Global ocean temperatures at record highs for 3rd consecutive month

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:04 PM GMT on September 17, 2009

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For the third consecutive month, global Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) were the warmest on record, according to statistics released yesterday by the National Climatic Data Center. August SSTs were 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average, breaking the previous August record set in 1998. The record August SSTs were due in part to the continuation of El Niño conditions in the Eastern Pacific, which have substantially warmed a large stretch of the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niño conditions are expected to amplify during the coming months, and record or near-record global ocean temperatures will probably continue.

August global surface temperatures 2nd to 6th warmest on record
The globe recorded its second warmest August since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. NOAA rated the period June - August (summer in the Northern Hemisphere, winter in the Southern Hemisphere) as the third warmest on record, and the year-to-date period, January - August 2009, as the fifth warmest such period on record. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated August 2009 as the 6th warmest August on record, and the period June-July-August as the 2nd warmest on record. The August satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest five miles of the atmosphere were between 7th and 9th warmest on record, according to the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Remote Sensing Systems.

Warmest August on record in Australia and New Zealand
Australia had its warmest August on record in 2009, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Temperatures averaged a remarkable 3.2°C (5.8°F) above average, making August 2009 the most anomalous month ever recorded in Australia. The previous record was set in April 2005, which was 3.1°C (5.6°C) above average. The month's highest temperature, 39.7°C (103°F) at Wyndham Airport on the 31st, fell only 0.3°C short of the Australian record for August. The Australian winter (June-July-August) was the 2nd warmest on record, next to the winter of 1996. New Zealand also experienced its warmest August on record (records go back 155 years).

A cool August and cool summer for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., the average August temperature was 0.6°F below average, making it the 30th coolest August in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The U.S. as a whole was below normal for the summer period (June - August). A recurring upper level trough held the June - August temperatures down in the central states, where Michigan experienced its fifth coolest summer, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota their seventh coolest each, Nebraska its eighth, and Iowa its ninth. In contrast, the temperatures in Florida averaged out to be fourth warmest, while Washington and Texas experienced their eighth and ninth warmest summers, respectively.

U.S. precipitation in August was below average, as the month ranked 28th driest in the 115-year record. Arizona had its fourth driest August, New Mexico its fifth, and it was the eighth driest August for Colorado, Utah and Texas. Arizona observed its third driest summer, while both South Carolina and Georgia had their sixth driest. It was the 8th wettest summer on record in the Northeast.

At the end of August, 13% 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. These extreme drought regions were exclusively in South to Central Texas. However, significant drought relief occurred in this region the second week of September, when a large area of tropical moisture settled in over the region, bringing heavy rains. About 19 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet categories in August.

Weak El Niño conditions continue
El Niño conditions continue over the tropical Eastern Pacific. Ocean temperatures in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", were 0.4°C above the threshold for a weak El Niño, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is maintaining an El Niño Advisory. Current conditions and model forecasts favor the continued development of a weak-to-moderate strength El Niño into the Northern Hemisphere Fall 2009, with the likelihood of at least a moderate strength El Niño (3-month Niño-3.4 SST index of +1.0°C or greater) during the Northern Hemisphere Winter 2009-10.

Sea ice extent in the Arctic 3rd lowest on record
August 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 3rd lowest since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, behind 2006 and 2007. Sea ice extent has increased slightly over the past week, and we have probably reached the minimum for the year. If so, this year's minimum ranks as the 3rd lowest, behind 2007 and 2008. The fabled Northwest Passage appeared to melt free for brief period in August, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. This marks the third consecutive year--and third time in recorded history--the Northwest Passage has opened. The Northeast Passage along the north coast of Russia also opened up this year. This is the fourth time in the past five years the Northeast Passage has opened, and the fourth time in recorded history.

Quiet in the Atlantic
The remains of Hurricane Fred are generating a very small amount of heavy thunderstorm activity near 23N, 61W. These thunderstorms were generating winds up to 35 mph, according to this morning's QuikSCAT pass. However, QuikSCAT also showed that the remains do not have a surface circulation, and the organization of ex-Fred has degraded to point where NHC is no longer mentioning the system on their Tropical Weather Outlook. Water vapor satellite loops show that ex-Fred continues to suffer from dry air thanks to an upper-level low pressure system, and it is unlikely that Fred will ever regenerate. None of the computer models call for any tropical cyclones to develop anywhere in the Atlantic over the next seven days.


Figure 1. Two views of the eye of Super Typhoon Choi-wan. Left: the eye at 01:25 UTC 9/16/09, when Choi-wan was a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds. Right: the eye at 03:40 UTC 9/17/09, when Choi-was was a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds. Image credit: MODIS Rapid Response System.

Typhoon Choi-Wan no longer a Category 5 storm
This year's first Category 5 tropical cycloneTyphoon Choi-Wan, has fallen to Category 4 strength after spending 42 hours as a 160 mph Category 5 storm. Choi-Wan--in Cantonese, a type of cloud--is over the open ocean south of Japan, and is not expected to impact any land areas. Choi-wan passed over tiny Alamagan Island, population 15, yesterday. All residents on the island were reported safe.

