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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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:
Quoting Meteorology101:


That's what I feared. Drak, is it impossible to get a major cane making landfall in SF either in late Oct or early Nov?

I know the question wasn't posed to me, so please forgive me,
H. WILMA 2005 dah-link, WILMA
(chuckling, followed by sobbing...)
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975. xcool
blob looking TO ME move NW ???? IMO
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Good evening... a quick one before heading out.

Just looking to see how you guys are coping with ECMWF madness.
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Quoting Meteorology101:


Hi.


hey we met yesterday, welcome aboard, I guarantee you benefit from the blog in no time.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Try not to smile too much. Do you want another Paloma ? I don't.

no I dont
Quoting Skyepony:
Blob looking better by the hour..


& how about RICK... Looks like this blob is getting in line..

you are right we might have a invest soon what do you think
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969. jipmg
Quoting Weather456:
We need some other models to come on board with the ECMWF. Though, the ECMWF is as reasonable as it gets, low shear, high humidity through the mid-levels and high OHC. The NAM was previously jumping the gun earlier even after the fact shear does not decreases until after 144 hrs, in line with the ECMWF.


you are correct, right now we should just monitor to see if anything tries to form in the carribean..
Quoting Bordonaro:

Most recent snapshot of Hurricane Rick..Very, very impressive looking at the moment!!


Rick has taken in a bit of dry air though.
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967. ackee
I think the blob going towards CA will not develop dont think this is the system models are hinting will develop
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
We need some other models to come on board with the ECMWF. Though, the ECMWF is as reasonable as it gets, low shear, high humidity through the mid-levels and high OHC. The NAM was previously jumping the gun earlier even after the fact shear does not decreases until after 144 hrs, in line with the ECMWF.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Didn't want to voice an opinion on that but I was thinking maybe yellow at 8 pm.
It appears to be getting more organize but also moving towards the WNW. What is projected movement of this blob? To the W or the up coming cold front will change its course to the NNE?
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There is currently a 1008mb low pressure system attached to the tropical wave axis north of Panama that is expected to move westward. The ECMWF forecasts that this low pressure system will serve as the genesis of a tropical cyclone.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
963. afj3
Quoting Skyepony:
Blob looking better by the hour..


& how about RICK... Looks like this blob is getting in line..

What is that thing? Any ETA if it gets, and this is a big if, if it gets Invest status?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
962. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting jipmg:
the blob is going to hit Nicaragua? Or will it scoot just to the North..

looks to me like its moving North west


The coming front looks like it has weakened the westward steering for now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
THE CARIBBEAN SEA...
A TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 77W PRODUCING CONVECTION OVER THE SW
CARIBBEAN. SEE ABOVE. FRESH BREEZE TRADEWINDS ARE OVER THE E
CARIBBEAN E OF 77W WHILE GENTLE BREEZE TRADEWINDS ARE W OF 77W.
SCATTERED SHOWERS ARE OVER THE LEEWARD ISLANDS S OF PUERTO RICO.
SIMILAR SHOWERS ARE OVER THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN BETWEEN 68W-80W.
SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS W OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS FROM
18N-20N BETWEEN 83W-85W. IN THE UPPER LEVELS...AN UPPER LEVEL
HIGH IS CENTERED OVER N COLOMBIA NEAR 12N71W. SIGNIFICANT UPPER
LEVEL MOISTURE IS OVER THE CARIBBEAN EXCEPT FOR THE NW CARIBBEAN
AND CENTRAL AMERICA N OF HONDURAS WHERE STRONG SUBSIDENCE IS
NOTED. EXPECT...THE COLD FRONT TO EXTEND FROM W CUBA TO THE
YUCATAN PENINSULA AT 19N IN 24 HOURS WITH CONVECTION. ALSO
EXPECT THE TROPICAL WAVE TO MOVE W AND PRODUCE MORE CONVECTION
OVER THE SW CARIBBEAN.


Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
Quoting Dakster:



Viagra... Has to be the Viagra.

Wow, he didn't give up. And he didn't yet read back and see that I answered those questions for him already.

That area really is the absolute best happy-place for a TC in terms of OHC.



