained out again?
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1793
1931. presslord
6:15 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
'bout time to turn me...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
1929. StormSurgeon
6:14 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
are ya done yet press or should we turn ya over and roast up the other side


...sssssss
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1793
1928. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:14 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Quoting WeatherStudent:
Guys, when will all of this activity in the E-Pac translate to the ATL?
patence young grasshopper you dont want anything with all this heat and humity trust me
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1926. nrtiwlnvragn
6:13 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10453
1925. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:12 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
are ya done yet press or should we turn ya over and roast up the other side
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1923. StormSurgeon
6:11 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
It's SOOOOOO HOTTTTTT!!!!
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1922. presslord
6:09 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Greetings from the oven formerly known as the Lowcountry...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
1921. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:09 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
...TROPICAL WAVES...



TROPICAL WAVE IS RELOCATED TO NORTH OF 04N ALONG 106W AND IS

ESTIMATED TO BE MOVING W 10 TO 15 KT. THE POSITION IS BASED ON

SATELLITE WINDS. AN AREA OF CONVECTION HAS DEVELOPED NEAR THE

WAVE AXIS WITH SCATTERED MODERATE TO STRONG CONVECTION WITHIN 90

NM OF THE POINT 16.5N106.5W.



A LARGE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY ATTRIBUTED TO THE WAVE IS

NOW WELL EAST OF THE WAVE AXIS AND IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH THE

WAVE. THIS AREA IS ASSOCIATED WITH A BROAD TROUGH WITH SCATTERED

MODERATE TO STRONG CONVECTION NORTH OF 10N FROM 90W TO 103W.

A TROPICAL CYCLONE MAY FORM WITHIN THIS BROAD AREA BUT THE

CONVECTION DOES NOT SHOW ORGANIZATION OR CONSOLIDATION AT THIS

TIME.

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1919. nrtiwlnvragn
6:07 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
EP 93 2009062018 BEST 0 147N 989W 25 1005 DB
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10453
1918. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:03 PM GMT on June 20, 2009


INVEST 93E
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1917. stoormfury
6:02 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
that tropical in the atl should be repositioned to 43w south of 10 deg n. there is clear cyclonic turning in the low wind field near 5deg n
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552
1916. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:59 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1915. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:57 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1914. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:54 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
CHGQLM

ATTENTION...NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER



NCEP COUPLED GFDL HURRICANE MODEL FORECAST BEING RUN
FOR INVEST 93E DETAILS TO FOLLOW AT COMPLETION OF RUN AT NEXT UPDATE
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1912. stoormfury
5:49 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
sorry for double posting
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1911. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:49 PM GMT on June 20, 2009


latest surface
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1909. stoormfury
5:48 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
well organised tropical wave



Link
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1907. stoormfury
5:46 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
well organied atlantic tropical wave



Link
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552
1906. HurrMichaelOrl
5:42 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
I'm in Maitland Fl., anybody think it will hit 100 F in the area today? This is shaping up to be one hot summer.
Member Since: July 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 938
1904. Rodek
5:37 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Emerald Mountain, Wetumpka, Alabama (PWS)
Updated: 2 min 2 sec ago
96.3 °F
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 54%
Dew Point: 77 °F
Wind: 1.0 mph from the North
Wind Gust: 4.0 mph
Pressure: 29.97 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 112 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 0.0 out of 16
Clouds: Few 20000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 472 ft

1903. extreme236
5:36 PM GMT on June 20, 2009
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I've seen system's develop in 40 kt shear.


A system would only develop in that situation in very rare circumstances.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234

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About JeffMasters

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