Globe has 2nd - 7th warmest October on record; U.S., 3rd coldest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:30 PM GMT on November 23, 2009

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The globe recorded its sixth warmest October since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated October 2009 as the 2nd warmest October on record, falling 0.06°C short of the record set in 2005, while the UK HADCRUT3 data set rated October the 7th warmest (this data set does not include most of the Arctic, Antarctic, and Africa, where there are few land stations). NOAA rated the year-to-date period, January - October 2009, as the fifth warmest such period on record. The October satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 6th - 7th warmest on record. Global ocean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies were the 5th warmest on record.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for October 2009. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

Third coldest and top wettest October on record for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., the average October temperature was 4.0°F below average, making it the 3rd coldest October in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The cold was centered in the Midwest, where Oklahoma had its coolest October on record and ten other states had a top five coolest October. The nationwide precipitation of 4.15 inches was nearly double the long-term average of 2.11 inches. Three states (Iowa, Arkansas, and Louisiana) saw their record wettest October. Fourteen other states had precipitation readings ranking in their top five category. Only three states (Florida, Utah, and Arizona) saw below normal precipitation. Arkansas continued its remarkable run of wetness in 2009. The state has seen four months with top three precipitation ranks this year (May, 1st wettest; July, 3rd wettest; September, 2nd wettest; October, 1st wettest). As a result, the state's year-to-date average is the wettest in 115 years of record keeping. This contrasted with persistent dryness in Arizona, which saw its second-driest year-to-date period.

U.S. drought decreases
At the end of October, 12% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is the second-smallest drought footprint of the decade, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor. Major drought episodes in California and South Texas improved significantly. Drought conditions emerged across much of Arizona. About 45% of the contiguous United States had moderately-to-extremely wet conditions at the end of October, according to the Palmer Index (a well-known index that measures both drought intensity and wet spell intensity). This is the largest such footprint since February 2005.

As I commented in a post earlier this year, drought, on average, has not been increasing in the U.S. over the past few decades. The exception is the Southwest U.S. Increased drought is my top concern in regards to the potential effects of climate change over the next 40 years, and I am pleased to see that so far we have not seen increased drought in the U.S. A recent paper by Andreadis et al., 2006, summed up 20th century drought in the U.S. thusly: "Droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century. The main exception is the Southwest and parts of the interior of the West, where, notwithstanding increased precipitation (and in some cases increased soil moisture and runoff), increased temperature has led to trends in drought characteristics that are mostly opposite to those for the rest of the country especially in the case of drought duration and severity, which have increased."

However, drought may be increasing for the world as a whole. Dai and Trenberth (2004) showed that areas experiencing the three highest categories of drought--severe, extreme, and exceptional--more than doubled (from about 12% to 30%) since the 1970s, with a large jump in the early 1980s due to an El Niño-related precipitation decrease over land, and subsequent increases primarily due to warming temperatures. I've neglected drought in my blogs, and plan to do a thorough investigation and report on the latest research now that hurricane season is over.

U.S. fire activity
October, like September, saw below-normal fire activity in all respects. A total of 3,207 fires burned about 158,000 acres in October, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. Each of these values is below this decade's average for October.

Strong El Niño conditions develop
El Niño conditions intensified from moderate to strong over the tropical Eastern Pacific in October. Ocean temperatures in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", were at 1.7°C above average on November 15, just above the 1.5°C threshold for a strong El Niño, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is maintaining an El Niño Advisory. El Niño conditions appear to have stabilized over the past week, and no further intensification of El Niño is likely for the remainder of November. Model forecasts favor moderate to strong El Niño conditions during the Northern Hemisphere Winter of 2009 - 2010.

October sea ice extent in the Arctic 2nd lowest on record
October 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 2nd lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Only 2007 saw lower Arctic sea ice extent. During the first two weeks of November, Arctic ice extent decreased below the 2007 record minimum, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The record low ice extent this month is the first extended period of record minimum Arctic sea ice since 2007. The new record minimum suggests that the gains in ice seen over the past two years were probably a temporary fluctuation due to normal year-to-year variability in the weather, and that the long-term Arctic sea ice decline observed since the 1970s is continuing.


Figure 2. Departure of Arctic sea ice from average for October 2009. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

References
Andreadis, K. M. Lettenmaier, D. P., "Trends in 20th century drought over the continental United States", Geo. Res. Letters 33, 10, L10403, DOI 10.1029/2006GL025711

Dai A., K.E. Trenberth, and T. Qian, 2004: A global data set of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 18702002: Relationship with soil moisture and effects of surface warming", J. Hydrometeorol., 5, 11171130.