Basin-wide plot here: http://isotherm.rsmas.miami.edu/heat/data/ohc_tmi_latest3Q.gif
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
959. jipmg
the blob is going to hit Nicaragua? Or will it scoot just to the North..

looks to me like its moving North west
Quoting ackee:
anyone think the blob will become an invest soon
Didn't want to voice an opinion on that but I was thinking maybe yellow at 8 pm.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8263
956. ackee
anyone think the blob will become an invest soon
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
next num is 93L right
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AOI
MARK
11.4N/81.3W
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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: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
That's not good Skyepony... I don't want it to get its act together...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
951. Skyepony (Mod)
Blob looking better by the hour..


& how about RICK... Looks like this blob is getting in line..
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Quoting rocketboy105:
Just the Science right?? Can we stay on that like you requested? You mentioned addressing my "CNN data",..none was from there. Lou Dobbs is another Libertarian Climate Change denier, so I would not get it from there. Part of the satellite thing,..came from Dr. Masters. (A trustworhty source we'd agree I assume).

Why didn't you address this satellite drag issue? My questions were straight forward,..(like the explanation below),...this NASA data was a hard, physical,...verifiable measurement and calcualtion. They got a match between the observed reduction in salellite "orbital decay rates", and the measured drop in temperature in the Stratosphere,....they traced it to the increased insulating "effect" from CO2 and other greenhouse gasses. IF "you" are saying they're wrong,...what is your "Scientific explanation for their satellites staying up longer. No politics,..just the Science, please.


I recently made an entry about Dr. Kerry Emanuel’s work on connecting increased average Hurricane Intensity to Cooling of the Stratosphere as well as warming of the ocean,…both effects are from increased CO2 levels, (and other gasses). This Stratospheric cooling was first measured, and then unexpectedly confirmed by NASA. They (NASA) noticed the “orbital decay rate” of satellites had gone down, (satellites were staying up longer), when they checked it,…they found the CO2 induced, Stratospheric cooling had caused the atmosphere to pull in slightly, (cooler is denser, takes up less volume, reduces altitude), lowering the drag on the satellites.





Viagra... Has to be the Viagra.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
949. Skyepony (Mod)
Nice visible loop from Ramsdis of RICK
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
good days guys wow I am smiling now gys can you give more info about the sw carib disturbance
Try not to smile too much. Do you want another Paloma ? I don't.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8263
Quoting stormpetrol:

What I hate with the storms that form in this area is that we have little to no time to prepare, even though I can put my shutters up in less than 45 minutes.
I know what you mean. I work with government and that gives us even less time to prepare because they always wait until the last minute to close down. Didn't leave the post office last year until about 7 pm before Paloma. Pouring rain and winds were picking up already. Had to drive from GT to EE and it took almost 2 hours for a 30 min trip.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8263
good days guys wow I am smiling now gys can you give more info about the sw carib disturbance
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Quoting Meteorology101:



So you think that it'll take full advantage of the high TCHP readings in the Western Carribean Sea, once it begins to develop, Drakoen?


If an area of low pressure can form, I don't see why something cannot develop significantly. The problem is the shear forecast; some of the models forecast for the advection of a sharp upper level trough eastward. Once this trough passes, however, conditions should be favorable.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I know. I already feel like I got a rock in the bottom of my stomach. Still feel like we been a little too lucky(blessed) this year.

What I hate with the storms that form in this area is that we have little to no time to prepare, even though I can put my shutters up in less than 45 minutes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
942. Skyepony (Mod)
1st run of the ECMWF, so too early to get too excited..just the MJO forecast really has looked bad for the Caribbean & east Atlantic. & it's so far generally verified. So odd that product isn't up today..

Atmo~ Agreed way less ominous looking blank.. & with all respect to both...I'll have to disagree with rocketboy, after years debating with you..you are certainly creative enough to acquire employment with anyone of those think tanks..

Though the CEO of Entergy just came forward with other energy companies begging for regulation, as CO2 was bad. It's hard for me to decipher if it's good or not. I see where many think so & I understand the way things are we don't pay the true cost of gas at the pump, so govt intervention is needed to get us in the right direction, but these companies may stand to benefit more from the govt by screaming change with a beggar's hand then just producing energy the way it should be & letting the market follow. Like in Germany where any land owner can make energy with panels or wind & sell it to the grid, no cap & trade, emission have plummeted & common folk have more income.. I'm not sure if true free trade of energy is on Entergy's agendas.

