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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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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1310. hydrus
Quoting Snowlover123:

And the so called "experts" say all of the Earthquakes are in "more popluated areas." Rubbish. I think that 2010 will be the year of the Earthquakes. Does anyone agree?
YES.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1309. Grothar
Quoting kswaterbug:
Grothar, all I see is a box with a red X in it, what do I do now, I tried it with Internet
Explorer and Google.



Here is the link for you:

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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


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.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Nice shower here in Covington, LA. Approaching an inch.

Storm total rainfall is pock-marked with spots of more than 2 inches here and there. Popup T-storms that stay stationary and/or back build is the soup du jour.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting all4hurricanes:
Remember how 2008 was the year of the natural disaster? I think 2010 is taking it's place
Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Avalanches, Blizzards, Mudslides, and presumably hurricanes. If there is a major tornado outbreak we're set.

I live in Dallas-Ft Worth, TX, in the southern section of Tornado Alley, shhh, bite your tongue :o)!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Seismic activity near the Iceland Volcano is producing a good number of very small quakes, between 0.6Mw and 2.7Mw, micro-quakes.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
1304. hydrus
Quoting Bordonaro:

Those microscopic particles look like they'd do alot of damage to jet engines and human lungs.
Yeah, just plain air in both will do just fine.
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Quoting chucky7777:
Link

Those microscopic particles look like they'd do alot of damage to jet engines and human lungs.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
1302. 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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/sst-atl-loop.html

Check out the equatorial Pacific. Notice the Sine wave? I saw this very presentation as the last El Nino started to wind down. (A very similar wave patter showed up as the El Nino started, but frequency of the wave was higher)Anyone else noticed?
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/sst-atl-loop.html

Key thing to note. Equatorial Pacific resembles a Sine wave ...
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
I have to go! Wow... I think that this is the most that I have commented in a short period of time on JeffMaster's Blog... Ciao for now...
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Grothar, all I see is a box with a red X in it, what do I do now, I tried it with Internet
Explorer and Google.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kswaterbug:
With all the hoop and hype for and against the air
travel restrictions from the Icelandic volcano, is
there a place that shows what these ash particles
look under magnification? I would like to see and
show what these particles really look like.
Link
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Quoting funeeeg:
I have been at the American Academy of Neurology in Toronto and was due to fly back home on the 15th of April, then postponed to the 19th, now they are telling me I cannot get back to Blightey until the 27th - Aghhhh. Toronto is a pretty cool place by the way.......


Sooo, still considering the boat trip in June? lol Seriously though, hope things work out for you soon.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting kswaterbug:
With all the hoop and hype for and against the air
travel restrictions from the Icelandic volcano, is
there a place that shows what these ash particles
look under magnification? I would like to see and
show what these particles really look like.

They showed a magnification on the BBC, but I'm not sure where to find it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1294. Grothar
Quoting kswaterbug:
With all the hoop and hype for and against the air
travel restrictions from the Icelandic volcano, is
there a place that shows what these ash particles
look under magnification? I would like to see and
show what these particles really look like.



Here you go:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just wondering, what effect does SOI (Southern Ocean Index) have on the Atlantic Hurricane Season, if any?
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
With all the hoop and hype for and against the air
travel restrictions from the Icelandic volcano, is
there a place that shows what these ash particles
look under magnification? I would like to see and
show what these particles really look like.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1291. funeeeg
I have been at the American Academy of Neurology in Toronto and was due to fly back home on the 15th of April, then postponed to the 19th, now they are telling me I cannot get back to Blightey until the 27th - Aghhhh. Toronto is a pretty cool place by the way.......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1290. Drakoen
Quoting Snowlover123:

SOI is highest in 4 months it seems...
Reply: But the long term trend is rock bottom down.


Long term trend doesn't really matter.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:

SOI is highest in 4 months it seems...
Reply: But the long term trend is rock bottom down.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Is 2010 anymore unusual so far than any other recent years as far as earthquakes go?

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!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Here in West Palm Beach / Lake Worth...nothng but showers all day.
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Quoting Snowlover123:

And the so called "experts" say all of the Earthquakes are in "more popluated areas." Rubbish. I think that 2010 will be the year of the Earthquakes. Does anyone agree?


it already is
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1579
Last 43 hrs in Arlington, TX 1.72" of much needed rain has fallen at a steady, gentle pace. Just drizzling now, 57F and overcast.

