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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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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Looks like 18Z GFS has cold front moving through South Florida at the 162 hour mark.
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Quoting duajones78413:


Wow! any ideas where it might head at this point if it indeed forms?


you would have read back a few pages but to summarize what I have been posting. Genesis begins in the SW Caribbean and there is a possibility it can move into CA. However, per the ECMWF, the system is pull towards the tail end of frontal boundary which initiates convection and a low pressure area just offshore Honduras/Nicaragua. My thinking is the system will not move much as it moves north due to high pressure building behind the front. Acceleration towards Cuba, SE GOM and/or FL occurs as the next frontal trough pushes the high into the ATL.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1124. aquak9
Holy Cow! Rick's a 5??

and ya'll are talking ECMWF?

oh Good Evening WU bloggers.
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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
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Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:


a tropical system in the Western Caribbean heading north.


Wow! any ideas where it might head at this point if it indeed forms?
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Quoting StormW:


If it doesn't, and stays consistent...then we need to watch it.


Either way, folks in Florida have a TON of time to watch.

Now the folks to the south and southwest of Florida, don't quite have that luxury.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

BLUSH! oh well someone's got to be the one in the corner with the cap on...
lol
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Quoting duajones78413:
what is the ECMWF showing, I am having a problem getting the blog to load


a tropical system in the Western Caribbean heading north.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting StormW:


If it doesn't, and stays consistent...then we need to watch it.


I agree
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
what is the ECMWF showing, I am having a problem getting the blog to load
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MODIS Aqua at 2015 UTC this afternoon

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
latitude an longitude lines

BLUSH! oh well someone's got to be the one in the corner with the cap on...
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Evening everybody. We had some rain here this afternoon, but so far no sign of the "cooling". One hopes for some improvement in the temps by tomorrow - well, some moderation, at least....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22576
Quoting Weather456:
Eye of the Tiger

Beautiful but terrifying.
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Eye of the Tiger

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
WOW, Rick wasn't suppose to be a cat 5 until early morning hours..but then again this storm has surprised us many times today.

Quoting hurricane23:
Just took a pan at the (euro ensembles) which also seem to develope a disturbed area down there.Should be interesting with such high octane down there.Pretty typical october development.

Would make for a pleasant 32nd birthday on the 28th lol.


What, Adrian!!!! are you nuts! you live in my neighborhood and we do not want another Wilma this year. LOL

(now if you talk to my son and son in law and the neighbor across the street, they want a storm...they make lots of money when we have storms)

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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Are the dotted lines the Hebert Box?
I'm afraid I'm showing my huge ignorance, but at least I learned about the box!
latitude an longitude lines
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
"O"



Rick

Are the dotted lines the Hebert Box?
I'm afraid I'm showing my huge ignorance, but at least I learned about the box!
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For one, the ECMWF is being reasonable. Will it happen? I guess that's the burning question.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting IKE:
Latest GFS isn't in the ECMWF camp.


Wouldn't surprise me if the 0z ECMWF backs off.

Also - thanks for the explanation Beell. Laptops are great except for tiny graphs.
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1104. beell
Quoting tornadofan:
Beell - what's that say? It is too tiny for my laptop to read.


40 knots from the west S of Cuba
50 knots or higher over the Yucatan from the North.

Not too many places to go. Unless it goes "wrong-way-Lenny".
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1103. amd
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

MAJOR T.C.F.W.
20E/R/H/C4
MARK
14.9N/104.8W


considering how well organized and how clear the eye of hurricane rick is, I would not be surprised to see a special advisory upgrading Hurricane Rick to a cat 5 hurricane before 11 p.m. edt.

edit: NHC beat me to the punch it seems
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00
WTPZ65 KNHC 172208
TCUEP5
HURRICANE RICK TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP202009
310 PM PDT SAT OCT 17 2009


...RICK BECOMES A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE...

SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT RICK HAS BECOME A CATEGORY FIVE
HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE WITH MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS OF 160 MPH...260 KM/HR.


1st E PAC CAT 5
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

YES! For me, it's pronounced NeNe (Nay-Nay) (don't have those French accents on keyboard and too lazy to look it up.) 2 grandboys, 4 and 2. (1 more, a girl, would be nice). You are stronger women than me! Congrats!
Thanks but I sure hope they are done now. I have grandkids from 2-16.
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1100. IKE
Latest GFS isn't in the ECMWF camp.
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It's official CAT 5 Rick!!!!!

