Globe has 1st or 2nd warmest March on record; El Niño fades to weak category

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:20 PM GMT on April 16, 2010

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The globe recorded its warmest March since record keeping began in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Climatic Data Center. The March temperature anomaly of 0.77°C (1.39°F) beat the previous record set in 2002 by 0.03°C. The last time the globe had a record warmest month was in January 2007 (according to NOAA) or in November 2009 (according to NASA). NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated March 2010 the second warmest March on record, 0.01°C behind the record set in 2002. The year-to-date period, January - March, is the 4th warmest such period on record, according to NOAA, and the warmest on record, according to NASA. March 2010 global ocean temperatures were the warmest on record, while land temperatures were the 4th warmest. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest on record in March, according to both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) groups. The March temperature anomaly of 0.66°C was the third highest monthly anomaly on record, behind the 0.76°C anomalies measured in February and April of 1998.

For those interested, NCDC has a page of notable weather highlights from March 2010.


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

A warm March for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., it was the 32nd warmest March in the 116-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. For the third month in a row, Florida was the coldest state, relative to average. It was Florida's 4th coldest March. No other state had a top-ten coldest March. Rhode Island had its warmest March on record, and thirteen other states had a top-ten warmest March, including all of New England, plus Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Montana.

U.S. precipitation and drought
For the contiguous U.S., March 2010 ranked as the 35th driest in the 116-year record. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Montana recorded a top-ten driest March. However, all-time March precipitation records were set in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. New Hampshire and Connecticut each had a top-five wettest March. At the end of March, 2.0% of the contiguous United States was in severe-to-exceptional drought. This is the lowest March drought footprint in the U.S. in the past ten years.


Figure 2. Computer model forecasts of El Niño/La Niña made in April. The forecasts that go above the red line at +0.5°C denote El Niño conditions; -0.5°C to +0.5°C denote neutral conditions, and below -0.5°C denote La Niña conditions. No computer models predict El Niño conditions and six predict La Niña for the upcoming hurricane season (ASO, August-September-October). The rest of the models predict neutral conditions. Image credit: Columbia University's IRI.

El Niño fades from moderate to weak
El Niño slowly weakened during late March and early April, and El Niño conditions crossed the threshold from moderate to weak during the past two weeks. Sea surface temperatures over the tropical Eastern Pacific in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", were at 0.83°C above average on April 11, which is just below the 1.0°C threshold to be considered a moderate El Niño, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Anomalously strong westerly winds along the Equator that had helped maintain the current El Niño slackened in late March, and winds are now near average over the Equatorial Pacific. It now appears very likely that El Niño will be gone by hurricane season. None of the sixteen El Niño models (updated as of April 15) are predicting El Niño will be around during the height of hurricane season (August-September-October); six are predicting La Niña conditions for hurricane season. The expected demise of El Niño, coupled with sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic that are currently at record levels, have prompted two major hurricane forecasting groups (tropicalstormrisk.com and Colorado State University) to predict a well-above average 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

March sea ice extent in the Arctic 5th lowest on record
March 2010 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 5th lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979. Ice extent was lower than in 2009 and 2008, but greater than in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The weather pattern over the Arctic during much of March 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, and the Arctic lost less ice this winter compared to the previous few years. The larger amount of multi-year ice could help more ice to survive the summer melt season. However, this replenishment consists primarily of younger, two- to three-year-old multi-year ice; the thickest ice more than three years old has continued to decline.

Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano continues to disrupt European air travel
The Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Iceland erupted Wednesday, sending a towering cloud of volcanic ash 6 - 11 km (20,000 - 36,000') high in the air from its 1666 meter (5500') high peak. The ash cloud continues to cause a dramatic interruption of air traffic over much of northern Europe today, and this disruption will spread southwards and eastwards as the ash cloud gradually spreads and disperses. For the latest forecasts of where the ash cloud is expected to go, consult the UKMET Office. The Norwegian Institute for Air Research runs a computer trajectory model called FLEXPART that has longer, 3-day forecasts. The FLEXPART model shows that ash will continue to be a problem for much of Europe through Tuesday. Spain and Portugal look like the best bet to have airports that will stay open. An excellent source of links of information on the eruption is available at http://islande2010.mbnet.fr/2010/04/eyjafjallajok ul-links-liens-a-propos-de-leyjafjallajokul/. My post on Thursday discusses the likely non-impact of this eruption on Earth's climate.


Figure 3. Forecast extent of the plume from the Iceland volcano with the unpronounceable name. Forecast was made at 17 UTC Saturday, April 17, 2010, and is valid for 12 UTC Tuesday, April 20, 2010. Image credit: Norwegian Institute for Air Research.

Jeff Masters

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1461. beell
Freeway Traffic outside of Chicago with a warm low-level inversion in place.





Link


It is in the piney woods. Lotsa trees near the site...but, no, none (obviously) in the middle of Lake P.

Exactly-nothing but the bridge for miles and miles-flat as a pancake.

Goodnight folks.
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It is almost 11:00 PM in Gainesville, FL & we haven't seen a drop of rain all day. It was an overcast day but I expected tha GOM low to bring us some rain.
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1457. Levi32
Quoting bappit:
1448

People knew the earth was round for a long time. The myth of flat earthers in Columbus' time seems to be a flat earther myth.