Next post
I'm working on a rather lengthy analysis of the global warming scientist vs. skeptic controversy, including last week's hacked email affair. I'll post it when I get it done, most likely on Tuesday, but perhaps Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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288. xcool
Grothar .REALLY, THANKS.I JUSTING TRY HELP ALOT .ILOVE WEATHER .!
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Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? 'I wish to be left alone,' said Scrooge. 'Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned-they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.'
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Quoting xcool:
Grothar thank alot.i know sometime i mess up big time..






132 hr

GeoffreyWPB their you go


You do just fine. Remember friends will always have your back. They are all interesting articles. Gives us something to think about, or remember something which we once knew and had forgotten. You make us think! That is a good thing.
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285. xcool
Grothar thank alot.i know sometime i mess up big time..






132 hr

GeoffreyWPB their you go
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no cool...I just mean cold weather...another blast of 40's for lows.
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Quoting xcool:
Grothar. yeah i try alot







proa.accuweather.com


You know I have always complimented your work. But remember, there are a number of us here who were teachers and professors. My field was languages. I can easily tell which is a copies excerpt and an original. See we cheat a little, too! Don't worry about. When you steal from one source it is plagiarism, when you steal from two it is called research. Don't worry about it. You are OK in my book.
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282. xcool
GeoffreyWPB.do you mean snow??
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xcool...after this cold front passes so. Fla. this week...do the long range models show another soon?
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280. xcool
Grothar. yeah i try alot







proa.accuweather.com
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Quoting xcool:
lolGrothar /proa.accuweather.com


Knew you were cool, that is why I felt I could post that. Interesting stuff.
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278. xcool
i did ,sorry my bad
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273....My first tip off was there was no misspellings in the original copied post. In your subsequent two posts….Well??? And yes, you should give your sources when you copy and paste.
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276. xcool
lolGrothar /proa.accuweather.com..Joe Bastardi's
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Quoting xcool:
IS THIS 1963 (WEATHERWISE)?

This is getting a bit spooky. The more I study 1963, which by the way was one of the years it snowed in New Orleans, New Year's Eve 1964, and opined yesterday is the idea of back-to-back years with snow in New Orleans, the more I think that this is the current best overall analog. That year, it was Thanksgiving weekend that was the dividing line, and I show that on the Long Ranger. The Big Dog examines the weekend storm, rain in the big cities but what could be a traffic snarling snow event above 1,200 feet from West Virginia to northern New England. Though rain starts the storm, a change to wind whipped wet snow is likely and some flakes may get into the big cities at the end. That year, the 1963 "dividing line" storm came on the 29th and 30th and from then on it was downhill. This year it starts with this weekend, though it will take some time before arctic source region air masses get in, but take a look at the Big Dog and Long Ranger for the upcoming storm and the flip in 1963


Not being funny, but are you talking about the TV shows?
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274. xcool
go too proa.accuweather.com pay for it 24.95$
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273. xcool
GeoffreyWPB .nope .dnot need too .
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270....You should give credit to the sites you copy posts from.
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269....Thank you for your memories. I am a history buff and appreciate first-hand rememberances.
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270. xcool
GeoffreyWPB y
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Just going over most of the posts from yesterday, I saw no one mentioned the death of President Kennedy 46 years ago. A day late, but does anyone have any memories of that day?

Geoffrey, "Memories" I was in the USNavy and home on leave to get married. Same gal I'm still married to BTW. Kennedy was assassinated on Fri. 11/22/63 we got married 11/23/63. Honeymooned in NYC. It was closed no Broadway shows and even the Empire State Building was not allowing visitors to go topside to the observation deck, due to the fear and not knowing if it was a communist plot. Don't forget it was right after the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. (re; Oct.1962) Things were still on shaky ground.
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268. xcool
Southeast Louisiana saw 4-8 inches, mainly east of the Mississippi river, with New Orleans, Louisiana measuring 4.5 inches. Damages totalled at least US$50,000 (1963 dollars
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267. xcool
proa.accuweather.com
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259....where did you copy that from?
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265. xcool


1963 snow in n.o
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264. BtnTx
Quoting Patrap:
My first real memory of any Tragedy was November 22nd 1963,as it was 6 weeks before my 4th Birthday,..as I was getting a Haircut in a High Barber Chair that Day with my Mother,and the enormity of something terrible happening was so strong,even a 4 year Old was scared to see Adults react like they did.