CEO of Entergy this week..
We are virtually certain that climate change is occurring, and occurring because of mans activities. We are virtually certain the probability distribution curve is all bad. There is no good things that is going to come of this. But what is uncertain is exactly which one of those things are going to occur and in what time frame. In the probability distribution curve is about a 50% probability that about half of all species will become extinct or be subject to extinction over this period of time. What we will never know on an ex ante basis is whether or not man be one of those casualties or not. MOre here including a you tube
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941. ackee
question which of the models does best on picking up on tropical activity in the SW carrb
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Just the Science right?? Can we stay on that like you requested? You mentioned addressing my "CNN data",..none was from there. Lou Dobbs is another Libertarian Climate Change denier, so I would not get it from there. Part of the satellite thing,..came from Dr. Masters. (A trustworhty source we'd agree I assume).

Why didn't you address this satellite drag issue? My questions were straight forward,..(like the explanation below),...this NASA data was a hard, physical,...verifiable measurement and calcualtion. They got a match between the observed reduction in salellite "orbital decay rates", and the measured drop in temperature in the Stratosphere,....they traced it to the increased insulating "effect" from CO2 and other greenhouse gasses. IF "you" are saying they're wrong,...what is your "Scientific explanation for their satellites staying up longer. No politics,..just the Science, please.


I recently made an entry about Dr. Kerry Emanuel’s work on connecting increased average Hurricane Intensity to Cooling of the Stratosphere as well as warming of the ocean,…both effects are from increased CO2 levels, (and other gasses). This Stratospheric cooling was first measured, and then unexpectedly confirmed by NASA. They (NASA) noticed the “orbital decay rate” of satellites had gone down, (satellites were staying up longer), when they checked it,…they found the CO2 induced, Stratospheric cooling had caused the atmosphere to pull in slightly, (cooler is denser, takes up less volume, reduces altitude), lowering the drag on the satellites.


Quoting atmoaggie:

Excellent! My 3 and 5-year-olds well know the difference, though they didn't start pointing out the deficiencies of Mr Bob's pants shape before I opened my big mouth.
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939. xcool
2009 very crazy year .
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Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8263
Quoting Meteorology101:



So you think that it'll take full advantage of the high TCHP readings in the Western Carribean Sea, once it begins to develop, Drakoen?

That is the best place for a TC to form, based on the available SSTs and TCHP.

Everywhere red is rather favorable SSTs for it.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting atmoaggie:
ECMWF not figuring on any dry air around that system, at least not low to mid-levels, which has effected just every system this year in the Atlantic.


(Click for full size)


I saw that too. Pretty much the whole Caribbean enveloped in moisture. It's interesting that now it seems all the MJO models are in much closer agreement on this MJO upward phase.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
Quoting stormpetrol:

I sure hope the models that predict this is wrong, usually late Oct & Nov storms that affect us form from stalled cold fronts that dip into far SW Caribbean, they can be deterrant and steer storms coming from the east NE away from us, but the area in SW , W & South caribbean we should be on high alert for.
I know. I already feel like I got a rock in the bottom of my stomach. Still feel like we been a little too lucky(blessed) this year.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8263
ECMWF not figuring on any dry air around that system, at least not low to mid-levels, which has effected just every system this year in the Atlantic.


(Click for full size)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I think you are right. Couple people at work trying to tell me yesterday that if a cold front comes into the Caribbean nothing can form but I guess they weren't around for Paloma.

I sure hope the models that predict this is wrong, usually late Oct & Nov storms that affect us form from stalled cold fronts that dip into far SW Caribbean, they can be deterrant and steer storms coming from the east NE away from us, but the area in SW , W & South caribbean we should be on high alert for.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
don't lol to loud 23
I am thinking about the shutters now too. I use plywood with slide bolts and husband had back surgery so might need to find some help to get them up. Oh well, such is life in the tropics.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8263
Quoting atmoaggie:

Excellent! My 3 and 5-year-olds well know the difference, though they didn't start pointing out the deficiencies of Mr Bob's pants shape before I opened my big mouth.


Because Sponge Bob Rectangle Pants doesn't have the same ring to it..
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Gotta run for a bit. My son is on skype.

Back in a while.
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Quoting hurricane23:
Guess i need to pull out my shutters lol...

don't lol to loud 23
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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.