Second warmest September on record for the globe

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

Share this Blog
1
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1028 - 978

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

The "free market" has had every chance to address climate change and energy shortage. THEY HAVEN"T. Legilating CO2 Emissions reductions is vital. If we don't show leadership,...IT FLAT WON"T HAPPEN. IF the "Government" had not set the goal of going to moon in 10 years,..and provided the resources, to make it happen,..IT WOULD NOT HAVE happened. The success of the Apollo program was a great example of how govenrment working in cooperation with the private sector can accomplish great things,...they did it,..and did it right,..one of our finest hours. An "Apollo scale directive",...incentives etc cooperation,...are exactly what has "been lacking",...and is exactly what is now called for. A goal,...has to be set.

The free market is great for a lot of things,...progress on things like Climate Change,...Health Care,..are two where "IT STINKS"...There is your "stink test" Atmo.


Quoting atmoaggie:
942:

Well, we are locally going to have a cheaper power bill starting this month thanks to Cleco opening a new waste product burning power plant here. (I am sure you know the following already, but) And that is CO2 that absorbed by trees and would otherwise just rot and release the CO2 back into the atmosphere. So the paper mills are going to send the waste to the power plant and the cost of energy here is going to go down a little.

I have absolutely no problem with reducing fossil fuel use when/where an effective, dependable alternative is available that doesn't cost more. Legislating higher energy costs is absurd and has not passed the stink test, in my opinion, for lacking logical reasons to do so.
Improvements do not have to be legislated, cost more, nor line the pockets of any corporation, politician, or carbon credit trader...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
sorry i'm trying to delete arrrrggggghhhh
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1026. Drakoen
Quoting atmoaggie:

Not the cyclone phase...

But look at his link...it has a track in the Caribbean, it says "rick" and it says "future storm". Maybe I am not familiar enough with these plots...


The HWRF is being ran on Rick which is why it says that, but it doesn't apply to the actual storm in the Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ackee:
the seasons has been really dull a late seasons storm would be fun to track
Fun for who ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting Weather456:


You can use Rick to see if the HWRF and GFDL is forecasting Ida since it is close by.

Not the cyclone phase...right?

But look at his link...it has a track in the Caribbean, it says "rick" and it says "future storm". Maybe I am not familiar enough with these plots...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The following list comprises the "Rules of the Road" for Dr. Masters' blog.

1. Disagreements are fine, but keep them civil and short.

3. No monomania.

Special Addition: No more climate change.

Okay, obviously I made that up.

There's just a lot of imminent beastly meteorological weather stuff going on.
I just hate using the ignore button. Miss too much fun.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1021. beell
12Z GFS 200mb
Valid Wednesday 10/21

Photobucket
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I like how the worst posters do not have a "Quote" button under them when using any filtering at all. Happiness...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

That's Rick, I think...


You can use Rick to see if the HWRF and GFDL is forecasting Ida since it is close by.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Added a few thoughts

That's the part I'm scratching my head over - if it will go over CA. It seems interaction with the advancing front helps pull it to more north than west, keeping it offshore. In addition, after it forms, it will likely only drift slowly north due to the high pressure that builds behind the front. The real acceleration towards Cuba and Florida begins after the next frontal trough pushes the high further into the Atlantic and away from the system. A slow moving storm over Western Caribbean is the worst case scenario especially for the Caymans and Jamaica. I still would like to see other models come on board but the ECMWF is a reliable and reasonable model so I would watch and see to see if anything persists in the SW Caribbean through Tuesday.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys hwrf predicts the storm to

Link


That's Rick, I think...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1014. ackee
the seasons has been really dull a late seasons storm would be fun to track
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
now dat's a cane!



Just based on the timing and what we see in these fast-developing major hurricanes, time to be looking for an ERC. Not seeing it yet...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1012. WxLogic
Quoting Weather456:
A rather late season stereotype system



Indeed...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1010. jipmg
Quoting Weather456:


That's the part I'm scratching my head over - if it will go over CA. It seems interaction with the advancing front helps pull it to more north than west, keeping it offshore. In addition, after it forms, it will likely only drift slowly north due to the high pressure that builds behind the front. The real acceleration towards Cuba and Florida begins after the next frontal trough pushes the high further into the Atlantic and away from the system. A slow moving storm over Western Caribbean is the worst case scenario especially for the Caymans and Jamaica. I still would like to see other models come on board but the ECMWF has a reliable and reasonable model so I would watch and see.


actually yes I definately agree, if the system slows over those waters.. may god have mercy.
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Couldn't forget it!
Sure appreciate your glass half-full great attitude, though, regarding low temps. It was downright chilly in the morning! No power for 2 weeks had to have been tough, regardless!