On this day twenty years ago
At 1 am AST on September 17, 1989, Hurricane Hugo made a direct hit Guadeloupe, pounding the island with Category 4 sustained winds of 140 mph. A storm surge of up to 2.5 meters (8 feet) topped by high battering waves smashed ashore. Hugo wreaked massive devastation on Guadeloupe, destroying 10,000 homes, leaving 35,000 of the island's 340,000 people homeless. Four people died and 107 were injured. An additional seven people were killed three days after the storm when a medical helicopter crashed while evacuating victims. Hugo's winds knocked the airport control tower out of commission, and almost completely destroyed the town of St. Francious, on the island's eastern end. Debris blocked at least 30% of the island's roads. Agriculture suffered massive losses that took years to recover from, as Hugo flattened 100% of the banana crop, 60% of the sugar cane crop, and ruined nearly all of the island's coconut palms. Most of the island's fishing fleet was wiped out, and total damage to the island from Hugo amounted to $880 million. Hugo was the strongest hurricane to hit the island since the legendary 1899 San Ciriaco Hurricane--the longest-lived Atlantic hurricane of all time--which brought 150 mph winds to Guadeloupe.


Figure 2. AVHRR visible satellite image of Hurricane Hugo taken on September 17, 1989. Image credit: Google Earth rendition of the NOAA HURSAT data base.

Hugo continued northwest and pulverized its next target, the island of Montserrat, several hours later. Though the eye missed Monserrat, the severe right front quadrant of Hugo's eyewall, still packing sustained winds of 140 mph, pounded the island. Nearly every home on Monserrat was destroyed or heavily damaged, leaving 11,000 of the island's 12,000 people homeless. Numerous schools, hospitals, and churches were destroyed, along with the police department, the government headquarters, and the main power station. Twenty foot waves in the harbor of the main town, Plymouth, destroyed the 180-foot stone jetty, and heavy rains of up to seven inches created mudslides that at the foot of Chances Peak that destroyed 21 homes. Ten people were killed on Montserrat, 89 injured, and damage topped $260 million, making it the most expensive hurricane in the island's history. Elecrtic, water, and telephone service were disrupted for weeks, necessitating a massive U.S. and British relief effort.


Figure 3. Hugo's storm surge inundates the coast of Montserrat Island. Image credit: NOAA photo library.

The nearby islands of St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Martin, Anguilla, and Dominica did not receive a blow from Hugo's eyewall, but damage was heavy nonetheless. One person was killed on Antigua, and 30% of the homes damaged. Dominica suffered the loss of 80% of its banana crop, and landslides cut off many towns for days. Shoreline erosion damage and crop losses totaled $43 million on St. Kitts, where one person was killed.

Jeff Masters

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Does the spin in the carribean have a surface circulation or is it in the upper levels. Impressive none the less.
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Invest its on the NHC floater
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1322. juslivn
Quoting presslord:
post # 1239...Can I have some of whatever you're smokin'?

I like you. You are knowledgeable and funny.
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1321. JRRP
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Quoting gator23:

huh

this so called fredex is not in the carribean lol
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Invest:
A weather system for which a tropical cyclone forecast center (NHC, CPHC, or JTWC) is interested in collecting specialized data sets (e.g., microwave imagery) and/or running model guidance. Once a system has been designated as an invest, data collection and processing is initiated on a number of government and academic web sites, including the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (UW-CIMSS). The designation of a system as an invest does not correspond to any particular likelihood of development of the system into a tropical cyclone; operational products such as the Tropical Weather Outlook or the JTWC/TCFA should be consulted for this purpose.


2 Things.

1. That may be the definition but it's bull. They only invest things they think has at least a slight chance of development.

2. Good night. My oceanography class comes early.
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1318. will40
Figures
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Invests aren't official unless they are classified by the NHC, this one does not have a number, therefore it is not official

Ramsdis puts up floaters all the time, doesn't mean there is an invest. There is no Invest 97L, also no models have been run at all on what the SSD says is an invest. If there are no models being run, what exactly are they using to investigate the "invest"?

nothing is the answer, which means its not officially an invest. SSD has done this several times both this year and last year, a few times it lead to an official invest, but sometimes it did not and it was just dropped by the SSD.
1315. gator23
Quoting will40:
1296 when did they put Fredx in the Caribbean?

when I willed it there
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1313. JLPR
very interesting

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I suppose the concepts of NAFTA and Globalization are evil to him...

sooooo how is Fred doing gang, Frank Welker still playing em xD.
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1309. will40
1296 when did they put Fredx in the Caribbean?
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Quoting iceman55:
new invest-> T1.0/1.0


Which one?
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OK, right side up... the one off Africa looks like a player


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
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the side by side pics. of super typhoon looks like boobs covered in whip cream. lol!
hope i don't get banned, but my comment is weather related. lol!
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1304. gator23
Quoting JLPR:


wow I just came back
and whoaaa that's a huge high

Its so high right now
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1303. Legion
I'm not angry, padre. (: Sorry if it was taken the wrong way. Just need to work on my communication skills I guess. Need to learn to start using the smiley face emoticons so people don't get the wrong idea.
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1302. gator23
Quoting btwntx08:

huh

huh
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1300. JLPR
Quoting iceman55:


wowwwwww look at high


wow I just came back
and whoaaa that's a huge high
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Quoting gator23:

Spinning in the Caribbean is FredEx the TC formation os the TX LA coast is nothing but a model run for now

huh
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Quoting jdjnola:


I am most concerned about that TC formation probability off the coast of TX/LA. The low pressure system in the region has been awfully... moist. No one is talking about it, yet all of the models show it getting closer to the GoM before anything...


