November 2009 was warmest or 4th warmest on record, say NASA and NOAA

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:46 PM GMT on December 17, 2009

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The globe recorded its fourth warmest November since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated November 2009 as the warmest November on record, beating the 2001 record by 0.02°C. NOAA classified the year-to-date period, January - November 2009, as the fifth warmest such period on record. The November satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest on record according to the University of Alabama Huntsville data set, or fifth warmest, according to the RSS data set.


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

Warmest November on record for Southern Hemisphere land areas
Southern Hemisphere land areas had their warmest November on record including Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. November was 1.87°C (3.4°F) above average in Australia, and several statewide records were broken, with New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania, surpassing the previous largest maximum temperature anomaly recorded for an Australian state. The highest minimum temperature record for the continent was also broken, with an anomaly of 1.61°C (2.90°F) above average.

Third warmest November on record for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., the average November temperature was 4.0°F above average, making it the 3rd warmest November in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. That's a pretty remarkable swing from October, which was the third coldest October on record. Delaware experienced its warmest November on record, Wisconsin and New Jersey their second warmest, and five states had their third warmest November (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Iowa, and North Dakota). Eighteen other states had an average temperature that ranked in the top ten. No states had below normal temperatures for the month.

Unusually low tornado activity in November
November was a quiet month for tornadoes in the U.S., with only 4 preliminary reports. November 2009 was the slowest November since 1980, which had 3 tornadoes, and tied for 3rd quietest since extensive records began in 1950. The autumn as a whole was also calm with only 80 tornadoes reported in the U.S., compared to the 2006-2008 year average of 164.

U.S. drought
At the end of November, 9% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is the smallest November drought footprint since 2005. Drought expanded across Arizona, southern California, and southern Nevada, but improved over drought-stricken Texas. For the first time in many years, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows no areas in the highest classification of drought--exceptional drought. The second highest category of drought, extreme drought, covers only a small region of northeast Arizona.

U.S. fire activity
November, like September and October, saw below-normal U.S. fire activity in all respects.

Strong El Niño conditions continue
Strong 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 at 1.6°C above average on December 15, just above the 1.5°C threshold for a strong El Niño, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The strength of El Niño was roughly constant for the 5 weeks ending December 15. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is maintaining an El Niño Advisory. Current conditions and model forecasts favor continued El Niño conditions lasting through the Northern Hemisphere spring of 2010.

November sea ice extent in the Arctic 3rd lowest on record
November 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 2006 and 2007 saw lower arctic sea ice extent. During 10-day period in the first half of November, arctic ice extent decreased below the 2007 record minimum, but rose above record minimum levels by the middle of the month.

Ricky Rood in Copenhagen
Our Climate Change expert, Dr. Ricky Rood, is in Copenhagen for the COP15 climate change treaty negotiations. His latest post, called Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? makes for very interesting reading on how the U.S. is "wasting its intellect and time on disruptions designed to play to people at home".

Next post
I'll have another post late Friday.

Jeff Masters

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The Low is non tropical..


Its Dec 17th...


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Quoting atmoaggie:

That ain't right. Like he needed a reminder to think about as he lies in bed.


Yeh,your right,that was cruel.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 886 Comments: 15950
Quoting Jeff9641:
Interesting I saw this same feature in the Caribbean a couple of days ago and it went over the Yucatan as a low level swirl then found itself in the BOC and now is getting energized by upper level energy. This is significant for Florida because it means more rain and a higher probability for severe weather.


Exactly. That's what is worrisome for me here in the Jax area.

I'm also intrigued on the later model runs if indeed the BOC Low becomes the more dominant entity, which appears to be happening right now.
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Goodnight Aussie,watch out for the Lightning.

That ain't right. Like he needed a reminder to think about as he lies in bed.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Interesting I saw this same feature in the Caribbean a couple of days ago and it went over the Yucatan as a low level swirl then found itself in the BOC and now is getting energized by upper level energy. This is significant for Florida because it means more rain and a higher probability for severe weather.


