January 2010: extremes and monthly summary

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:33 PM GMT on February 19, 2010

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The globe recorded its fourth warmest January since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated January 2010 as the 2nd warmest January on record, behind January 2007. January 2010 global ocean temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record, next to 1998. Land temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere were the warmest on record, but in the Northern Hemisphere, they were the 18th warmest. The relatively cool Northern Hemisphere land temperatures may have been due to the well-above average amount of snow on the ground--January 2010 snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere was the 6th highest in the past 44 years. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest on record in January, according to both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and RSS data sets. This was the second time in the past three months that the UAH data set has shown a record high global atmospheric temperature.


Figure 1. Departure of surface temperature from average for January 2010. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

A few notable global weather highlights from January 2010:

According to the United Kingdom's Met Office, the U.K. as a whole had its coolest January since 1987 and the eighth coolest January since records began in 1914. Scotland had its coolest January since 1979. During the first two weeks of January, the Irish Republic experienced a spell of extreme cold weather that began in mid-December, resulting in the most extreme cold spell over Ireland since early 1963, according to the Irish Meteorological Service. Most places of the Irish Republic had its coolest January since 1985 and the coolest January since 1963 in the Dublin area.

A rare summer snowfall occurred on January 18th in the town of Bombala, New South Wales, Australia. The town received a light dusting of accumulation, marking the first summer snow in the high terrain of southeast Australia since records began in 1965. The town has an elevation of around 3,000 feet (900 meters) above sea-level. Forecasters said that snow at such low elevations is unusual at any time of year, especially summer. Six days before the snow, temperatures had hit 37°C (99°F) in Bombala.

Eleven inches (28 cm) of snow fell in Seoul, South Korea on the 3rd, marking the greatest snowfall amount for that city since records began in 1937 (Source: BBC).

Central Beijing, China received 3 inches (8 cm) of snow on the 2nd, the most for a single day since January 1951, while suburbs of the city reported 13 inches (33 cm). Over 90 percent of flights at Beijing.s International Airport were affected. On January 6th, temperatures in Beijing dropped to -16.7°C (1.9°F), the lowest minimum temperature in the first ten days of January since 1971.


Figure 2. An unusual sight: Virtually all of Britain was covered by snow on January 7, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

January 2010: near-average temperatures in the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., the average January temperature was 0.3°F above average, making it the 55th coolest January in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The U.S. has been on quite a roller coaster of temperatures over the past four months--the nation recorded its third coldest October on record, followed by its third warmest November, followed by its 14th coolest December, followed by an average January. The coolest January temperature anomalies were in Florida, which had its 10th coldest such month. The Pacific Northwest was very warm, with Oregon and Washington recording their 4th warmest January on record. Seattle experienced its warmest January since records began in 1891.


Figure 3. Ranking of temperatures by state for January 2010. Florida had its 10th coldest January on record, while Washington and Oregon had their 4th warmest. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

U.S. drought
Precipitation across the U.S. was near average in January. Notably, Arizona had its 5th wettest January and New Mexico its 7th wettest. The only state much drier than average was Michigan, which had its 8th driest January. At the end of January, 3% of the contiguous United States was in severe-to-exceptional drought, a decrease of 4% from the previous month. This is the lowest drought footprint for the country since detailed drought statistics began in 1999.

U.S. records
A few notable records set in the U.S. during January 2010, courtesy of the National Climatic Data Center::

All-time low pressure records were set across most of California, Arizona, Nevada, and southern Oregon on January 20 - 21. This was approximately 10 - 15% of the area of the U.S.

Arizona set its all-time 24-hour state snowfall record: 48" at Sunrise Mountain Jan. 21 - 22.

The 50.7 inches (129 cm) that fell in Flagstaff, AZ Jan. 16 - 23 was the third highest five-day total ever recorded there.

Yuma, Arizona's total of 2.44 inches of rain (62 mm) was their 2nd greatest January total ever, narrowly missing the record of 2.49 (63 mm) set in 1949. Their daily total of 1.95 (50 mm) inches on the 21st was the greatest one-day January total ever.

Near Wikieup, AZ, the Big Sandy River crested at 17.9 feet, washing away numerous roads and setting a new all-time record crest, breaking the previous record of 16.4 feet set back in March 1978.

Burlington, VT had its largest single snowstorm on record, 33.1" on Jan. 1 - 3.

