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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Quoting P451:


No biggie.
Ok. Friends ?
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Please explain. I am dumb when it comes to cause and effect.


the dry is being created between a ridge and trough over the Atlantic. This confluent flow is dry and subsident, thus hindering development of vertical clouds that bring rain and aid in our water reservoirs.
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Quoting IKE:
P451...ECMWF shows a progressive pattern to me...a weaker trough(compared to what the 6Z GFS is showing), moving through the SE USA that turns it NNE...trough moves on...system moves back to the WNW as a high builds in in the western Atlantic and then as another trough affects the upper Midwest it turns back to the NNE.


Yea I agree, it is a pretty common pattern in late October; hence why if you look back at history you will see many storms have a zig zag type track
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Dvorak Intensity patterns in Rick and Lupit



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1624. IKE
P451...ECMWF shows a progressive pattern to me...a weaker trough(compared to what the 6Z GFS is showing), moving through the SE USA that turns it NNE...trough moves on...system moves back to the WNW as a high builds in in the western Atlantic and then as another trough affects the upper Midwest it turns back to the NNE.
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Oh and also look at the loop again, there is no due west motion depicted in the ECMWF; its a NW motion which is certainly possible
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Quoting P451:


I don't see how a system will move north, then north west, then back north, then north east.

This time of year I would expect a northward drift, followed by a north eastward acceleration. I don't see a system performing that perfect "S Curve" if you will. (Like drawing an S starting at the bottom.)

I don't see where the east to west steering component will come from. It doesn't exist.

I don't see how any system can go much west of north at this given time.



Many storms have done that in the late season; how about Gordon in 1994? Fact is we really cant say any track is out of the question. This is the 5th straight run the ECMWF has shown a hurricane in the Caribbean and 2nd straight that has shown a monster storm near Florida.

Certainly nothing to discount whatsoever, regardless of track

Also if there is a front in the vicinity when it forms, it certainly can move NNE and NE and then back NW when the front leaves the area.
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
1599. CHiPs? I didn't exactly envisage Eric Estrada on your extremely enormous electronic post! LOL

(sorry...bad humor coupled with the E-thing :) )

Ya can't be a spring chicken and make that association...
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1618. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
HPC preliminary graphics places a low in the northwest carribean next sunday morning.




Hmm...that's an update from what they previously showed....

Put one check in the ECMWF column.
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It appears Rick is undergoing an EWRC.. the eye isn't as cloud free as it was yesterday night. I think it will drop to 175 next advisory.. still a very impressive Category 5 Hurricane.

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Quoting P451:


Please don't turn my quote into a "Who cares I don't live there" situation.

That is not the case. I was simply stating that it is far too early to TRUST a certain MODEL's TRACK SOLUTION.

Nothing more.
Don't be so touchy. That is not what I meant at all but I do know Paloma developed around here sooner than anticipated.
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HPC preliminary graphics places a low in the northwest carribean next sunday morning.


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Quoting Weather456:


The dry air over the Leeward islands not helping the water situation.
Please explain. I am dumb when it comes to cause and effect.
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Quoting P451:


I don't see how a system will move north, then north west, then back north, then north east.

This time of year I would expect a northward drift, followed by a north eastward acceleration. I don't see a system performing that perfect "S Curve" if you will. (Like drawing an S starting at the bottom.)

I don't see where the east to west steering component will come from. It doesn't exist.

I don't see how any system can go much west of north at this given time.



Good morning 451. I visit from time to time and have come to respect your opinion. Took a look at the 6z GFS and even though it does not see this system as yet, the steering depicted by the EC is supported to some degree by the GFS in the 7-10 day period. The storm would work its way around a NE to SW ridge axis extending across S FL and into the SE Gulf. The GFS then suggests a move to the E and ENE with increasing speed.
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The MJO GFS forecasts are still blank and the tracking not updated...



Did someone pull it out of disbelief? (I doubt that seriously)
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are there any storms that the Hurricane Hunters won't fly into due to danger concerns?
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
1599. CHiPs? I didn't exactly envisage Eric Estrada on your extremely enormous electronic post! LOL

(sorry...bad humor coupled with the E-thing :) )
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Honestly, it was supposed to be little. It was small to start with and I put in 70% for height and width.

Oh, well.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Looking good .


The dry air over the Leeward islands not helping the water situation.
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OK...I'm done...thanks Aqua...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Looking good .
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1602. aquak9
good one atmo, but ya better pull it off.

you do NOT wanna get banned this week.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Weather456.... you say Typhoon Lupit has slowed over the warm waters of the Western Pacific just east of the northern Philippines and has not intensified into the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane. The typhoon is still forecast to maintain this status as it begins to pick up speed through mid-week.

Doesn't this say Cat 4?


Nice blog also, always very informative.


Thanks, it was a typo, I changed it to say

Typhoon Lupit has slowed over the warm waters of the Western Pacific just east of the northern Philippines and has intensified into the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane. The typhoon is still forecast to maintain this status as it begins to pick up speed through mid-week.
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Quoting atmoaggie:


That is quite enough of that.

CHIPS was the only intensity model calling for Rick to do what he did. Wonder if CHIPS has it right for weakening.


Watch out... you might get banned for that big E.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962


That is quite enough of that.

CHIPS was the only intensity model calling for Rick to do what he did. Wonder if CHIPS has it right for weakening.

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Weather456.... you say Typhoon Lupit has slowed over the warm waters of the Western Pacific just east of the northern Philippines and has not intensified into the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane. The typhoon is still forecast to maintain this status as it begins to pick up speed through mid-week.

Doesn't this say Cat 4?


