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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1361. Patrap
Same source,Slidell NWS Radar,,just wu has a better format.

And controls.

One can hear the dueling banjo's almost,..LOL
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KoG and Patrap - dueling radars lol
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1359. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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1358. beell
Pat & atmo,
What a mess ya'll got. Convective outflow and seabreeze boundaries and a semi-stationary cold front.




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1357. Patrap
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1356. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53854
1355. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53854
1354. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
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1353. Patrap


Special Weather Statement

Statement as of 8:25 PM CDT on April 18, 2010

... Line of strong thunderstorms nearly stationary affecting St.
Bernard Parish... Jefferson Parish... Orleans Parish... Plaquemines
Parish...

At 818 PM CDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
line of strong thunderstorms from New Orleans to 8 miles southeast of
Belle Chasse. The line of thunderstorms was nearly stationary.

The line of strong thunderstorms will affect areas in and around...
Lakefront Airport... Violet... east New Orleans and Chalmette

These storms will produce rainfall amounts of one to two inches in a
short period of time... resulting in ponding of water around low lying
roadways. Remember... do not drive your vehicle into water covered
roadways. The depth may be too great to allow a safe crossing.

In addition... these storms are producing frequent cloud to ground
lightning strikes. Seek shelter in a safe home or building until
these storms have passed.
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Quoting Grothar:



You guys sure know how to brighten somebody's day. hahah


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

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1351. Patrap
Most of Downtown to Lakeview is..but not a Drop here at Audubon Bend..on Magazine.

Current Conditions

Mid City Station, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 1 sec ago
Overcast
66.5 °F
Overcast
Humidity: 87%
Dew Point: 62 °F
Wind: 4.0 mph from the South
Wind Gust: 4.0 mph
Pressure: 29.96 in (Falling)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Few 6500 ft
Overcast 10000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 25 ft

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1350. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
knockin on pats door
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53854
1349. hydrus
Quoting Patrap:


Rain on Bourbon Street,But the oysters are selling briskly tonight.
Those storms form, collapse, reform, collapse. I would guess from outflow boundaries, the low to your west and some really juicy air.
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Hey patrap hows it going it looks like you guys are getting some good rains it looks like you are getting those typical summer thunderstorms that just sit there dump rain then die.
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1347. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
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1344. Grothar
Quoting PcolaDan:





You guys sure know how to brighten somebody's day. hahah
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Quoting WaterWitch11:


thank you for the link so far i have figured out how to make it english. attempting to find that graph.


never mind i see it automatically updates
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Quoting clwstmchasr:
To JeffMasters,

I think you'll like this image:
Click here
Sea ice is highest in the period that the graph has shown!


He will find a way to completely discount the data.


The 2010 line is quite close to that of 2008 and 2009. Those were two of the three lowest on record for summer sea ice so sea ice could easily drop quickly between now and September.
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1341. aquak9
Whew, good, finally. Ok, down it goes. I'm not one to parade around a ban on DocMasters blog, like it's a medal of honor.

Got way too much respect for him.
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1340. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
you can take it down i saved it
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1339. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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1338. aquak9
of course, as soon as Grothar sees it, I'm removing it.

Safety first, y'know...
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1337. Grothar
Quoting aquak9:
for Grothar




Thanks aqua, just what I needed. LOL
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1336. Patrap
Also,Be sure to book a good inter-planetary flight by Dec 20th,2012.
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1335. Patrap
Hard to hide 4500 seismographs last I checked..


,,and all dat shaking..


Snicker,snort..ack!!
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Quoting aquak9:
for Grothar



Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
got remember bo they have to tell you what there told to tell you think about for a minute if they knew something really big was going to happen do you really believe they are going too tell 6 billion people about it

Alright, that is an interesting point.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
I have protection.

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting Grothar:


No, I'm Ok. Maybe if Pcoladan posted one of his smiley's without getting banned, it would help us all., LOL Don't get banned now, Dan!!!

I'd post one, but then I might get banned, Dr Masters doesn't like when I post off-topics things.

Today's largest earthquake for Su 4-18-10:

MAP 5.6 2010/04/18 13:30:59 14.523 -92.014 64.0 GUATEMALA
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1329. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
now thats a smiley
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Looks like the rain is over in Nassau for now. That "for now" matters, since it seems the local forecast is calling for unsettled weather and the occasional T-storm all week....
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1326. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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1325. aquak9
waves magic wand- POOF!
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Quoting funeeeg:
Tremor amplitude in the Eyjafjallajoekull region is rising rapidly. Anyone have any insight into whether this is the movement of magma and the sage of bigger eruption? Link


thank you for the link so far i have figured out how to make it english. attempting to find that graph.
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So far...a minor event in my neck of the woods.

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1322. Patrap
We have Boomers blooming on the S Shore now atmo,..big'un's.

NEXRAD Radar
New Orleans, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI
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1321. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Bordonaro:

According to the USGS, no. However, the quakes are occurring in more populated areas than over the last few years. People and large earthquakes don't get along very well!!
got remember bo they have to tell you what there told to tell you think about for a minute if they knew something really big was going to happen do you really believe they are going too tell 6 billion people about it
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53854
1320. Grothar
Quoting Bordonaro:

Cheer up :o)!!


No, I'm Ok. Maybe if Pcoladan posted one of his smiley's without getting banned, it would help us all., LOL Don't get banned now, Dan!!!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26153
strong wx moving ashore near vero beach FL wouldn't be suprised if there are some wind damage reports IMO....
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Quoting Grothar:



About 5". But very windy right now. Still light rain. It was like a little depression, along with my big depression.

Cheer up :o)!!
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It showed in the preview!
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Grothar, it's good link now, thanks
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1315. Grothar
Quoting Bordonaro:

Ha, ha, ha! How are you Grothar? How much rain have you all had today?



About 5". But very windy right now. Still light rain. It was like a little depression, along with my big depression.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26153
Quoting Grothar:



Yeah, but his horoscope told him it was a good time to travel. LOL

Ha, ha, ha! How are you Grothar? How much rain have you all had today?
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Thanks chucky7777
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1311. Grothar
Quoting PcolaDan:


From what I read earlier, IIRC, this could possibly be movement of magma underground from fissures that have opened. Evidently some of the Iceland volcanoes are connected this way. Volcano experts don't seem to have a firm grasp on this is a signal of another pending eruption, or just things moving around. Of course the big fear is that it is the beginning of Katla. Unfortunately, one of the premier Iceland volcano experts, Freysteinn Sigmundsson, is stuck in France at a French volcanologists' conference. Gotta love the irony. Sigmundsson, currently stuck in Paris, is an Icelandic volcanologist who has been studying Eyjafjoell's fiery belches and magma movements for nearly two decades.



Yeah, but his horoscope told him it was a good time to travel. LOL
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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.