Sioux City, IA tied its all-time max snow depth record (28" on Jan. 7).

Beckley, WV had its snowiest January on record (40.9"; old record 37.3" in 1996)

Bellingham, Washington tied its record highest January temperature of 65°F on January 11.

Hondo, Texas tied its record coldest January temperature of 12°F on January 9.

Cotulla la Salle, Texas tied its record coldest January temperature of 16°F on January 9.

Records were broken or tied at Daytona Beach, Orlando, Melbourne, and Vero Beach Florida for the greatest number of consecutive days in which the daily high temperature remained below 60 degrees F (15.5 C). Daytona Beach's string was twelve days.

Jackson, KY and London, KY tied their record for longest streak of consecutive days falling below 32°F (11 days). Pensacola, FL had its 2nd longest such streak (10 days), and Mobile, AL its 3rd longest (10 days).

Key West, FL had its 2nd coldest temperature ever measured, 42°F. The record is 41°F, set in 1981 and 1886.

Moderate El Niño conditions continue
Moderate 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 1.2°C above average on February 10, in the middle of the 1.0°C - 1.5°C range for a moderate El Niño, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The strength of El Niño has been roughly constant for the first two weeks of February. A burst of westerly winds that developed near the Date Line in January has pushed eastwards towards South America over the past month, and this should keep the current El Niño at moderate strength well into March. All of the El Niño models forecast that El Niño has peaked and will weaken by summer. Most of the models predict that El Niño conditions will last into early summer, but cross the threshold into neutral territory by the height of hurricane season.

January sea ice extent in the Arctic 4th lowest on record
January 2010 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 4th lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979. Ice extent was lower than in 2009 and 2008, but greater than in 2005, 2006, and 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The weather pattern over the Arctic in the first half of January 2010 featured a strongly negative Arctic Oscillation (AO). This pattern tends to slow the winds that typically flush large amounts of sea ice out of the Arctic between Greenland and Iceland. In this way, a negative AO could help retain some the second- and third-year ice through the winter, and potentially rebuild some of the older, multi-year ice that has been lost over the past few years. However, the ice pack is the thinnest on record for this time of year, and much above average temperatures this summer would likely cause a new record summertime sea ice loss.

Next post
My next post will be Monday or Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
For me, Hurricane season Starts in 70 days. May 1st is when we all start looking for pre-season oddities and the EPAC's first few storms.

Wouldn't that be weird though, if we get a May tropical cyclone for the 4th year in a row?


Yeah, forgot about the depression last year.
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For me, Hurricane season Starts in 70 days. May 1st is when we all start looking for pre-season oddities and the EPAC's first few storms.

Wouldn't that be weird though, if we get a May tropical cyclone for the 4th year in a row?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23619
I would like to hear what the Dc Masters says about it
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the logo is the same but without the arrow
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Quoting ElConando:
This is a different weather underground buddy I hope you know that. We talk about weather they... don't.


I know but when he said they talk about Weather Underground here I assumed he meant this one.. The political organization he was talking about came out of absolutely nowhere.
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Quoting Motttt:
http://www.bing.com/reference/semhtml/Weather_Underground_(organization)

Link


I know who the Weathermen were, and I also know they were sometimes referred to as the "Weather Underground Organization". I was alive and watched news back then. I still don't understand what your point is! If you have something to say, say it.
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This is a different weather underground buddy I hope you know that. We talk about weather they... don't.
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Quoting Motttt:
447

no point.. just thought people would like to lean more


Learn more about what? When I clicked your video I got a video about Obama and socialism and communism. Stopped watching after 3 seconds.
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http://www.bing.com/reference/semhtml/Weather_Underground_(organization)

Link
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Quoting Motttt:
447

no point.. just thought people would like to lean more


About?
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Weatherman held the last of its National Council meetings from December 26 to December 31, 1969 in Flint, Michigan.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Morning guys,
Sorry about being late I got sick but don't worry I'm alot better than yesterday.

