An upside-down winter: coldest in 25 years in U.S., warmest on record in Canada

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:26 PM GMT on March 12, 2010

Share this Blog
5
+

The U.S. just experienced its coldest winter in 25 years, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The winter period December - February was the 18th coldest winter in the contiguous U.S. over the past 115 years, and the coldest since 1984 - 1985. It was also a wet winter, ranking 19th wettest. The states experiencing the coldest winters, relative to average, were Texas and Louisiana, which had their 5th coldest winters on record. Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, and South Carolina also had a top-ten coldest winter. The only state much above average was Maine, which had its 3rd warmest winter. As I discussed earlier this week, this winter's cold weather over the U.S. is largely due to the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation, which assumed its most extreme negative configuration since record keeping began in 1950. El Niño helped keep things cool from Texas to the Southeastern U.S., as well.


Figure 1. Winter temperatures for the winter of 2009 - 2010. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

A cold February in the U.S.
February temperatures were 2.2°F below average across the contiguous U.S., making it the 29th coldest February in the 115-year record. For the second month in a row, Florida was the coldest state, relative to average. Florida had its 4th coldest February on record. Seven other states had February temperatures between 5th and 8th coldest on record: Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and South Carolina. Maine had its 3rd warmest February, New Hampshire its 5th, and Washington its 6th. Precipitation across the U.S. was near average in February.

Warmest and driest winter on record in Canada
Canada had its warmest winter on record, 4.0°C (7.2°F) above average, according to Environment Canada. The previous record was 3.9°C above average, set in 2005-2006. Canada also experienced its driest winter on record this year, with precipitation 22.0% below normal. The previous driest winter was 1977-1978 (20.1% below normal). Canadian weather records go back 63 years, to 1948. David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, warned of potential "horrific" water shortages, insect infestations, and wildfires this summer due to the warm, dry winter. Phillips blamed the warm winter weather on El Niño and the severe loss of arctic sea ice last fall. The winter season in Canada has warmed, on average, by 2.5°C (4.5°F) over the past 63 years.


Figure 2. Departure of temperature from average in Canada for the winter of 2009 - 2010. Image credit: Environment Canada.

Brazilian tropical/subtropical storm named "Anita"
The South Atlantic tropical/subtropical storm we've been tracking this week has moved over colder waters and has now transitioned to a regular extratropical storm. Earlier this week, the storm became just the 7th tropical or subtropical cyclone on record in the South Atlantic. According to a statement put out by MetSul Meteorologia, a Brazilian weather company, this storm is now named "Tropical Storm Anita:"

The regional weather centers and the private weather enterprises of both Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, southernmost Brazilian states, in a joint decision, named Anita the rare tropical storm of March 9th and 10th in the coastal areas of the region. The name was chosen considering a historic figure of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, both states affected by the tropical cyclone. Anita Garibaldi (1821-1849) was a heroine of the Farroupilha Revolution (1835-1845), one of the most important events in the Brazilian history that took place in the Southern part of the country. Anita was used in the past to designate tropical cyclones in other basins: North Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

Next week, we need to keep an eye on northeastern Australia, where Tropical Cyclone 20 may pay a visit. The storm is under light shear and warm waters, and is forecast to increase to Category 4 strength by Monday. Also of concern is Tropical Cyclone 19, which is expected to hit Fiji as a Category 2 storm early next week.

First tornado death of the year for the U.S
A tornado that hit Cleburne, Arkansas on Wednesday caused three serious injuries and the tornado season's first fatality, a 79-year old man sheltering in his single story wood-frame home. Yesterday, a suspected tornado ripped through Haines City, Florida destroying four condos and damaging fifteen others. One person was injured. Two other tornadoes caused minor damage in central Florida. The severe weather outbreak continues today, as NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is forecasting a "slight" chance of severe weather over portions of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. After today, the severe weather action should diminish for at least five days over the U.S. The major U.S. weather story this weekend will be flooding in the Mid-Atlantic, where heavy rains of up to four inches are expected. Soils are already saturated and the heavy snows from this winter's major snowstorms will also melt, likely creating moderate flooding problems over much of the Mid-Atlantic.

Links to follow:
Interactive tornado map
Severe weather page


Figure 3. Severe weather forecast for today from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center.

