Second warmest September on record for the globe

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:49 PM GMT on October 16, 2009

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The globe recorded its second warmest September since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. The combined global land and ocean temperature anomaly was 0.62°C (1.12°F), falling only 0.04°C (0.07°F) short of tying the record set in 2005. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies also rated September 2009 as the 2nd warmest September on record, falling 0.02°C short of the record set in 2005. It was the 33rd consecutive September with a global temperature above the 20th century average. NOAA rated the year-to-date period, January - September 2009, as the sixth warmest such period on record. The September satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the 2nd warmest on record, behind 1998. Global ocean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies, however, cooled a bit, and were the 5th warmest on record. Global SSTs were the warmest on record during the Northern Hemisphere summer, June - August.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for September 2009. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

A warm September for the U.S., and record heat in the West
For the contiguous U.S., the average September temperature was 1.0°F above average, making it the 32nd warmest September in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The West had is warmest September on record, with Nevada and California recording their warmest September, and six other western states observing a top-ten warmest September--Montana (3rd warmest), North Dakota (3rd), Idaho (4th), Utah (5th), Minnesota (6th), and Oregon (8th). However, a combination a slow-moving storm system during the beginning of the month and two surface cold fronts during the last week resulted in much below normal temperature averages in Kansas (10th coolest) and Oklahoma (11th coolest). The year-to-date (January - September) period was the 29th warmest such period for the contiguous U.S.

U.S. precipitation near average
U.S. precipitation in September was exactly average. Statewide-averaged rainfall was among the ten wettest for four southern states (Arkansas, 2nd wettest; Tennessee (5th), Mississippi (6th), and Alabama (6th)). Maine and Wisconsin each experienced their fourth driest September and both New Hampshire and Michigan had their seventh driest such periods.

U.S. drought
At the end of September, 15% 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. Exceptional drought (the worst category of drought) was seen in South to Central Texas, though the area covered by exceptional drought shrank by 50% over the past month, thanks to much-needed rains over the region.

U.S. fire activity
During September, 5,535 fires burned approximately 378,523 acres, each of which was below the 2000 - 2009 average for the month. The acreage lost to wildfire was roughly half of the 2000 - 2009 average. For the year to date (January.September), 70,217 fires was slightly above the 10-year average, while acreage burned was slightly less than average.

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 0.3°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 event 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.

September sea ice extent in the Arctic 3rd lowest on record
September 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 3rd lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Only 2007 and 2008 saw lower Arctic sea ice extent. Both the Northwest Passage and Northeast Passage melted free, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. This marks the second consecutive year--and the second time in recorded history--both of these Arctic shipping routes have melted free. The past five years have had the five lowest Arctic ice extents on record. In their 2009 report on this year's Arctic sea ice minimum, NSIDC Director and Senior Scientist Mark Serreze said, "It's nice to see a little recovery over the past couple years, but there's no reason to think that we're headed back to conditions seen back in the 1970s. We still expect to see ice-free summers sometime in the next few decades". Only 19% of the ice cover this summer in the Arctic was over 2 years old, the least in the satellite record, and far below the 1981 - 2000 average of 52%. NSIDC Scientist Walt Meier said, "We've preserved a fair amount of first-year ice and second-year ice after this summer compared to the past couple of years. If this ice remains in the Arctic through the winter, it will thicken, which gives some hope of stabilizing the ice cover over the next few years. However, the ice is still much younger and thinner than it was in the 1980s, leaving it vulnerable to melt during the summer". Earlier this summer, NASA researcher Ron Kwok and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle published satellite data showing that Arctic ice thickness declined by 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) between 2004 and 2008. The overall mean winter thickness was 3.64 meters in 1980, and 1.89 meters during the winter of 2007 - 2008, a massive decrease of 48%.

References
Kwok, R., and D. A. Rothrock. 2009. Decline in Arctic sea ice thickness from submarine and ICESat records: 1958.2008, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L15501, doi:10.1029/2009GL039035.


Figure 2. Category 1 Typhoon Lupit in the Philippine Sea at 04:45 UTC October 16, 2009. Image credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response System.