I am sure this hurricane season will be a head turner. I think that we will have storm tracks like 2004 and numbers like 2005 the way things are setting up.
always remember things can and will change nothing stays the same all things must come in to play as it is now nothing more but a idea of an outcome and that outcome will change many times yet
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
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Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
447

no point.. just thought people would like to lean more
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Update on Invest 94P: (yes I know it's no longer a double-hemispheric system but what the heck lol)

After Invest 90C dissipated over the equator yesterday, 94P has really taken over as the main circulation of the area of disturbed weather in the central Pacific. 94P, in the center of the image below, has been gradually organizing overnight, as evidenced by the nice backward "S" shape (backwards because it's the southern hemisphere). This shape is being caused by convective banding which is beginning to take shape nicely on both the north and south sides of the system now. Convection is concentrating well over the center, with a nice little ball that has kept regenerating itself overnight. Outflow continues to look healthy on the equatorial side. The poleward channel is still limited by the upper trough to the south, but has shown some improvement from yesterday.

94P has begun moving ESE in response to a weakness in the subtropical ridge as an upper longwave trough to the southeast stretches out and retrogrades westward. This movement is taking 94P right along the surface trough axis on which it resides, towards the 2nd area of low pressure to the ESE which used to be the dominant circulation 2 days ago. This area is now just a blob of low-level vorticity along the surface trough, and 94P's newfound movement is closing the gap between the two, which can be seen in the animation below. If 94P can easily absorb the energy and assimilate the 2nd low, then it will greatly aid the system's chances of development.

The only real hindering factor environmentally will be wind shear, as the subtropical jet is pressing north all the way to 10S, and could impose strong westerly shear if 94P moves too far south too quickly.

Overall...94P looks the most organized that it has so far, and I expect gradual development to continue over the next 5 days as the system moves slowly east to southeastward.




850mb vorticity for the past 15 hours:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
hey guys take a look at this
19 feb 2010

19 feb 2009
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Quoting Motttt:


So what's your point??????
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Morning guys,
Sorry about being late I got sick but don't worry I'm alot better than yesterday.

I am sure this hurricane season will be a head turner. I think that we will have storm tracks like 2004 and numbers like 2005 the way things are setting up.
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!

442: I hope you get that snow! And yeah, this hurricane season doesn't look likely to be nearly as inactive as last year... And during this active period I don't think there has been 2 inactive years in a row.

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Update on the winter storm for the south in my blog in post 14.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
This may be a little off from the hurricane season conversation, but... The GFS is predicting yet another major southern snow storm on March 2-March 3.

Link

It's also still hanging on to the possible TX snow on Tuesday.


The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season is going to be alot more active than last year. I believe you will see:

13-15 named Tropical Systems
6 Hurricanes
3 CAT 3 or higher storms

Although I am not a meteorologist, I have been following weather for about 41 yrs.

The snow event for 2/23/10 for the Dallas-Ft Worth, TX area has the ability to set an all time season snowfall record. All we need is about 2" and the NCEP/HPC are mentioning 1-3" of snow for this Tuesday :0).
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This may be a little off from the hurricane season conversation, but... The GFS is predicting yet another major southern snow storm on March 2-March 3.

Link

It's also still hanging on to the possible TX snow on Tuesday.
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PROBABILISTIC HEAVY SNOW AND ICING DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
421 AM EST SAT FEB 20 2010

VALID 12Z SAT FEB 20 2010 - 12Z TUE FEB 23 2010

SOUTHERN ROCKIES/SOUTHERN HIGH PLAINS...
CHANNELED ZONAL FLOW FROM PACIFIC CUTS EASTWARD ACROSS AZ/NM ON
DAY 3...WITH MID-LEVEL SHORTWAVE INTERACTING WITH DEEPENING
UPSLOPE FLOW COMPONENT ALONG TX/NM BORDER. BROAD AXIS OF H85-H7
FRONTOGENESIS WILL BE THE FOCUS FOR SNOWFALL AT LOWER ELEVATIONS
OF TEXAS AND FAR WESTERN OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES AND MUCH OF NEW
MEXICO WITH OROGRAPHICS ASSOCIATED THE THE MID-LEVEL SHORTWAVE
DELIVERING 4-8 INCH SNOWFALLS TO HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF EASTERN
ARIZONA...NEW MEXICO AND SOUTHERN COLORADO. LIGHT OVERRUNNING
PRECIPITATION IN THE FORM OF SNOW ADVECTS INTO NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS
AND SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY MORNING WITH
1-3 INCHES ANTICIPATED BY DAYBREAK TUESDAY.