HUH???



I missed something?? ..as well as the folks at NWS New Orleans.
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1296. gator23
Quoting sarahjola:
what is that spinning in the caribbean? where is it going? and what is this about a tc formation off the coast of tx/la? can someone provide a link to that model?
thanks in advance

Spinning in the Caribbean is FredEx the TC formation os the TX LA coast is nothing but a model run for now
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Quoting HurricaneKing:


But still an invest. Just not the normal kind. Pretty much it goes like this for a storm that actually develops:

SSD invest->navy invest90-99 ->td->ts->H1-5.


Invest:
A weather system for which a tropical cyclone forecast center (NHC, CPHC, or JTWC) is interested in collecting specialized data sets (e.g., microwave imagery) and/or running model guidance. Once a system has been designated as an invest, data collection and processing is initiated on a number of government and academic web sites, including the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (UW-CIMSS). The designation of a system as an invest does not correspond to any particular likelihood of development of the system into a tropical cyclone; operational products such as the Tropical Weather Outlook or the JTWC/TCFA should be consulted for this purpose.
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Quoting btwntx08:

for the ssd it is but not everybody else its not


But still an invest. Just not the normal kind. Pretty much it goes like this for a storm that actually develops:

SSD invest->navy invest90-99 ->td->ts->H1-5.
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what is that spinning in the caribbean? where is it going? and what is this about a tc formation off the coast of tx/la? can someone provide a link to that model?
thanks in advance
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:)
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Quoting iceman55:
Bordonaro .strong Bermuda high go move back west .

OK!! I thought as the fall approached that the HIGH would break down to allow for the temperate weather systems to take over!!

Oh YEAH!! It's El NINO!!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting HurricaneKing:


Actually it is an invest just not a navy invest. It's an ssd invest. They'll "invest" things they find interesting sometimes even if the navy doesn't. No number since it's not a navy one yet.

for the ssd it is but not everybody else its not
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Quoting Legion:
>>>Well listen up pal, this blog is on an American website, hosted by an American company, authored by an American scientist, and read by a bunch of Americans. If you want a blog to discuss the weather and your weekly hoola hoop tournaments then feel free to start one but in here we will occasional talk about football, baseball, hotdogs, peanuts, and Budweiser. God Bless America!


Budweiser is unAmerican, its Danish owned now, Inbev bought Anheiser Busch last year, and they are colluding with MillerCoors to raise domestic beer prices as other commodities are getting cheaper because the 2 corporations know they have a virtual monopoly, controlling 90% of the domestic beer market between them.

If you want a real American beer that is of quality, drink Sam Adams or something, Budweiser is trash, its not even brewed, and is foreign owned.




OK friend!! What's up? Why are you so ANGRY??

This is a Tropical Weather Blog! We're talking weather, not beer!! There are plenty of other places you can go to debate your ideas!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
1284. gator23
Quoting WeatherStudent:
Hi, all!!!

Everyone get ready

"Hey Ikester do you think Fred could regenerate and become a problem for South Florida?"
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Quoting iceman55:
hey w/s


What's up?
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1281. gator23
Quoting lordhuracan01:



I am Dominican and i feel proud of it, I have never traveled outside of here, I like the local baseball and MLB and I also like the NFL on Sunday and nothing better than to see New England win, but if a blog to talk about the weather, for Why talk about games here.

you go to CBS Sportsline and talks about sports.


actually this is all moot because he was attacking me even though I said we SHOULDNT talk about sports
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Quoting iluvjess:



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Quoting iceman55:
Bordonaro i will say yeah.

I would think with an El Nino year, that the weather patterns would be different! Maybe its a little early in the season for a change!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
1278. Legion
>>>Well listen up pal, this blog is on an American website, hosted by an American company, authored by an American scientist, and read by a bunch of Americans. If you want a blog to discuss the weather and your weekly hoola hoop tournaments then feel free to start one but in here we will occasional talk about football, baseball, hotdogs, peanuts, and Budweiser. God Bless America!


Budweiser is unAmerican, its Danish owned now, Inbev bought Anheiser Busch last year, and they are colluding with MillerCoors to raise domestic beer prices as other commodities are getting cheaper because the 2 corporations know they have a virtual monopoly, controlling 90% of the domestic beer market between them.

If you want a real American beer that is of quality, drink Sam Adams or something, Budweiser is trash, its not even brewed, and is foreign owned.



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Its just been one of those days


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
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Hi, all!!!
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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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