Well, as soon as we could we bought a generator (I think Wed) which helped a lot.. plus my home was very prepared.. we didn't really run out of anything..except ice after 4 or 5 days but by then we could buy it again.
It was cold that first evening and the next day
taking cold showers was rough! We did "Marine" showers..lather one arm, rinse that arm, lather other arm, rinse that arm. etc... so whole body wasn't wet at same time! It was cold those first few days.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1008. WxLogic
Quoting Drakoen:


The current runs are more in line with climatology with a system coming out of the Caribbean.


That's for sure... forecast of these systems based on climatology this time of the year do tend to be a more plausible than usual.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hey guys hwrf predicts the storm to

Link

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1006. Drakoen
Quoting jipmg:
I have never seen drakoen so concerned about a model run, I remember that back when bill formed he was constantly saying it was going to turn to sea, now its different


Bill did turn out to sea. Now we have arguably the best model forecasting a strong system bearing down on Florida. The ECMWF usually only gets this crazy with EPAC and WPAC systems. For it to show something like that in our basin is rather bittersweet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jipmg:
actually nevermind.. its not that low, unless it stalls soon, because the model is 3-4 days out.. with the current movement it would be over nicaragua in 24-48 hours, unless it moves more north


That's the part I'm scratching my head over - if it will go over CA. It seems interaction with the advancing front helps pull it to more north than west, keeping it offshore. In addition, after it forms, it will likely only drift slowly north due to the high pressure that builds behind the front. The real acceleration towards Cuba and Florida begins after the next frontal trough pushes the high further into the Atlantic and away from the system. A slow moving storm over Western Caribbean is the worst case scenario especially for the Caymans and Jamaica. I still would like to see other models come on board but the ECMWF is a reliable and reasonable model so I would watch and see to see if anything persists in the SW Caribbean through Tuesday.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
I really do want to stay,.."one the Science",..I make a routine of challenging my own orthodoxy,..and that of the sources I look at. An Inconvenient Truth had some errors in it,...as Dr. Masters said when he reviewed it, Gore's "implied" thing he did with Katrina,...was misleading,...but the vast majority of the other stuff was correct. Hence Dr. Masters giving it a B- I think. It served its "primary purpose",...put the geek-speak in lay person language, and visuals to increase public awareness of the issue.

My frustration comes in,...when I state this "verified" Stratospheric cooling,...that increases the Carnot Efficiency of Cyclonic storms,..and "therefore" their max potential intensity. Basic THERMODYAMICS guys, That (the Stratospheric cooling) is a second factor along with the higher SSTs that is contributing to the higher potential intensities. Pointing to the "slower orbital decay rate" as a result of cooler denser air,...contracting the boundary of the Stratosphere and lowering the drag on satellites. That checked out with the measured reduction in in temperature. If "Atmo" can show,,...facts,..calculations, explanations,..that refute this finding by NASA I'm all ears. But that's not what I heard. He actually asked questions like,.."Compared to satellites 200 years ago?" I mean paaaaaleeezzz. 1957 was the first artificial satellite. He claims to have worked at NASA,...maybe he could call someone he used to work with,..and veryify these findings,..or not??? I like a good discussion,..and I've fessed up to errors more times than I can count. Skyepony pointed to the OZONE being part of the cooling,..."oops forgot that one thanks skyepony" Questioning one's belief system is fuel for growth. If you don't know enough to agree or disagree,...just say so,..I'd respect that a lot more than,..."made up junk". I brought up the Stratospheric cooling,..cuz I think its relevent to Cyclone study,..as does Kerry Emanuel,...and more importantly,..its not getting attention in the lay public at all. Cooling of the Stratosphere "was predicted" by the CO2 models. But instead of discussing its importance,...to Hurricanes,..which we are all interested in,..we get into this goofy,.."IF" its cooling or not,..and some lame ideas about why it isn't or shouldn't be,..as posted by Atmo. Its not "IF" its "IS",..if ya have data,..evidence that NASA is wrong about why their satellites are staying up longer,..LET'S SEE IT,..Discuss it etc. and not distract with this made up nonsense. Just the facts mam.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Rick's track forecasts for 18 Z (early cycle):

(I think it safe to say the loop one (BAMS) is not relevant to this system)

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

look that way to me to
more nnw ward
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting seflagamma:
Do not forget Sat 10/24 is 4th anniversary of Wilma...

we CAN have a late October Major Hurricane hit us...