The biggest problem Columbus faced in getting support was that his estimates of the earth's circumference were way too small and everyone knew it. But the Italian guy got lucky and ran into land before he starved.


You call it a myth now, but it was religion then. And they threw Galileo into house-arrest for daring to challenge the "scientific fact" that the universe rotated around the earth as a center-point. Well.....the rest is history.
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1456. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
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1455. bappit
1448

People knew the earth was round for a long time. The myth of flat earthers in Columbus' time seems to be a flat earther myth.

The biggest problem Columbus faced in getting support was that his estimates of the earth's circumference were way too small and everyone knew it. But the Italian guy got lucky and ran into land before he starved.
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1450. Levi32 9:49 PM CDT on April 18, 2010
Thanks for the info... :)
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Quoting centex:
Glad to when he stops his anti science post. He acts like the best minds are still debatable, an issue which died 10 years ago. Issues which died long ago should no longer be debated hear.

I haven't made a post about the subject which makes you so emotional in a solid month. Tired of the attitudes that come up when discussing a subject in which the data cannot prove not disprove anything at all.

There are some folks here that can talk about it without the affliction of treating people badly, though. And I do sometime enjoy those.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1452. Grothar
Quoting RTLSNK:


Yeah I know, he had really long hair too!

Say hi to that cute red haired nurse for me, she is the one that told me about the "Plexidectomy". LOL


They can't operate, too far up! LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
1451. Patrap
O yeah..itsa raining here now.

Sheesh
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
1450. Levi32
Quoting ajcamsmom2:
1427. Levi32 9:28 PM CDT on April 18, 2010
The CFS also has us going much colder overall globally by the beginning of the northern hemisphere winter. Most noticable is the turn to cold in the arctic.

Do you think it could have anything to do with the volcano in Iceland? It is said to be spewing Ice everwhere and melting all the remaining Ice around it. Wouldn't that tend to cool the waters, coupled with the dust clouds from it keeping the full force of the sun coming thru?


The models can't see the ash, so that's not why. The volcano may have an effect, but so far I doubt much of one, as this eruption is not the major weather-altering kind. The ash did not get up into the stratosphere, and hence won't get trapped and be able to both absorb and block sunlight.
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1449. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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1448. Levi32
Quoting centex:
Glad to when he stops his anti science post. He acts like the best minds are still debatable, an issue which died 10 years ago. Issues which died long ago should no longer be debated hear.


That's what they said back when we thought the world was flat, and the earth was the center of the rotating universe. The majority is wrong the majority of the time.....as a wise man once said. Let's not shun the people who are actually willing to risk their careers and reputations to be objective scientists, okay?

Again, you're acting amazingly protective.....and a bit over-excited at one or two people who challenge something which you say is utterly undeniable and fool-proof to disproof. If that is so, why panic? Afraid a couple of "heretics" are going to ruin your world?
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Quoting beell:


How many places have a clear view of a huge lake from their radar site? Not many buildings or trees in the way. The bridge reflects well. Heck there may even be some kind of low level inversion over the lake to duct the beam downwards at times

It is in the piney woods. Lotsa trees near the site...but, no, none (obviously) in the middle of Lake P.

The inversion? Well, ummm, maybe that's it. It really does show only when the VCP is set for nearby storms, not clear-sky modes.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting atmoaggie:
Hey, does anyone else see bridges, regularly, on their local radar?

Key West?
San Francisco?
Houston/Galveston?
Norfolk?
Boston?

You can sometimes see the Galveston Causeway on the Houston radar.
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1445. RTLSNK
Quoting Grothar:


Yo, I will be at the VA in Oakland Park tomorrow from about 10:00 TO 3:00. They have to take care of us old veterans you know. By the way, Attila the Hun wasn't as tough as people say. LOL


Yeah I know, he had really long hair too!

Say hi to that cute red haired nurse for me, she is the one that told me about the "Plexidectomy". LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1427. Levi32 9:28 PM CDT on April 18, 2010
The CFS also has us going much colder overall globally by the beginning of the northern hemisphere winter. Most noticable is the turn to cold in the arctic.

Do you think it could have anything to do with the volcano in Iceland? It is said to be spewing Ice everwhere and melting all the remaining Ice around it. Wouldn't that tend to cool the waters, coupled with the dust clouds from it keeping the full force of the sun coming thru?
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While I was railing on Tax Day and the sinking of the Titanic on April 15….I was ignorant as it it was also the anniversary of President Lincoln’s assassination. Stupid on my part.

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Quoting Patrap:


Of course not..were special.

Didnt you see Treme' tonight atmo?