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Here's my prediction on the areas to be affected by the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season:


Places to be at high risk of hurricane impact:

Florida
The Carolinas
Lower Northeast of the US
Cuba
Lesser Antilles
Honduras and Nicaragua
Puerto Rico
Bahamas
Jamaica

Places to be at moderate risk:

Hispanola
Yucatan Peninsula
Gulf Coast
Upper New England
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland
Venezuela

Places unusual for tropical storms to be at a significant risk:

Bermuda
Labrador
Costa Rica and Panama
Brazil and Uruguay (south Atlantic)
Mediterranean coasts (off-basin)
Spain and Portugal
British Isles and France
Scandinavia and Iceland
Southern Greenland
Morocco and Western Sahara
Mauritania and Senegal
Cape Verde and Canary Islands
Azores
Guyana and Suriname
Maine and New Brunswick
Tehuantepec to Campeche region
New Jersey
Georgia state
Chesapeake Bay
California (Pacific)
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438. JRRP
Quoting Levi32:


These are even scarier...

EUROSIP multi-model seasonal forecasts for the period May-June-July for MSLP, Precip, and 2m Temp, in that order:






O o
well........
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Quoting StormW:


I hear ya Levi...I've been waiting for some type of indication of how the western Sahel rainfall will pan out...looks like we have some early idea. As we sorta know (per se) the state of SST's and forecast NAO, one of the big factors will be the rainfall in that area, for an idea of how much SAL we may see, or not see.


Yes, if Sahel rainfall ends up being normal or above normal, I think we can definitely expect some classic long-track Cape Verde hurricanes this year.

On that note...it looks like we may be preparing to go into a predominantly positive phase of the Sahel rainfall index over the next 30 years.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


It looks like the Caribbean season will be open by June, and the Cape Verde season shortly after that. Also expect some tropical storms hitting Africa or Europe.


Well SSTs alone do not guarantee that. Special steering currents are needed to turn a tropical wave back on its native country. Also, if cold waters north of 35N remain cold during the season, then that could hamper a storm reaching Europe with tropical characteristics.

Overall...the pattern is setting up to be an active year in the deep tropical breeding grounds. We will probably see lots of classic, long-track storms, and depending on the steering pattern, some or a lot of these could make it west of 60W and become a problem.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
Quoting Levi32:


These are even scarier...

EUROSIP multi-model seasonal forecasts for the period May-June-July for MSLP, Precip, and 2m Temp, in that order:







It looks like the Caribbean season will be open by June, and the Cape Verde season shortly after that. Also expect some tropical storms hitting Africa or Europe.
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Look how small the <20C zone of the Humboldt has shunk. Three days ago this zone was more than double its present size. It looks like as one hemisphere warms the cool ocean currents there are getting disrupted and it looks like the same could occur in the northern summer but in the North Atlantic this is already occuring.

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Another upper level storm system bringing unseasonably cold air coupled with an increase in moisture will bring periods of rain. The rain will mix with and change to snow north of a line from Caldwell to Trinity late Tuesday afternoon. Further south, it will be mainly rain with a transition to rain and snow before ending Tuesday night. Coastal areas will receive a very cold rain. The depth of the cold air is marginal and even a small degree of warming or cooling could have a significant impact on snow amounts.
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Quoting StormW:


I don't like the looks of that...at all


These are even scarier...

EUROSIP multi-model seasonal forecasts for the period May-June-July for MSLP, Precip, and 2m Temp, in that order:





Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
Quoting FatPenguin:
- Finally, attack the messengers. That one has been happening since the beginning, but it's really heating up lately because why?

Says the guy whose entire post is a thinly veiled attack of the messengers....
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428. JRRP

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AMEN!!!!!APOCALYPSE-INDUCED MISANTHROPIC ENVIROMENTAL NERVOUSNESS!!!
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Today's 12Z NAM, 850MB temps/6 hr precip.
For 72HRS out at 6AM CST TU 2/23/10:


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Quoting FatPenguin:
For those of you who are confused about the debate, go back and research the "debates" about CFCs damaging the ozone layer, or the "debate" about cigarettes not causing cancer.

There's a common thread. The majority of scientists eventually agreed with the peer-reviewed papers (as is the case now) while the opposition would scatter shoot from all over the place and grab onto whatever they could like a drowning man. More importantly, the opposition was not coming from a scientific viewpoint, but from an economic one. Look at who funded & supported the opposition.

CFCs : CFC manufacturers like DuPont
Smoking : Tobacco industry
GW : Fossil fuel industry

They had lots of money and lots of lawyers. It's understandable that these industries fought the science. It was self preservation and it bought them time to adjust their long term business strategies. However, eventually the science won out.