Jeff Masters

Tornado, Saline County, AR (waltdsgirl)
Tornado, Saline County, AR
deluge of rain... (happytobealive)
We drove west on I-10 today and this is what we encountered near Live Oak, Florida. We pulled to the side of the road for a time because the rain was more than the wipers could clear for safe driving.
deluge of rain...
wind damage (Openmike)
Wind tore the awning from a business on U.S. 19 between Crystal River and Homassaa Springs, Fl., Thursday afternoon. Severe stroms hammered the area, causing wind damage and flooding. A tornado was reported, by a trained spotter, about ten miles South of this location. Check the series for more storm and flood pictures.
wind damage

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 738 - 688

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16Blog Index


150300Z POSITION NEAR 12.9S 159.3E.
TROPICAL CYCLONE (TC) 20P (ULUI), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 425 NM WEST-
NORTHWEST OF VANUATU, HAS TRACKED WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD AT 05 KTS OVER
THE PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED INFRARED IMAGERY SHOWS THE SYSTEM HAS
MAINTAINED CONVECTIVE BANDING WRAPPING INTO A LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION
CENTER WITH A 25 NM EYE. CURRENT INTENSITY IS BASED ON PGTW AND KNES
DVORAK INTENSITY ESTIMATES OF 130 KNOTS. UPPER LEVEL ANALYSIS
INDICATES TC 20P HAS SUSTAINED A MESOSCALE ANTICYCLONE ALOFT THAT
ENHANCING GOOD RADIAL OUTFLOW ESPECIALLY ON THE WESTERN SEMI-CIRCLE
IN AN AREA OF LOW VERTICAL WIND SHEAR (VWS). TC 20P IS CURRENTLY
TRACKING ON THE NORTHERN PERIPHERY OF THE SUBTROPICAL STEERING RIDGE
IN AN AREA OF HIGH OCEAN HEAT CONTENT AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH TAU
24. TC ULUI WILL THEN BEGIN TO TURN SOUTHWARD AS THE SUBTROPICAL
RIDGE (STR)WEAKENS WITH THE APPROACH OF A MID-LATITUDE TROUGH AND A
NEAR EQUATORIAL RIDGE (NER) TO THE NORTHEAST BUILDS. BY TAU 72, THE
STR WILL BUILD BACK IN AND TURN THE SYSTEM SOUTHWESTWARD. THE CURRENT
INTENSITY WILL PREVAIL WITH THE FAVORABLE CONDITIONS MENTIONED ABOVE
BUT WILL BEGIN TO DECREASE AFTER TAU 36 AS IT ENCOUNTERS HIGHER VWS.
THE AVAILABLE NUMERICAL MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT, THROUGH
TAU 36. MODEL SPREAD THEN INCREASES WITH THE TIMING AND DEGREE OF THE
TURN SOUTHWARD. GFDN, GFS, AND NOGAPS FAVOR AN EARLIER AND SHARPER
TURN TO THE SOUTHEAST PRESUMABLY DUE TO A STRONGER NER. THIS FORECAST
IS TO THE WEST OF MODEL CONSENSUS FAVORING A LESS SHARP POLEWARD
PROGRESSION. MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT 150000Z IS 29 FEET.
NEXT WARNINGS AT 151500Z AND 160300Z. REFER TO TROPICAL CYCLONE 19P
(TOMAS) WARNINGS (WTPS32 PGTW) FOR TWELVE-HOURLY UPDATES.//
NNNN
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53846
Actor Peter Graves (TV's Mission Impossilbe and the Airplane movies) passed away today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hooters, Presslord how many owls did you see. Are their wings really good to eat.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
735. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Advisory #18
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE TOMAS (14F)
12:00 PM FST March 15 2010
======================================

For Wallis and Futuna
======================
A GALE WARNING IS IN FORCE FOR FUTUNA.

A STRONG WIND WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR WALLIS.


For Fiji and Rotuma
====================
A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR EASTERN HALF OF VANUA LEVU, CIKOBIA, TAVEUNI, RABI, KIOA, YACATA, KORO, GAU, BATIKI, NAIRAI, WAKAYA, MAKOGAI AND NEARBY SMALLER ISLANDS.

A STORM WARNING IS IN FORCE FOR THE REST OF VANUA LEVU, OVALAU, LAKEBA, VANUA BALAVU, MOALA,MATUKU,TOTOYA, CICIA AND NEARBY SMALLER
ISLANDS.

A GALE WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR THE REST OF THE FIJI GROUP.


At 0:00 AM UTC, Severe Tropical Cyclone Tomas (930 hPa) located at 15.5S 179.4W has 10 minute sustained winds of 95 knots. Position GOOD based on hourly GMS/GOES enhanced infrared radar/visible imagery with animation. The cyclone is reported as moving south at 5 knots.

Hurricane Force Winds
=====================
40 NM from the center

Storm Force Winds
=================
60 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
================
150 NM from the center

Cyclone has intensified over the last 12 hours. Cyclone lies over a weakly sheared and diffluent environment. Sea surface temperature is 30C. System steered southerly by the deep layer mean flow.