And that sorrow wasnt eased until I was 9,to a certain degree, when the Apollo 11 Landing and return occurred and America had realized his Dream,..and accomplished it.

Those of us 50 or Older will always know what JFK meant to America,and how much we lost that fateful day,46 years ago.

I was in 4th grade at Catholic school and someone brought the news of Kennedy's death to our teacher and she announced it. Everyone cried.
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sorry G
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55984
I remember the New Years Snow 63..,but its kinda way back in the Ol Brain....

It was Dec 22-25th 1989,20 yrs ago we had a Big Blue Northern blow thru as well. Low of 13F and was below freezing for 40 Hours,lotsa broken water pipes too
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
261. xcool
opps errorss.Dec 11, 2008 ...
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Making me dizzy Keeper :)
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259. xcool
IS THIS 1963 (WEATHERWISE)?

This is getting a bit spooky. The more I study 1963, which by the way was one of the years it snowed in New Orleans, New Year's Eve 1964, and opined yesterday is the idea of back-to-back years with snow in New Orleans, the more I think that this is the current best overall analog. That year, it was Thanksgiving weekend that was the dividing line, and I show that on the Long Ranger. The Big Dog examines the weekend storm, rain in the big cities but what could be a traffic snarling snow event above 1,200 feet from West Virginia to northern New England. Though rain starts the storm, a change to wind whipped wet snow is likely and some flakes may get into the big cities at the end. That year, the 1963 "dividing line" storm came on the 29th and 30th and from then on it was downhill. This year it starts with this weekend, though it will take some time before arctic source region air masses get in, but take a look at the Big Dog and Long Ranger for the upcoming storm and the flip in 1963


Joe Bastardi's
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258. xcool
make 5 time models show snow in la imo
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257. xcool
1963 snow in n.o
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55984
All those Long range still show a significant Dixie Snow Event round the 1st or 2nd,..interesting.

NOLA's earliest Snowfall recorded was a Year ago Dec 12th I believe.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
Quoting Patrap:


Hey Patrap, why spend all that money on something no one will look at. Don't you think it is taking money out of our pockets for something that foolish. They probably make up the data anyway according to most of the posts on here today.
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253. xcool
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Today's State Extremes

State Highs:
Miami 87°F
Kendall 86°F
Fort Myers 85°F
Ft Lauderdale 85°F
Okeechobee 84°F
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
85 is the highest I found in Ft. Lauderdale


You weren't looking in the right places.
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85 is the highest I found in Ft. Lauderdale
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Link


Ha ha Geoff. Look at the link. We broke a record today set in 1989. I don't know who was keeping records that far back, but they should be reliable.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
I respect you a lot Grothar...but it did not get to 87 down where you live! And the lows this weekend will dip into the 40's in some areas of so. Florida.


http://www.bing.com/weather/search?q=ft%20lauderdale%20weather&P1=[WeatherAnswer%20Scenario=%22Weat herOverviewPage%22%20Unit=%22F%22]
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
ah so that is why RSMC Mauritius is suddenly referring to CIMSS ASCAT Pass now
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
Quoting Patrap:
Speaking at length this evening with Forecaster Avila of the NHC ..he stated that although Quikscat has apparently failed..its not the end all of scatterometer data,..but the US needs to invest in another On -orbit carry on to enhance our data sets in the Future.
ASCAT and other sources will augment the Loss
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
I respect you a lot Grothar...but it did not get to 87 down where you live! And the lows this weekend will dip into the 40's in some areas of so. Florida.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


And did I read right that it would be at least 2015 til a new satellite could be launched?


How will we know a storm is coming without the satellite. We obviously can't trust the scientists after this week-ends fiasco. Whom do we trust now. I guess we will just have to watch Fox news and see what they say. They always get it right.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
So is the whole world getting warm??? going down to the 40's in so. Fla. this weekend?


Heard it was getting cold in Alaska, too! Go figure. I think they mgiht exagerate the low temperatures in Florida to make the residents feel they are getting a break from the heat. It was 87 deg today. How could it go down to 40 in just a few days, it doesn't make sense.
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Quoting Patrap:
Farewell to a Spacecraft that served well,years beyond her Service design Life.

A true testament to her Builders,and those who maintained it on orbit as well.

Goodnight QuikScat, and we thank you.




And did I read right that it would be at least 2015 til a new satellite could be launched?
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So is the whole world getting warm??? going down to the 40's in so. Fla. this weekend?
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Farewell to a Spacecraft that served well,years beyond her Service design Life.

A true testament to her Builders,and those who maintained it on orbit as well.

Goodnight QuikScat, and we thank you.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796

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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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