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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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.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

Aha. One can see the twin spans at the beginning of that loop.


Kind of like blowing smoke on a laser beam.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1409. Patrap
Quoting atmoaggie:

But misses all those flyovers in Metairie, the high rise, the Huey, the 510, the twin spans?
I think I am going to have to ask someone in Slidell when I get the chance...

Heck the radar dome is 25 feet up and then has a 0.5 degree angle away from the earth at it's minimum. Shouldn't be seeing the south end of the Causeway, what?, 35 miles from Airport Dr in Slidell.


Downtown aint over water..well.not today at least.

Zip me a answer from dem boyz if ya hear one.
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1408. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
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.


Who knows, you might be able to make a career out of it. ;)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting Patrap:
Beel is correct..the TDRW way out west of NOLA by 40 Miles in Reserve,La. is a good way to see the boundaries interact..and the 40 frames whoops butt.


Aha. One can see the twin spans at the beginning of that loop.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1405. Levi32
The TRMM ESPI Index is nearly zero for the first time in months. The latest 30-day value is now down to 0.06, indicating a neutral ENSO signal based on precipitation patterns alone.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting centex:
Your one of the main anti science posters so I would expect this from you.

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 so fortunate.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting Patrap:


The Earth is Curved and the Slidell Radar just, "Rolls dat way I believe"...atmo.

But misses all those flyovers in Metairie, the high rise, the Huey, the 510, the twin spans?
I think I am going to have to ask someone in Slidell when I get the chance...

Heck the radar dome is 25 feet up and then has a 0.5 degree angle away from the earth at it's minimum. Shouldn't be seeing the south end of the Causeway, what?, 35 miles from Airport Dr in Slidell.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1401. beell
Quoting atmoaggie:

But we have many bridges much taller than the causeway. Do they not appear or are they just not so long and straight as to be so noticeable?


Long and straight is part of it I'm sure. And almost perfectly aligned with a relatively clutter free radial from the radar. Low beam angle (elevation) is probably the main thing.
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1400. centex
Quoting atmoaggie:

All hail centex and his impeccable grasp all things science, climate, and the written word!

(just yanking your chain...)
Your one of the main anti science posters so I would expect this from you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1398. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting centex:
Why so many post on this blog and ignore topic or think they are smater than the experts? They quote crap science, or margignal opinions and act like they are main stream. They even act like we should repect there opinion when they ignore science. Beware of these heritics, this sight is not a place for them.
for whom does the bell toll
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
1397. Patrap
Quoting atmoaggie:

But we have many bridges much taller than the causeway. Do they not appear or are they just not so long and straight as to be so noticeable?


The Earth is Curved and the Slidell Radar,being where it is in relative position to da bridge causes it I think,or the Radar just "Rolls dat way I believe"...atmo.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting centex:
Why so many post on this blog and ignore topic or think they are smater than the experts? They quote crap science, or margignal opinions and act like they are main stream. They even act like we should repect there opinion when they ignore science. Beware of these heritics, this sight is not a place for them.

All hail centex and his impeccable grasp all things science, climate, and the written word!

(just yanking your chain...)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1395. Levi32
Quoting centex:
Why so many post on this blog and ignore topic or think they are smater than the experts? They quote crap science, or margignal opinions and act like they are main stream. They even act like we should repect there opinion when they ignore science. Beware of these heritics, this sight is not a place for them.


I think we have a lot more to talk about than just the blog topic, and we are free to do so. Also, try spelling "site" and "heretic" correctly next time :)
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
1393. Patrap
Beel is correct..the TDRW way out west of NOLA by 40 Miles in Reserve,La. is a good way to see the boundaries interact..and the 40 frames whoops butt.

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Quoting PcolaDan:


Just went back and looked at that. Had never noticed it before. Strange.