Nah. I've been curious about that one, but I just generally don't turn on the TV.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1441. bappit
so the mirror effect is .... ? Elucidate me.
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Quoting centex:

and one who calls names should be questioned also
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1439. centex
Quoting Levi32:


I think you should tone down the personal attacks. Atmo happens to not be just a common amateur, and I am exceedingly glad that there are some truly objective viewers of data like him on here. If you really believe that what you believe is so perfectly flawless and fool-proof to disproof, absolutely beyond dispute, then I don't see why you feel the need to make such a valiant effort to purge us "heretics" from this one blog, a word which you can't even spell lol.
Glad to when he stops his anti science post. He acts like the best minds are still debatable, an issue which died 10 years ago. Issues which died long ago should no longer be debated hear.
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1438. Patrap
Relax folks,,its a well documented anomaly from the "Mirror effect" outta the Slidell Radar..happens all the frigging time.

Unless some tink a Island popped up in da Lake.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
1437. beell
Quoting atmoaggie:
Hey, does anyone else see bridges, regularly, on their local radar?

Key West?
San Francisco?
Houston/Galveston?
Norfolk?
Boston?


How many places have a clear view of a huge lake from their radar site? Not many buildings or trees in the way. The bridge reflects well. Heck there may even be some kind of low level inversion over the lake to duct the beam downwards at times
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1436. bappit
No bridges on radar in Houston. The Causeway is an anomaly. What does the radar pick up? Since the Causeway is so low I doubt it is the structure itself.
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1435. Patrap
Quoting atmoaggie:
Hey, does anyone else see bridges, regularly, on their local radar?

Key West?
San Francisco?
Houston/Galveston?
Norfolk?
Boston?


Of course not..were special.

Didnt you see Treme' tonight atmo?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
1434. Levi32
Quoting bappit:
Damn, hurricane season isn't over--ummm, hasn't begun--and Levi is onto next winter. Hard to keep up with that.


Hey, that's the beauty of the weather. There are already some things we can know about next winter.
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1433. Patrap
Quoting Grothar:


Yo, I will be at the VA in Oakland Park tomorrow from about 10:00 TO 3:00. They have to take care of us old veterans you know. By the way, Attila the Hun wasn't as tough as people say. LOL


Be nice to the Phlebotomy lady....,and dont mention civil service.

I did but I think I got away with it..
And for sure dont mention the "War".
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Hey, does anyone else see bridges, regularly, on their local radar?

Key West?
San Francisco?
Houston/Galveston?
Norfolk?
Boston?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1431. bappit
Damn, hurricane season isn't over--ummm, hasn't begun--and Levi is onto next winter. Hard to keep up with that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1430. Grothar
Quoting RTLSNK:
2,200 Years? Heck, Grothar is older than that! :)


Yo, I will be at the VA in Oakland Park tomorrow from about 10:00 TO 3:00. They have to take care of us old veterans you know. By the way, Attila the Hun wasn't as tough as people say. LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
1429. Levi32
Quoting centex:
atmoaggie is a disease and should be called out for his blatant lack of regard for science. He believes the experts are wrong and tries to make you think he is the expert. Just a warning to take what he says with a big grain of salt. I don't want to shame bloggers who add value and take the time to post insightful entries but ones who ignore science should be questioned


I think you should tone down the personal attacks. Atmo happens to not be just a common amateur, and I am exceedingly glad that there are some truly objective viewers of data like him on here. If you really believe that what you believe is so perfectly flawless and fool-proof to disproof, absolutely beyond dispute, then I don't see why you feel the need to make such a valiant effort to purge us "heretics" from this one blog, a word which you can't even spell lol.
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1428. bappit
That temp map needs to show the oceans, too. They seem to make up a large portion of the globe. That same model is predicting a quick change to a la nina, too. Seems to be an outlier.
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1427. Levi32
The CFS also has us going much colder overall globally by the beginning of the northern hemisphere winter. Most noticable is the turn to cold in the arctic.

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1426. bappit
Like winter hasn't left.
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1424. Levi32
Check out how cold the globe turns by this winter according to the Japanese climate model.

June-August:



December-February:


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1423. bappit
Cool, some rain. Patrap is benefiting now.
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Bappit how was the weather today at your location?
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
1421. Patrap
Seems the Ol Boundary is gonna fester thru the Nightime Hours beel..

Cool..I can keep the A/C off
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
1420. bappit
hello Alex
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1419. beell
.20° beam angle elevation



1.0° beam angle elevation

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Hey bappit!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
1417. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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1416. bappit
Hey, misanthrope, I think you are a dumb, idiot.

Oh, just putting some meaningless words out there. Don't take it personal. ;)

edit: fyi I'm just posting a parody of an earlier post.
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1415. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:

I guess I should expect you couldn't take good-natured needling. Oh well.

Maybe I'll get exposed to some science someday, if I could be some fortunate.


Hey atmo, maybe you should think about a career in science, instead of spending all your time going to all those science conventions I see you at and lectures you give. Who knew you were anti science? LOL Must come as a surprise to your colleagues.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting help4u:
Ultra man needs to read his bible.Earth is not that old.


Very true. I've watched many of movies when man battled dinosaurs.
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1413. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting help4u:
Ultra man needs to read his bible.Earth is not that old.
first rule don't believe everything you read
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Quoting atmoaggie:

I guess I should expect you couldn't take good-natured needling. Oh well.

Maybe I'll get exposed to some science someday, if I could be some fortunate.


I expect you have been exposed, BJ, just doesn't seem to take with folks like you.

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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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