Nice blog also, always very informative.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Everyone...Exhale...
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1596. aquak9
Too far out to worry about that anyway...

Enlightenment!!!
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Quoting presslord:
456's blog, btw is....Enormously Educational...

Extremely Educational
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Aqua!!!! Please End this!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting presslord:
456's blog, btw is....Enormously Educational...
Also Extremely Explanatory.
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456's blog, btw is....Enormously Educational...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting P451:


You need the steering currents for that to occur. If you look now they just don't exist. That's a pretty remarkable westward track for a while in that model. I just don't see that happening.

Too far out to worry about that anyway...
Too far for you yeah but not those in the western Caribbean. Don't like the looks of this one at all.
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Could the following commentary written by Walter Williams be proof of why so many of our so called scientific minds do not see the importance of being impartial and unbiased as they evaluate data sets prior to making prognostications?

His commentary might explain this quote.

---------
Quoting Manhattancane...okay let's stop beating around the bush.
CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it makes things hotter. There is a lot of territory still available to run in terms of CO2 rise. Unless you can show me some miraculous effect that buffers temperature then you're wrong.

---------

Is that any way of discussing data sets??

Perhaps that arrogant rejection of an opposing view is a consequence of poor educational standards.

Anyway, here it is.

---------
College education is a costly proposition with tuition, room and board at some colleges topping $50,000 a year. Is it worth it? Increasing evidence suggests that it's not. Since the 1960s, academic achievement scores have plummeted, but student college grade point averages (GPA) have skyrocketed. In October 2001, the Boston Globe published an article entitled "Harvard's Quiet Secret: Rampant Grade Inflation." The article reported that a record 91 percent of Harvard University students were awarded honors during the spring graduation. The newspaper called Harvard's grading practices "the laughing stock of the Ivy League." Harvard is by no means unique. For example, 80 percent of the grades given at the University of Illinois are A's and B's. Fifty percent of students at Columbia University are on the Dean's list. At Stanford University, where F grades used to be banned, only 6 percent of student grades were as low as a C. In the 1930s, the average GPA at American colleges and universities was 2.35, about a C plus; today the national average GPA is 3.2, more than a B.

Today's college students are generally dumber than their predecessors. An article in the Wall Street Journal (1/30/97) reported that a "bachelor of Arts degree in 1997 may not be the equal of a graduation certificate from an academic high school in 1947." The American Council on Education found that only 15 percent of universities require tests for general knowledge; only 17 percent for critical thinking; and only 19 percent for minimum competency. According a recent National Assessment of Adult Literacy, the percentage of college graduates proficient in prose literacy has declined from 40 percent to 31 percent within the past decade. Employers report that many college graduates lack the basic skills of critical thinking, writing and problem-solving and some employers find they must hire English and math teachers to teach them how to write memos and perform simple computations.

What is being labeled grade inflation is simply a euphemism for academic dishonesty. After all, it's dishonesty when a professor assigns a grade the student did not earn. When a university or college confers a degree upon a student who has not mastered critical thinking skills, writing and problem-solving, it's academic dishonesty. Of course, I might be in error calling it dishonesty. Perhaps academic standards have been set so low that idiots could earn A's and B's.

Academic dishonesty and deception go beyond fraudulent grades. "Minding the Campus" is a newsletter published by the Manhattan Institute. Edward Fiske tells a chilling tale of deception titled "Gaming the College Rankings" (9/17/09). The U.S. News and World Report college rankings are worshiped by some college administrators, and they go to great lengths to strengthen their rankings. Some years ago, University of Miami omitted scores of athletes and special admission students so as to boost SAT scores of incoming freshmen. At least one college mailed dollar bills to alumni with a request that they send them back to the annual fund thereby inflating the number of alumni donors.

"Gaming the College Rankings" contains an insert by John Leo, who is the editor of "Minding the Campus," reporting that in the mid-1990s, Boston University raised its SAT scores by excluding the verbal scores of foreign students whilst including their math scores. Monmouth University simply added 200 SAT points to its group scores. University of California reported that 34 of its professors were members of a prestigious engineering association when in fact only 17 of their current faculty were. Baylor University offered students, who were already admitted to the university, $300 in bookstore credits to take the SAT again in the hopes of boosting Baylor's SAT averages.

Academic dishonesty, coupled with incompetency, particularly at the undergraduate level, doesn't bode well for the future of our nation. And who's to blame? Most of the blame lies at the feet of the boards of trustees, who bear ultimate responsibility for the management of our colleges and universities.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.
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1589. aquak9
Sorry, I started it. See post 1555.

jeopardy.
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perhaps atmo...but with Evenhanded Elocution
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1587. jipmg
Quoting P451:


I don't see how a system will move north, then north west, then back north, then north east.

This time of year I would expect a northward drift, followed by a north eastward acceleration. I don't see a system performing that perfect "S Curve" if you will. (Like drawing an S starting at the bottom.)

I don't see where the east to west steering component will come from. It doesn't exist.

I don't see how any system can go much west of north at this given time.



The high behind the front is what is going to force it North westward, then another trough will come in and force it north eastward.
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You guys are elucidating your impressions oddly this morning...
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1584. 19N81W
NHC page has not updated since 13:00 UTC...I have a feeling they are looking at it now...as convection flared up overnight would not surprise me to at least see a yellow...but those yellow circles tend to dissipate systems:)
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Quoting P451:
EMCWF - Starting at 72 Hours. Not so sure about that tracking this time of year.




they predicted wilma would take that kind of track when she formed and I'm sure there are others that have taken that track
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I think I'm spent...Exhausted...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
1580. 19N81W
cheers...
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1579. aquak9
this is excruciating....
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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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