Tropical update
In the Atlantic, there are no threat areas to discuss, and none of the computer models is calling for tropical storm formation over the next week.

There are two potential serious threats in the Pacific. Tropical Storm Rick off the Pacific coast of Mexico is expected to recurve to the north and threaten Baja late next week. While Rick is expected to become a major hurricane early next week, the storm should weaken significantly before any potential landfall in Mexico, due to high wind shear and cooler ocean temperatures the storm will find as it approaches Baja.

More seriously, Typhoon Lupit in the Western Pacific is expected to intensify into a Category 4 typhoon and threaten the northern Philippines by Tuesday. Last week, Super Typhoon Parma crossed over the northern Philippines three times, dumping over twenty inches of rain in many locations. Over 300 people died in the resulting flash floods and landslides. A visit by Typhoon Lupit could create a major catastrophe in the northern Philippines as the storm dumps another 1 - 2 feet of rain on the already saturated soils.

My next post will be Sunday or Monday.

Jeff Masters

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Blast from the past.... one of the 10 rainiest hurricanes of the Bahamas since "modern" records began....



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1174....hhhmmmmmm...
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Quoting JRRP:
oh lord...

looks almost like Bill


lol

The bottom image is the 20 of August 2009
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1175. aquak9
glad you mentioned that, baja- I missed that color completely. My eyes just added it to the landmass.
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1174. JRRP
oh lord...

looks almost like Bill
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Quoting Drakoen:
Impressive and scary at the same time. Note the warm water where Rick is? Note that it's warmer on that shelf between Cuba and the Caymans? Sure hope we don't get even marginally favorable conditions in the WCar if we get some cyclogenesis there this week....
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1172. Drakoen
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1171. jipmg
Quoting Grothar:


If anything does develop with that system in the Caribbean, might there be a similar trough around the time it would be North of Cuba?


yes
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1170. Grothar
Quoting Drakoen:


trough


If anything does develop with that system in the Caribbean, might there be a similar trough around the time it would be North of Cuba?
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yo Gro!
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1167. Grothar
Quoting presslord:
...I think she's comin' back...but...I suppose ya never know...


Hey, press!! Just dropped in for a few minutes. How have you been?
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1166. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting aquak9:
How many Presslords are there?
he comes as many but only one
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
1165. Drakoen
Quoting Grothar:
Hey Drakoen, Was Wilma moved east over Florida by a trough or a ridge?


trough
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Aqua...North and South Pressolina...South is where the action iis...
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it's pretty chilly in South Pressolina...
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1162. aquak9
How many Presslords are there?
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...I think she's comin' back...but...I suppose ya never know...
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1159. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting presslord:
y'all are gonna have to babysit me some..I'm wifeless this weekend...


this should be interesting

lol

be gentle
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
1158. Grothar
Hey Drakoen, Was Wilma moved east over Florida by a trough or a ridge?
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1157. flsky
65 in Daytona right now. The bikers are going to be freezing their tootsies.
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Quoting presslord:
y'all are gonna have to babysit me some..I'm wifeless this weekend...
Shall we send Ida to keep u company, or would just a regular blogger do? LOL
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y'all are gonna have to babysit me some..I'm wifeless this weekend...
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This is the last chance for something to develop in the tropics. After this, Christmas lights will hung upon the Atlantic and chestnuts will be roasting everywhere.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1153. beell
GFS is funny with Rick-holds it on the coast of Mexico for about three days.
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Someone just set a record for Rapid Intensification of "-" clicks in their collection...
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1151. aquak9
...carnal camel...
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Quoting presslord:
...gecko...
Careful. No pics please. Some of us value your input.
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Quoting Weather456:


He is not suppose to. DMAX and DMIN is something confined to developing systems. A system eventually produces convection outside diurnal cycles, which is one the signs of development and maturity.


Thanks... My mistake
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1148. aquak9
(giggling and blushing) why thank you, gamma.