Goodie, so I'll see the severe weather, and then fly into the snow in NC. I'll see both sides of this event.
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Goodnight Aussie,watch out for the Lightning.

oh lightening wont get me in my bed.... or will it????
goodnight
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tdude...good one!

:)
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Quoting AussieStorm:
those pics are crack up's. goodnight all. 3:25am and i'm going to bed


have a good one man
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Quoting StormW:


Ya beat me to it! LOL!

Yea...definitely another low developing in the BOC...in fact, looks stronger than the one off the TX coast. We'll have to see which will become the dominate feature.


Interesting event shaping up. Seems to be evolving from just this morning.
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Goodnight Aussie,watch out for the Lightning.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 886 Comments: 15950
those pics are crack up's. goodnight all. 3:25am and i'm going to bed
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Junky, really? My Governator is battling with Palin? now that would make an AWESOME photo!

:)
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Quoting NRAamy:
hahahahahaha!! I love you junky!

:)


Back atcha! It's on topic too! The Terminator and her have been going at it over climate change. That's an epic battle. (snort, chuckle)
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Quoting NRAamy:
NE....it's on topic!!!!!!!!!!!

:)


Yes,dear,I understand.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 886 Comments: 15950
hahahahahaha!! I love you junky!

:)
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Thanks Cane Whisperer. You are indeed right. I did observe the RGB imagery and as you and Storm pointed out, it appears that Low pressure area in the BOC may become the more dominant entity than the one off the SE TX coast. It indeed looks impressive down there at this hour this morning.

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NE....it's on topic!!!!!!!!!!!

:)
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Quoting NEwxguy:
LOL,Amy,I knew you couldn't resist forever!!


LOL to her, Al is irresistible ;)
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Thanks Doc


Quoting weatherman874:
New Orleans: December 26
Cloudy
An a.m. flurry, then a shower
Low: 32


WHOO HOO.


Amy, ROFL
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
19N 92.5W Surface Low Developing at the tail of the front in the BOC


As someone in SE TX... I sure am getting tired of these lows forming in the western GOM and making our weather all kind of dreary. We have had just one front this season that comes through and really clears everything out for a few days. This season, most of the fronts come through, clear things out for a few hours, but then a surface low spins up over the western GOM, and creates an onshore flow, which makes for a very cloudy, dreary, chilly day.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5890
New Orleans: December 26
Cloudy
An a.m. flurry, then a shower
Low: 32
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LOL,Amy,I knew you couldn't resist forever!!
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 886 Comments: 15950
Quoting unf97:


Interesting. The 12Z HPC Surface analysis depicted a 1012 mb Low Pressure just off the SE TX coast.

The graphic Cane Whisperer showed above has it much farther south in the BOC. Interesting.


RGB imagery would indicate a surface low developing there as well.
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Thanks Dr............Big story for the SE States in this El Nino season will be the potential for lots of flooding from precipitation as each frontal system/low comes through between now and the Spring..

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
325 AM EST THU DEC 17 2009

GFS/NAM ARE SHOWING IMPRESSIVE FRONTOGENESIS BETWEEN 850-700MB TO THE NORTH OF THE LOW
TRACK. ENHANCED VERTICAL MOTION ASSOCIATED WITH FRONTOGENESIS MAY LEAD TO A BAND OF HEAVIER RAINFALL ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN AL/SOUTHERN GA. VERY DIFFICULT TO SAY EXACTLY WHERE THIS BAND WILL SET UP...HOWEVER THE MOST LIKELY AREA TO SEE THIS ENHANCED RAINFALL
WILL BE NORTH OF A LINE FROM AROUND DOTHAN TO ALBANY AND TIFTON. NEEDLESS TO SAY THIS IS A WORRISOME HYDROLOGIC SITUATION SINCE THESE
AREAS HAVE ALREADY SEEN QUITE A BIT OF RAINFALL THIS WEEK WITH RIVERS/STREAMS RUNNING HIGH OR IN FLOOD.
FLOOD WATCHES WILL BE HOISTED FOR THESE AREAS. SEE HAZARD SECTION BELOW FOR INCLUDED COUNTIES.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Awful far to the south HUH.