Here's a rough timeline of the "debate."

- GW not happening (back in the 1980s)
- GW not happening, it's heat island effect (1990s)
- GW not happening, it's a problem with the data and or measuring stations (2005-2010)
- GW happening, but it's natural and short term (2005-2010)
- GW happening, but it's solar radience (this was dispelled even before the quiet solar year of 2009, but last year reinforced the incorrect theory of solar radience)
- Finally, attack the messengers. That one has been happening since the beginning, but it's really heating up lately because why? Because the temps are literally heating up.
Well then, there you go. Debate resolved. Thank GOD you're here!
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
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For those of you who are confused about the debate, go back and research the "debates" about CFCs damaging the ozone layer, or the "debate" about cigarettes not causing cancer.

There's a common thread. The majority of scientists eventually agreed with the peer-reviewed papers (as is the case now) while the opposition would scatter shoot from all over the place and grab onto whatever they could like a drowning man. More importantly, the opposition was not coming from a scientific viewpoint, but from an economic one. Look at who funded & supported the opposition.

CFCs : CFC manufacturers like DuPont
Smoking : Tobacco industry
GW : Fossil fuel industry

They had lots of money and lots of lawyers. It's understandable that these industries fought the science. It was self preservation and it bought them time to adjust their long term business strategies. However, eventually the science won out.

Here's a rough timeline of the "debate."

- GW not happening (back in the 1980s)
- GW not happening, it's heat island effect (1990s)
- GW not happening, it's a problem with the data and or measuring stations (2005-2010)
- GW happening, but it's natural and short term (2005-2010)
- GW happening, but it's solar radience (this was dispelled even before the quiet solar year of 2009, but last year reinforced the incorrect theory of solar radience)
- Finally, attack the messengers. That one has been happening since the beginning, but it's really heating up lately because why? Because the temps are literally heating up.
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Quoting 969mlb:
this is my favorite weather site and i never post but enjoy reading every ones ideals on upcomming weather events. but this global warming war of words is not very civil. every one seems to have picked a side. i dont no which side is correct. there are all these graphs that show a trend. however most weather data is only from the last 70 years. a very short time in the history of the world. i know scientests us other scources to go back much farther. like tree rings, ice boarings and such. i would have to agree that humans activitys in the last 100 years are doing something to our atmosphere. i still dont know how to be sure about which side to be on. people who love the weather are almost always a nice group of folks.it would be nice if everyone would respect each others views. the way computers and technology are advanceing so rapidly i think in the next 30 years there will be things we cant even imagine now that can be done to reverse warming if it is occuring. thanks

Your in the same boat as me.
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Why does the moisture dissipate after it hits Louisiana?
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this is my favorite weather site and i never post but enjoy reading every ones ideals on upcomming weather events. but this global warming war of words is not very civil. every one seems to have picked a side. i dont no which side is correct. there are all these graphs that show a trend. however most weather data is only from the last 70 years. a very short time in the history of the world. i know scientests us other scources to go back much farther. like tree rings, ice boarings and such. i would have to agree that humans activitys in the last 100 years are doing something to our atmosphere. i still dont know how to be sure about which side to be on. people who love the weather are almost always a nice group of folks.it would be nice if everyone would respect each others views. the way computers and technology are advanceing so rapidly i think in the next 30 years there will be things we cant even imagine now that can be done to reverse warming if it is occuring. thanks
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Ooh, warmest January on record, I better check this out.

So I read the post and it looks like in just about every place where reliable measures of temperature can be gathered U.S., U.K., Russia, China, Aust.)....it's colder than usual or at least average.

I'm no climatologists, but I also don't start with my conclusion and then fit the data in around it.

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NCEP Shhort Term Forecast Loop Map
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GFS 06Z Run, 84 hrs 2-23-10 Surface Map
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Quoting Ossqss:
Nice time-lapse :)




This one focus on the open seaway.

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
It appears that the northeast is in for a nor-easter mon-tues. Any ideas how strong a storm system?
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19. february
Hurricane Season 2010: Tropical Cyclone Gelane (Southern Indian Ocean)
Small and Mighty Cyclone Gelane Reaches Category Four Strength
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2010/h2010_Gelane.html
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
Nice time-lapse :)



Interesting read from NASA's JPL - 2-18-2010 !

Missing 'Ice Arches' Contributed to 2007 Arctic Ice Loss -from JPL


It's about the imagery on this one and not the title..



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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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