And get some pics of those orchids before ya gotta find'm three blocks away!
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LOL, I see many here have come to defend you Aqua! as it should be!
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...gecko...
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Man,...Rick is looking awesome.

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic2/

Anyone ever use this sight for getting their storm info. Has wind shear in meters/ sec. isoplots of Barometric Presure and WInd speed max potential in Knots according to the "Emanuel method". Lot's of good infor there,...
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Somehow Rick just doesn't seem to understand about Dmin


He is not suppose to. DMAX and DMIN are somethings confined to developing systems. A system eventually produces convection outside diurnal cycles, which is one the signs of development and maturity.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
I am gone... will check in at some point tomorrow.

Thanks to all of you that provided great information.

We will watch Rick and keep an eye in the Caribbean!

happy Weekend to you all!
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1142. aquak9
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
now you should just cool yer jets


thanks keeper, really didn't expect my post to come out sounding the way it did.
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Quoting AtlantaMET:


I don't get why poeple come on here with posts like that. Anyone can talk about what they want. If Rick is category 5 hurricane, it's already been established by several bloggers. We are not obligated to talk about Rick because he is a category 5 hurricane.



WHat on Earth are you talking about.
Aqua can come here and say anything she wants to say!


She has been here long before you were.

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Thank you weather456 and Storm, I would have read back through the blog but am having problems with it loading for me for some reason. First time that has ever happened to me here
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1139. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting AtlantaMET:


I don't get why poeple come on here with posts like that. Anyone can talk about what they want. If Rick is category 5 hurricane, it's already been established by several bloggers. We are not obligated to talk about Rick because he is a category 5 hurricane.
now you should just cool yer jets
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
Somehow Rick just doesn't seem to understand about Dmin
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1137. beell
Looks like 18Z GFS has cold front moving through South Florida at the 162 hour mark.

There ya go, tf...
That's if there is a tropical system remaining in 168 hrs.
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1136. aquak9
whoa, atlanta met. Whoa, Nelly.

It was 2 completely different thought trains. Probably didn't come out as intended.

I meant:

Subject #1. Wow Rick is a cat five.

Subject #2. Wow look at the ECMWF.

Synopsis of previous post: Wow I come home from work and look at everything I've missed.

Does that make better sense now?
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1135. Drakoen
NOGAPS 12z at 180hr
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1134. aquak9
post 1125

456, thank you for the summary- going back to re-read 50-500 posts is even worse than watching the Weather Channel.

Gamma...go hog-tie the orchids!
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1131. Drakoen
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Noticed the UKMET office and NOGAPS develop a system in the same general area, which also could be the same system as the ECMWF

NEW TROPICAL STORM FORECAST TO DEVELOP AFTER 72 HOURS
FORECAST POSITION AT T+ 72 : 7.5N 85.2W

VERIFYING TIME POSITION STRENGTH TENDENCY
-------------- -------- -------- --------
12UTC 20.10.2009 7.5N 85.2W WEAK
00UTC 21.10.2009 8.2N 85.5W WEAK INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 21.10.2009 8.3N 84.5W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 22.10.2009 8.6N 85.7W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 22.10.2009 9.8N 85.9W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 23.10.2009 9.8N 85.3W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE
12UTC 23.10.2009 9.6N 85.5W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY



TG 019 2009101712 03 NGX 096 86N 853W
TG 019 2009101712 03 NGX 108 82N 850W
TG 019 2009101712 03 NGX 120 86N 848W
TG 019 2009101712 03 NGX 132 96N 839W
TG 019 2009101712 03 NGX 144 103N 826W


I saw the NOGAPS develop something in the long-range on it's 12z run...slower than the ECMWF.


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that model that shows that possible storm covering the state of florida is not so good.

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Rick likes MJO, eh?
Member Since: April 5, 2007 Posts: 83 Comments: 12345
1128. amd
Funktop Imagery of Category 5 Hurricane Rick

Notice the perfect CDO, the almost cloud free eye, the still growing eye, and the beginning of green colors showing up.

Rick may end up peaking at 175-180 mph (Possibly Higher according to ADT and other satellite derived estimates)

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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.