Interesting. The 12Z HPC Surface analysis depicted a 1012 mb Low Pressure just off the SE TX coast.

The graphic Cane Whisperer showed above has it much farther south in the BOC. Interesting.
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Interesting to see snow in Florida on the 06GFS run this morning. Snow showers all over the Panhandle moving eastward as the Christmas Day Storm deepens in the Northeast. Iffy on the whole thing, would love to see it happen. Don't believe me? Go type in on google "dgex forecast model", click the first link, click GFS precipitation type, you'll see snow in Florida at 192 hours..
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From the NWS Discussion in Indy:
MID LEVEL TROUGH APPROACHES INDIANA FROM THE UPPER MIDWEST ON FRI
NIGHT AND SAT AND BEGINS TO MERGE WITH ANOTHER MID LEVEL LOW ACROSS
THE SOUTHEASTERN STATES. BEST FORCING WITH THIS SYSTEM APPEARS TO BE
NEAR THE CAROLINAS...BUT GIVEN OUR CLOSED H7 LOW PUSHING ACROSS
INDIANA OVERNIGHT...THERE SHOULD BE ENOUGH FORCING TO PROVIDE SOME
PRECIPITATION. AT THE MOMENT THE NAM FORECAST SOUNDING IS
WARMER...ABOVE FREEZING...IN THE EXTREME LOWER LEVELS. MEANWHILE THE
GFS KEEPS THE ENTIRE COLUMN BELOW FREEZING...RESULTING IN SNOW.
FURTHERMORE THE NAM APPEARS TO BE MORE INFLUENCED BY THE H7 LOW AS
IT ENTERTAINS EASTERLY WINDS IN THE LOWER LEVELS. THE GFS APPEARS TO
BE TRIGGERING MORE ON THE TROUGH AS A WHOLE AND THE DEVELOPING AND
STRONGER LOW ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN STATES. THE GFS HAS A NORTH AND
COLDER WIND. THUS I AM EXPECTING PRECIPITATION TO DEVELOP AND GIVEN
OUR VERY DRY LOWER LEVELS ANY PRECIPITATION WL ALSO CREATE
EVAPORATIONAL COOLING AND HELP TO BRING THE COLUMN COOLER. THUS WL
STICK CLOSER THE GFS FOR NOW AND KEEP A SNOW FORECAST FOR FRIDAY
NIGHT AND SATURDAY. AS FAR AS AMOUNTS ARE CONCERNED AT THIS
POINT...THE LIGHT 1 TO 2 INCHES IN THE GRIDS APPEARS VERY REASONABLE
GIVEN THE BEST FORCING APPEARS TO DEVELOP OVER THE EAST COAST AS
THAT SYSTEM CUTS OFF...CANNIBALIZES AND CONSUMES OUR SYSTEM COMING
OUT OF THE UPPER MIDWEST. AS FOR TEMPS WILL STICK CLOSE TO THE LOWS
AND GIVEN THE EXPECTED CLOUDS AND NORTH FLOW...LEAN COOLER THAN
MAVMOS ON HIGHS FOR SATURDAY.
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I will likely die if I go to Raleigh it appears.
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I'm also growing increasingly concerned about the potential of severe thunderstorms across the Florida peninusula late tonight into Friday as the warm sector lifts up over the region as the GOM Low moves through during the next 24-36 hours.

I'll be eager to check the latest models on this aspect of this system later today.
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19N 92.5W Surface Low Developing at the tail of the front in the BOC

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Quoting CaneWarning:
Interesting data here. I am going to NC on Saturday... Can anybody tell me what to expect in Raleigh? I hope I don't get snowed in, etc.


URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RALEIGH NC
344 AM EST THU DEC 17 2009

...A WINTER STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR FRIDAY AFTERNOON
THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING FOR THE PIEDMONT OF NORTH CAROLINA...