Wilma came thru us with a Cold front...which was a blessing because when everyone lost their power for 2 weeks, it was great we had low temps instead of regular hot temps...

Couldn't forget it!
Sure appreciate your glass half-full great attitude, though, regarding low temps. It was downright chilly in the morning! No power for 2 weeks had to have been tough, regardless!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1000. jipmg
I have never seen drakoen so concerned about a model run, I remember that back when bill formed he was constantly saying it was going to turn to sea, now its different
Quoting jipmg:



look at the dates..

in any case, I think the model is showing that the low that we are watching right now next to nicaragua, is going to be pulled up by the MUCH STRONGER THAN ANTICIPATED cold front, then the high behind it would push it towards the WNW, then the next frontal system would push it back towards the NNE into florida.. but by that time it would be a HUGE major hurricane, based on that model.
Yep see that thanks but bet the model will change
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
A rather late season stereotype system


As was Wilma, outside of her intensity...rather atypical. Track was perfectly normal mid-Oct.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
997. ackee
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
guys we might have 93l and a possible yellow or orange coming
the blog would love that
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just what I wanted to see in the 24-hour rainfall plot...nothingatall.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tropics21:
Link take a look at this model sssomething doesn't look right takes it to florida then pops in into the RPAC


No... what your seeing is it re-starting the loop. Now the huge blob heading into FL... not a clue where thats coming from.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xcool:
blob looking TO ME move NW ???? IMO

look that way to me to
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
993. jipmg
actually nevermind.. its not that low, unless it stalls soon, because the model is 3-4 days out.. with the current movement it would be over nicaragua in 24-48 hours, unless it moves more north
Quoting WxLogic:
If you look at past ECMWF runs... you'll notice that it has been trending W due to a stronger AZ High... but time will tell if the approaching trough towards the end of the period will move quicker and deep enough to keep it out of the S GOM.


The current runs are more in line with climatology with a system coming out of the Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A rather late season stereotype system

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
guys we might have 93l and a possible yellow or orange coming
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
456 - Yeah... That would not be good if a storm formed and was able to take advantage of that heat.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If you look at past ECMWF runs... you'll notice that it has been trending W due to a stronger AZ High... but time will tell if the approaching trough towards the end of the period will move quicker and deep enough to keep it out of the S GOM.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:
Atmo: You know how some bloggers are...

Yes, I would not like to see something "spin up" with that OHC... Wilma Part 2.


And it is actually higher than 2005 at this time...as 456 just pointed out.

The Caribbean was stirred up a lot more in 2005 than this year by this time...and more systems with their clouds that year and evaporative cooling by wind, too. A lot of clear skies and calm conditions for the last few months down there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Do not forget Sat 10/24 is 4th anniversary of Wilma...

we CAN have a late October Major Hurricane hit us...

Wilma came thru us with a Cold front...which was a blessing because when everyone lost their power for 2 weeks, it was great we had low temps instead of regular hot temps...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
985. jipmg
Quoting tropics21:
Link take a look at this model sssomething doesn't look right takes it to florida then pops in into the RPAC



look at the dates..

in any case, I think the model is showing that the low that we are watching right now next to nicaragua, is going to be pulled up by the MUCH STRONGER THAN ANTICIPATED cold front, then the high behind it would push it towards the WNW, then the next frontal system would push it back towards the NNE into florida.. but by that time it would be a HUGE major hurricane, based on that model.
984. ackee
blob seem like it moveing WNW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Meanwhile, cool Rick animation, with a Katrina-Rita eye at the end of the frame, it just finished its EWRC

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Here's a scary thought, OHC is significantly higher now than those that supported Wilma in October 2005.

2009



2005

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Link take a look at this model something doesn't look right takes it to florida dissapears then pops in into the EPAC Drakoen what's your take on this?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Atmo: You know how some bloggers are...

Yes, I would not like to see something "spin up" with that OHC... Wilma Part 2.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1028 - 978

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
37 °F
Mostly Cloudy

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron