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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1577. 19N81W
P451.......what do you mean?
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Egads!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting Catherdr:


Exploding ecumenical expletives


Emminent Enhanced Example
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Quoting P451:


Are you hinting that this disturbance will cross Central America and emerge in the Pacific?

If so I don't think that's the case. I think we're going to see this entity wax, wane, and fester - potentially develop - and get drawn northward (at least at first) and then deflected north-east-ward. Now where that occurs is anyone's guess. Is it a Wilma? Is it a Paloma? --- Is it maybe even a Mitch? ---- in track only at this point, but, we also can't disregard the fuel that is there to cause such intense storms.




I saw it happen with ATL 92L, and just thought I would throw it out there.
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1572. 19N81W
naaaa....just some good rain (we hope)...because that will likely be the last chance this year to help fill cisterns before we get dry
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Quoting presslord:
Enlightrening Explanation... Entirely Evident and Enabling...


Exploding ecumenical expletives
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Quoting P451:


Are you hinting that this disturbance will cross Central America and emerge in the Pacific?

If so I don't think that's the case. I think we're going to see this entity wax, wane, and fester - potentially develop - and get drawn northward (at least at first) and then deflected north-east-ward. Now where that occurs is anyone's guess. Is it a Wilma? Is it a Paloma? --- Is it maybe even a Mitch? ---- in track only at this point, but, we also can't disregard the fuel that is there to cause such intense storms.





The European model is showing slow movement over heat content greater than that of Wilma. Most likely we will not see another Wilma, since other factors besides heat content played a role with Wilma, but the storm the model is predicting is a major hurricane.
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Enlightrening Explanation... Entirely Evident and Enabling...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
1567. aquak9
G'morning bwi, thank you for using my proper name.

oh yeah, thank you for the ECMWF link. Yeah doggie....
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Quoting aquak9:
And 456 comes up with yet another E word, Explosive.

(expletives expand exquisitely)


lol, morning. I guess these E words came from the E model, no?
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1564. aquak9
And 456 comes up with yet another E word, Explosive.

(expletives expand exquisitely)
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Quoting 19N81W:
nhc is a government office...and like many government offices will get on the AOI eventually...remember its Sunday!
Just looked at the ECMWF and if that pans out that will bring it right over Cayman. Hope not!
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Good Morning

We should focus our attention to the Western Caribbean this week. ECMWF is hinting explosive development.

Blog Update

Hurricane Rick and the tropics

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1561. 19N81W
nhc is a government office...and like many government offices will get on the AOI eventually...remember its Sunday!
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Quoting bwi:
Good morning Aqua. I woke with the same thought. Looks to me like ECMWF still on a storm, shifted slightly west through the Yucatan channel.

I wouldn't be surprised if it did what Rick(ATL ex 92L) did. Could that happen?
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1558. bwi
Good morning Aqua. I woke with the same thought. Looks to me like ECMWF still on a storm, shifted slightly west through the Yucatan channel.
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Everything Echos Elephantine Eventuality of Energetic Experience
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
1556. unf97
Due to the recent developments with Powerful Hurricane Rick and with models picking up on a possible system developing in the SW Carribean, I am hoping that we get an analysis today from Dr. Masters. He probably will be on with that later today.
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1555. aquak9
G'morning WU bloggers.

(looks around carefully for atlantaMET, doesn't see him, proceeds with post)

I think aussie's right, could be an EWRC soon on Rick. Was thinking that last night but it still seemed a little too big.

"I'll take acronyms that begin with the letter E for $500, please"

The ECMWF is doing what this morning?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Front definitely passing to our south now.



The tail end seems to be already over waters of the NW Car...



Looks to be an interesting day....


If you watch this loop you can see the cold front.
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Quoting leftovers:
two yellows coming up which one will be ida?
Nothing yellow so far, though. I guess we won't see anything coloured before tomorrow, at this rate.
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Front definitely passing to our south now.



The tail end seems to be already over waters of the NW Car...



Looks to be an interesting day....
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Hmmm.... yesterday morning at 8:00 am. it was 84 degrees, and we got up to 94 yesterday afternoon. Dunno if that's a new record for this time of year, but it definitely could be.

Tonight it's forecast to get down to 69!!! We live in hopes!
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Quoting P451:
AOI



The beginnings of Ida? We shall see..
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Looks like cold clouds going into the GOM
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Current Conditions
Nassau Airport, Bahamas, The (Airport)
Updated: 41 min 4 sec ago
78 °F / 26 °C
Partly Cloudy


Ah, temps are dropping... 1 degree per hour...
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50*F was low here in H town
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Someone mentioned evidence of concentric eyewalls a bit earlier.
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Rick is one huge storm. I have a feeling its pressure is already below 900 hPa.

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Quoting jipmg:
Rick looks to me like its loosing intensity.. the eye isn't clear as perfectly rounded as before

Maybe going through EWRC
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1542. jipmg
Quoting BahaHurican:
Looks like most of the blog is sleeping late today.... lol



ever since that model popped up, I have been on this blog 24/7
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Looks like most of the blog is sleeping late today.... lol

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I do think we'll see Ida next week, and that upward MJO does tell me that it could be atleast a Strong TS. GFS, NAM, and the ECMWF are all onboard with the ECMWF being the most aggressive.

NOGAPS is also on board for next weekend developement
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I walked outside with my coffee this morning and it was 48 degrees.. wow.
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1538. jipmg
Rick looks to me like its loosing intensity.. the eye isn't clear as perfectly rounded as before
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Quoting P451:
180mph Rick. From the beginning you could tell this storm was going to explode. Predict 180? Of course not but you could tell it would be a big storm right from the start.




Looks like TX will get sum rain from Rick on Thursday and Friday
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Quoting IKE:
One more thing...ECMWF has been the most reliable model for the Atlantic in 2009 of the one's I look at.


I do think we'll see Ida next week, and that upward MJO does tell me that it could be atleast a Strong TS. GFS, NAM, and the ECMWF are all onboard with the ECMWF being the most aggressive.
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850mb
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morning all 45.6 my low just north of zephyrhills fl. got to love this.
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1531. OGal
Thanks Ike, I guess just keep watching. I don't want to be caught off guard. Wilma was a horrible storm and if that system had just moved a little to the north it could have been central Florid's storm.
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1530. IKE
One more thing...ECMWF has been the most reliable model for the Atlantic in 2009 of the one's I look at.
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Quoting Cotillion:


Pinhole eyes are more of an indication of very high intensity, like Wilma had a pinhole of roughly 3 miles. Although, it does have some sort of link to EWRC in the fact that they cannot be sustained for all that long before the eye collapses because of the strength of the eyewall.

A better indication for an impending EWRC are concentric eyewalls.

As for the 200mph predictions... the record for sustained winds is still about 190mph, held by a fair few storms throughout each basin. Allen and Camille being the representatives for the Atlantic. It's entirely possible that this has since been beaten but it's not officially recorded.

No question Rick is exceptionally impressive, though, and I hope he puts the skids on pretty soon for the sake of those in its path. 180mph on an advisory is incredibly rare as well, they usually cap it at 175, seemingly.


155kts = 178.38mph = 287.06km/h
156.42kts = 180mph = 189.68km/h
160.77kts = 185mph = 297.73km/h
165.11kts = 190mph = 305.76km/h
169.46kts = 195mph = 313.83km/h
173.8kts = 200pmh = 321.87km/h

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1528. IKE
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
This is from the San Juan NWS:


SVRL RUNS OF THE ECMWF MODEL HAVE BEEN INDICATING A STRONG
TROPICAL CYCLONE DEVELOPING ACROSS THE SOUTHWEST CARIBBEAN SEA
OVER THE NEXT 48 HRS. WHILE TPC DOES NOT HAVE ANYTHING MENTIONED
IN THEIR LATEST TROPICAL WX OTLK...LATEST IR IMAGERY SHOWS A
MARKED INCREASE IN DEEP CONVECTION NORTH OF PANAMA WITH EVIDENCE
OF SOME MID LEVEL TURNING. GIVEN THE CONSISTENCY OF THE ECMWF
MODEL OVER THE LAST THREE DAYS PREDICTING A STRONG AND WELL-
DEVELOPED TROPICAL CYCLONE AND THE RECENT INCREASE IN CONVECTION
ALONG WITH FVRBL CLIMATOLOGICAL AND MJO CONDITIONS AM ANTICIPATING
SOMETHING WILL DEVELOP EVENTUALLY IN THAT AREA THIS WEEK.


Well...I didn't check San Juan...lol.

I agree, clouds are gathering in that area and there is a cyclonic turning to them.
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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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