Dvorak analysis based on DT of 5.5

Dvorak Intensity: T5.5/5.5/D1.0/24HRS

Consensus of the global models agree on southerly track and intensification, but the cyclone is expected to move into a increasingly sheared environment and weaken south of 20S.

Forecast and Intensity
========================
12 HRS: 16.7S 179.4W - 100 knots (CAT 4)
24 HRS: 18.0S 179.5W - 105 knots (CAT 4)
48 HRS: 22.5S 177.8W - 50 knots (CAT 2)

The Next Tropical Disturbance Advisory On TC TOMAS Will Be Issued At Around 8:30 AM UTC...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I thought Saint Augustine was the earliest city in the U.S. 1516. Somebody named Ponce De Leon. Am I off buy a century I hope not.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Australian ENSO forecasts are continuing to trend downward (blue dashed lines are the latest runs, red dashed lines are older). The POAMA shows a more conservative forecast, similar to the CFS, taking us to central-neutral conditions by August.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Dan...we weren't sure where we were gonna light that day...sorry i missed the mullet...had to suffer through Hooter's instead...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
not just Jambalaya...it was the best dadgummed Jambalya ever...


If you had let me know you were coming, you could have had the best dadgummed mullet ever. (Yes we eat it here, and love it. A benefit of sand on the bottom of our waters and not mud.)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
not just Jambalaya...it was the best dadgummed Jambalya ever...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For those not aware, Pensacola was the first settlement by Europeans in America. Hurricane spoiled things though and scared the Spanish away for over 130 years before they came back.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Do you ever eat peanut and jelly or bologna sandwiches?


..Ask presslord,never

..why we shared a Meal Tuesday next to St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans,..I had the Shrimp Creole and Press had,..Jambalaya I think


We ate here

Menu,
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
very cool Dan
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Why,..Im Eating blue crawfish Boiled with my Solar Oven usually with a Cool,or tepid beer nowadays..





Do you ever eat peanut and jelly or bologna sandwiches?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
724. JRRP
Quoting altesticstorm10:
If global warming occurs it's a natural earthly cycle stage that has occurred on this planet in the past and will occur again, the same goes for global cooling. On the other hand -- anthropogenic global warming is a political hoax issued by U.S. left-wing propagandists that blames humans, who are not as worldly powerful as these mentally slanted liberals want you to believe, for the earth's "warming stage" or "trend". It's not science, it's a hoax.

THE END.

Back to the tropics.

Any predictions for shear this season?

something like this?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
Pensacola Beach, FL: site of the first Catholic mass in the US held by Spanish sailors upon their arrival there...


I don't know if you saw "the Cross" on top of a sane dune while you were here. That is symbolic of the first mass after Don Tristan DeLuna landed. This dune was fenced off "to protect the dunes", a big thing in the 70's. Shortly thereafter dunes next to it were bulldozed for construction. That was the beginning of the long fight over what direction the beach would head. It all started with hypocrisy and good old boy politics. I think we are fortunate that there have been those who have fought so hard to keep our beach accessible. The Cross, has kind of always been a symbol of the beginning of it all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Current wind shear anomalies:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Why,..Im Eating blue crawfish Boiled with my Solar Oven usually with a Cool,or tepid beer nowadays..



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
So what is everybody doing?
Action: Quote | Ignore User

distilling my own whiskey...please don't tell the revenuers...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tropical Cyclone Tomas's eyewall is beginning to affect Fiji:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting altesticstorm10:
So the shear is below average. Doom!



Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53846
Stop the snowball fights over the science of global warming.

Other countries (notably China) are quietly going about building the infrastructure needed to be leaders in the new, clean energy economy.

"What is your carbon footprint and what are you doing to reduce it"? (question of my 11 year old daughter to a panel of "experts" at a major university at a Focus the Nation event, January 31, 2008).

Only the IPCC representative had a credible answer (he takes the bus to work and only flies twice a year for his work).

The rest were platinum frequent fliers who admitted they are doing nothing.

So what is everybody doing?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Its always the same "March Madness" here as in NCAA Round Ball.

Things will start slowly,ramp up Late July and from Mid Aug-Early October we will have the Meat of the Large CV storms to contend with.

The pattern changes some from year to year,as to Numbers,but within it..every year,is the default setting as to whats expected.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Quoting Grothar:


Another bit of Trivia before I sign off. The part of Rhett Butler in "Gone with the Wind" was written with Groucho Marx in mind for the part. Author Mitchell was very disappointed when he wasn'st chosen.


Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. Now guess the secret word. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Pensacola Beach, FL: site of the first Catholic mass in the US held in 1559 by Spanish sailors upon their arrival there...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Agree Pat...predicting shear 3-4 months out is not logical...Read some of posts in the archives from a year ago. Yikes!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
Dan...it's not nearly as over developed as some of the other Gulf Coasst beaches...we stayed at the hampton Inn...was really quite nice...


That's what I like about it. The fight is still on though, different developers wanting to do various things, us old timers who remembers the old affordable cinder block beach houses, those trying to build it up as expensive 2500" sq ft beach houses... We have spent the last 30 years trying to decide what kind of tourist traffic we want to cater to. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gordydunnot:
Patrap enjoyed your you tube Betsey post. Nice to see my childhood idle mentioned early in the story. I guess only the few have a clue about this season as for me I'll wait and see, but do enjoy there discussions. I want to wait and see the ull's breakup that have been over the western Atlantic the last few seasons.Although as we all know it only takes one.



Numbers are fun and something some must have to quantify a season..

Me,..well,if ya cant tell me where and when,..its all MOOT.

Preparation is the Only sure bet to have a edge on the unpredictable Atlantic Hurricane Season.


And the one you mention could have someone 's Zip this year
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
A little trivia...Abbot and Costello, along with Groucho Marx couldn't stand the Three Stooges.


Another bit of Trivia before I sign off. The part of Rhett Butler in "Gone with the Wind" was written with Groucho Marx in mind for the part. Author Mitchell was very disappointed when he wasn'st chosen.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26153
Quoting altesticstorm10:
Any predictions for shear this season?


Well shear is already lower than normal across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean, and neutral to weak La Nina conditions are expected during most of the hurricane season. This generally favors a weaker subtropical jet displaced further to the north, which means less strong westerlies shearing storms and more weak equatorial ridging that is favorable for storm formation. It is hard to say for certain exactly how shear will turn out in any given year, but the general pattern so far supports lower-than-normal wind shear in the deep tropics.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Levi, Drak and Pat...Paying attention!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Shear is Like gas..it will come and go.


Predicting shear now to any individual seasons outcome isnt within the fold of modeling as far as I know.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
A little trivia...Abbot and Costello, along with Groucho Marx couldn't stand the Three Stooges.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dan...it's not nearly as over developed as some of the other Gulf Coasst beaches...we stayed at the hampton Inn...was really quite nice...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:br

He is in Indiana! Didn't you know?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26153
Patrap enjoyed your you tube Betsey post. Nice to see my childhood idle mentioned early in the story. I guess only the few have a clue about this season as for me I'll wait and see, but do enjoy their discussions. I want to wait and see the ull's breakup that have been over the western Atlantic the last few seasons.Although as we all know it only takes one.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Only 9:25 EST and still busy in here!


Someone got more sleep than they were supposed to last night.....LOL.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting presslord:
Pcola Dan...was in your lovely town a week ago tonight....stayed at Pcola Beach...loved it...it's great spot


Thankfully there are still a few sand dunes left, especially if you head east some to protected land. Between development and hurricanes, things are pretty flat now. That being said, kind of a nice place. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Check this out:
Loop

Anyway...goodnight!
Monday will come early tomorrow.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Only 9:25 EST and still busy in here!


9:25?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Pat...tell Miz T Our Lady of Guadalupe is Fats Dominoes' wifes' parish
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That would be 10:26 pm EST..LOL

Since its now 9:26 CDT

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Sorry, but the "Three Stooges" routine was not as funny as Abbott & Costello! You are giving the younger bloggers the wrong impression. They might grow up to believe that everything is a hoax and made up. We can't have that now can we?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26153
Only 9:25 EST and still busy in here!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Abbott & Costello were big Crawfish Fans too...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Quoting Grothar:


That was a good "LINK" I have to keep that for future reference. When I see the GW debates, it always reminds me of the old "Abbot & Costello routine about "Niagara Falls or "Susquehanna". The old timers will know what I mean. Maybe somewhere, somehow, someone will post a YouTube of the skit to show you how the GW debate is like that. It is really funny, you should watch it when you have time.




Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Rising Temperatures in the Midst of Heavy Snow?

The decade from 2000 to 2009 was the warmest in the modern record. "Piecing Together the Temperature Puzzle" illustrates how NASA satellites enable us to study possible causes of climate change. The video explains what role fluctuations in the solar cycle, changes in snow and cloud cover, and rising levels of heat-trapping gases may play in contributing to climate change.

For more info on NASA and Climate Change, visit:
http://climate.nasa.gov


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Quoting PcolaDan:


Talking about me behind my back again are you? ;)


Whoops! Caught again!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26153

Viewing: 738 - 688

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Light Rain
78 °F
Light Rain