.COLD HIGH PRESSURE WILL BE IN PLACE OVER NORTH CAROLINA TONIGHT
AND FRIDAY. AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP OVER
THE GULF OF MEXICO LATER TODAY... THEN MOVE NORTHEAST ALONG THE
CAROLINA COAST LATE FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY. SNOW IS EXPECTED TO
OVERSPREAD THE WATCH AREA FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND CONTINUE FRIDAY
EVENING. A TRANSITION TO A WINTRY MIXTURE IS LIKELY OVER THE
SOUTHERN AND EASTERN PIEDMONT FRIDAY EVENING. A TRANSITION TO
FREEZING RAIN OR RAIN IS LIKELY EARLY SATURDAY.

NCZ007>010-021>026-038>041-073>076-171700-
/O.NEW.KRAH.WS.A.0003.091218T1700Z-091220T0000Z/
PERSON-GRANVILLE-VANCE-WARREN-FORSYTH-GUILFORD-ALAMANCE-ORANGE-
DURHAM-FRANKLIN-DAVIDSON-RANDOLPH-CHATHAM-WAKE-STANLY-MONTGOMERY-
MOORE-LEE-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...ROXBORO...OXFORD...HENDERSON...
WARRENTON...WINSTON-SALEM...GREENSBORO...HIGH POINT...
BURLINGTON...CHAPEL HILL...DURHAM...LOUISBURG...LEXINGTON...
ASHEBORO...PITTSBORO...RALEIGH...ALBEMARLE...TROY...
SOUTHERN PINES...SANFORD
344 AM EST THU DEC 17 2009

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
SATURDAY EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RALEIGH HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM
WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY
EVENING.

THE WATCH AREA INCLUDES BOTH THE TRIAD AND THE TRIANGLE AREAS...
AND THE CITIES AND TOWNS OF ROXBORO... HENDERSON... SANFORD...
CARTHAGE... TROY... AND ALBEMARLE.

WINTRY PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP OVER WESTERN AND
CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA DURING THE DAY FRIDAY...AS A LOW PRESSURE
APPROACHES FROM THE SOUTHWEST. THE PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO
CONTINUE FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY.

OVER THE NORTHWEST PIEDMONT INCLUDING THE PIEDMONT TRIAD REGION...
ALBEMARLE AND TROY...THE PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO FALL MAINLY
IN THE FORM OF SNOW. THE SNOW MAY BE MIXED WITH SLEET FRIDAY NIGHT
INTO EARLY SATURDAY. SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW AND SLEET
ARE POSSIBLE. OVER THE REST OF THE PIEDMONT...SNOW IS EXPECTED
FRIDAY AFTERNOON...WITH A CHANGEOVER TO SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN
FRIDAY EVENING. THE PRECIPITATION MAY CHANGE TO RAIN LATE FRIDAY
NIGHT INTO EARLY SATURDAY. SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW AND
SLEET ARE POSSIBLE...BUT MAY BE MORE LIMITED THAN AREAS TO THE
NORTHWEST...ESPECIALLY IF THE CHANGEOVER OCCURS EARLIER THAN
EXPECTED.

AS THE STORM SYSTEM IS STILL IN THE INITIAL STAGES OF
DEVELOPING...ITS TRACK REMAINS UNCERTAIN. IF THE LOW MOVES
FARTHER TO THE WEST...THE WINTER STORM IMPACTS WOULD BE CONFINED
TO THE NORTHWEST PIEDMONT. IF THE STORM TRACKS FARTHER TO THE
EAST...THE IMPACTS WOULD BE FELT FARTHER EAST THAN CURRENTLY
INDICATED.

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOW...SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
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Thank you Dr. Masters with your latest post update!

Jeff9641, Yes, our GOM Low will really intensify, especially when it emerges off the Mid- Atlantic coast by late Friday/early Saturday morning.
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Interesting data here. I am going to NC on Saturday... Can anybody tell me what to expect in Raleigh? I hope I don't get snowed in, etc.
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thanks doc!
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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.