Ehh, is shows on all of them sometimes...seems a bit stronger on the WU radars.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1391. centex
Why so many post on this blog and ignore topic or think they are smater than the experts? They quote crap science, or margignal opinions and act like they are main stream. They even act like we should repect there opinion when they ignore science. Beware of these heritics, this sight is not a place for them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1390. RTLSNK
2,200 Years? Heck, Grothar is older than that! :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
The Causeway Bridge,24 Miles Long across the Lake,,is 25 ft above the water line or so,..and that reflects the Radar Beam a lot under certain conditions

But we have many bridges much taller than the causeway. Do they not appear or are they just not so long and straight as to be so noticeable?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Those thunderstorms in louisiana are training on the same area there could and probably be flash flooding tonight.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
1387. beell
Can't beat the the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) 40 frame loops for meso boundaries-for 10$/yr from the WeatherUnderground.

And there is a tad of a shortwave vort or at least some weak cyclonic turning at the mid and upper levels over NOLA adding some divergence.

Link
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Quoting Grothar:
Link

Here it is again.


That is funny. You would think they would learn it properly before going on air. They are trying do break it apart pho ne tic ly without realizing that doesn't work here.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1385. Patrap
The Causeway Bridge,24 Miles Long across the Lake,,is 25 ft above the water line or so,..and that reflects the Radar Beam a lot under certain conditions
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1384. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
Quoting atmoaggie:

Still weird how you can "see" the Causeway bridge in the WU radar so well.


Just went back and looked at that. Had never noticed it before. Strange.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1382. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Patrap:
2,200 Years?

Who Built the Pyramids then?

Im confused?


Romans were in Jerusalem only 2000 years ago.

I tink one may need to re-check dat number
hes been listening to palin
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
1381. Grothar
Link

Here it is again.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26557
1380. hydrus
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
SWB


but it does come to an end as we know it.

It is interesting to read your post about the end of the world and that evil looking avatar with KEEPEROFTHEGATE emblazoned next to it. lol
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1379. Patrap
2,200 Years?

Who Built the Pyramids then?

Im confused?


Romans were in Jerusalem only 2000 years ago.

I tink one may need to re-check dat number.


JOURNEY OF MANKIND - The Peopling of the World
The Bradshaw Foundation , in association with Stephen Oppenheimer , presents a virtual global journey of modern man over the last 160,000 years
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Hey grothar! glad you feel better how much rain did you get? here in odessa north of tampa we got a good rain about an inch at my house not a lot as i was expecting but the grass didnt mind.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
1377. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
1375. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
SWB


but it does come to an end as we know it.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
Quoting Grothar:



Ok, I am over the blues. I am reposting this but it is worth it. It is about the volcano.
'


uuuhhhh You missed something. ;>)

edit: oh wait, rolled my mouse over the "dirty spot" on my screen and lo and behold, a link. :)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting Patrap:
looks impressive.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
there is no dueling both are good as the other


Was thinking more on the line of Dueling Banjos, how they complement each other.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1371. Grothar
Quoting PcolaDan:


You know me, too light hearted to let the blues get me down.




Ok, I am over the blues. I am reposting this but it is worth it. It is about the volcano.
'
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26557
1370. Patrap
GOM WV Loop
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1369. Patrap
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Exactly Sammywammybammy the world will end when it is time and no one can predict that.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting Patrap:
Same source,Slidell NWS Radar,,just wu has a better format.

And controls.

One can hear the dueling banjo's almost,..LOL

Still weird how you can "see" the Causeway bridge in the WU radar so well.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
there is no dueling both are good as the other


Lol..It's like posting the Tropical Weather Outlook a few hundred times :)
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1354: Neat how you can see the sudden movement to the SE in the last few frames.

landbreeze or a sudden bout of mid-level winds?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1364. Patrap
Yeah beel..itsa outflow "Crash-o-rama".
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1362. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
there is no dueling both are good as the other
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
1361. Patrap
Same source,Slidell NWS Radar,,just wu has a better format.

And controls.

One can hear the dueling banjo's almost,..LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.