000
WTPZ65 KNHC 172208
TCUEP5
HURRICANE RICK TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP202009
310 PM PDT SAT OCT 17 2009


...RICK BECOMES A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE...

SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT RICK HAS BECOME A CATEGORY FIVE
HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE WITH MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS OF 160 MPH...260 KM/HR.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA/BERG
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Couple grammas on here I think. Me too. 7 of them and they call me Nene. Oldest one (16 now) tried to say granny and it came out Nene and stuck.

YES! For me, it's pronounced NeNe (Nay-Nay) (don't have those French accents on keyboard and too lazy to look it up.) 2 grandboys, 4 and 2. (1 more, a girl, would be nice). You are stronger women than me! Congrats!
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1097. beell
Quoting Drakoen:
There shear doesn't appear to penetrate the southern Caribbean in a way that is detrimental that I doubt the ECMWF would be so aggressive. If the upper trough axis is positioned on the northern edge of the cyclone then that would help with an outflow jet.


It (ECMWF) sure is a mystery to to me, Drak. But I don't think the upper level winds will just go away after the passage of the shallow ADDED: shallowly amplified upper trough.
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1096. Drakoen
Quoting hurricane23:
Just took a pan at the (euro ensembles) which also seem to develope a disturbed area down there.Should be interesting with such high octane down there.Pretty typical october development.

Would make for a pleasant 32nd birthday on the 28th lol.


Could you post a graphic of the ECMWF ensembles?
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1095. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

MAJOR T.C.F.W.
20E/R/H/C5
MARK
14.9N/104.8W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Just took a pan at the (euro ensembles) which also seem to develope a disturbed area down there.Should be interesting with such high octane down there.Pretty typical october development.

Would make for a pleasant 32nd birthday on the 28th lol.
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Beell - what's that say? It is too tiny for my laptop to read.
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"O"



Rick
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1091. Drakoen
The shear doesn't appear to penetrate the southern Caribbean in a way that is detrimental or I doubt the ECMWF would be so aggressive. If the upper trough axis is positioned on the northern edge of the cyclone then that would help with an outflow jet.
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1090. beell
90 hr GFS 200mb


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Quoting Weather456:
The models agree shear will decrease over the NW Caribbean but over small area where the system is at. They do not give the system much breathing room. The ECMWF shear and 500 mb analysis show a favorable anticyclonic pattern aloft that might aid in some intensification and that is why I would like to see other models come on aboard. The ECMWF is only forecasting development because its upper level considerations differ slightly from other models, the ones that dont show development.


thanks for the explanation..

I am at work and sometimes I miss some of the posts.
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I think I understand, in 5 days the shear will decrease? I do not read wind shear maps very well; I know, been here 4 years and still cannot read some of the graphics you all post here!


Nothing to really watch for a few days anyway..

hope it is nothing and just blows away.

we do not want or need a storm this year.
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The models agree shear will decrease over the NW Caribbean but over small area where the system is at. They do not give the system much breathing room. The ECMWF shear and 500 mb analysis show a favorable anticyclonic pattern aloft that might aid in some intensification and that is why I would like to see other models come on aboard. The ECMWF is only forecasting development because its upper level considerations differ slightly from other models, the ones that dont show development.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting seflagamma:




thank you very much.

so how does the model expect this storm to develope with high wind shear?



read the post again
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1085. IKE
90 hour GFS.....

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1084. beell
Quoting Weather456:


It is a factor. But you cannot look a shear now becuz there is not a system now. Look at the shear forecast in 168 hrs when there is a system at 168 hrs.




That's if there is a tropical system remaining in 168 hrs. But I am glad to see some consideration given.
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Quoting Weather456:


not anytime soon, beyond 120 hrs


thank you very much.

so how does the model expect this storm to develope with high wind shear?

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Quoting seflagamma:
so , is the wind shear going to let up a little in the Caribbean in the next few days or next week?



not anytime soon, beyond 120 hrs, for the ECMWF, shear decreases sooner not over the Caribbean but over the system itself.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Please post it so we can see.


ECMWF shear

GFS shear
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
so , is the wind shear going to let up a little in the Caribbean in the next few days or next week?

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Quoting stormpetrol:
Link

I see stormwatcher CI & wunderkidcayman already posted this link.
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Link
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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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