Just put on sweat pants and a long sleeve shirt over my shorts and t-shirt.

Chilly, but its mid-spring in N TX.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Is 2010 anymore unusual so far than any other recent years as far as earthquakes go?
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To JeffMasters,

I think you'll like this image:
Click here
Sea ice is highest in the period that the graph has shown!
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Same Guardian article but the other side of the coin.

In Dubai, a British couple who were due to get married in the UK over the weekend found themselves making their vows on Skype so that their friends and family could witness the wedding.

Sean Murtagh, 24, and his new wife Natalie, a 30-year-old Australian, got married in Brisbane three weeks ago but had been due to hold a humanist ceremony for family and friends in the UK on Saturday.

When they found themselves stranded after changing planes in Dubai on Thursday, they had to make other plans.

Staff at the Millennium Airport Hotel in Dubai baked them a cake, decorated the lobby and set up a laptop with Skype and a projector so that the ceremony could take place via a link to London.

"It's been an incredible day," said Murtagh. "We were never going to forget it anyway but we certainly won't forget it now."

Humanist celebrant Caroline Black, who conducted the ceremony from Trailfinders Sports Club in Ealing, west London, said: "I've done lots of humanist weddings but not one like this at all. It was just like any other wedding except the bride and groom weren't there."
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1281. Drakoen
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting all4hurricanes:
Remember how 2008 was the year of the natural disaster? I think 2010 is taking it's place
Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Avalanches, Blizzards, Mudslides, and presumably hurricanes. If there is a major tornado outbreak we're set.

And the so called "experts" say all of the Earthquakes are in "more popluated areas." Rubbish. I think that 2010 will be the year of the Earthquakes. Does anyone agree?
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
from The Guardian

Iceland volcano: Tales from travellers stranded around the world

From the tourists stuck in a Moscow hotel to the couple married via Skype in Dubai, travellers share their stories

* Digg it
* Buzz up
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* Sam Jones
* guardian.co.uk, Sunday 18 April 2010 17.10 BST
* Article history

Icleand volcano travel chaos

Passengers in the waiting room at Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport as European flight restrictions enter their fourth day. Photograph: Thibault Camus/AP

A fourth day of international flight restrictions heaped more chaos, misery and the odd flash of ingenuity as people around the world struggled to fulfil their personal and professional commitments despite the shutdown.

Moira Hickson, a 21-year-old student from Norwich on her way back from visiting her aunt in Thailand, was last night contemplating yet another evening in the Moscow hotel which has been home since Thursday.

Hickson and her fellow Aeroflot passengers became stranded in the Russian capital after the cloud descended and turned their three-hour transfer into a four-day ordeal.

Without valid Russian visas, some of them were shepherded to a hotel while others remain stuck in the airport – all of them dependent on the help of the British embassy.

Before her mobile phone died, Hickson managed to ring her boyfriend, Chris Thurmott, in Leicester to let him know what was going on.

"The Russian authorities seem to be treating them like criminals," he said. "There's about 20 or 30 people at the hotel – most of them British – and they're not allowed to leave their rooms and they have to be escorted to the hotel restaurant by the people who are guarding them 24 hours a day."

Thurmott said that many people at the hotel had packed their medication into their check-in luggage and were now in urgent need of it.

A young girl at the hotel had already had an asthma attack, he said, while many women could not get sanitary towels.

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
the pattern is definately starting to change thru out the carib and GOM....if the TUTT is weak this year and in a more westerly postion FL could be in for it,the possiblity of a major hitting south FL or the panhandle would be alot higher than ave,imo
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Quoting indianrivguy:


If they did that to me, I would never ever spend another dime in their country, or on their products again once I was home.


I agree 100%. If I'm not mistaken it's happening in Moscow and India. I may be mixing my stories up though since I'm going from memory. (it hurts) But I know for sure both of these countries are treating people badly.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Good evening fellow wunderbloggers!!!!! it appears shear was the main factor in the GOM system not being able to organize further into something sub tropical,should look cool tomorrow morning on the visable sat, a mostly naked swirl moving into the atlantic were there is a slight chance it could organize further.......
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Quoting PcolaDan:


That's too cool. And in other places they are using armed guards to keep people in hotels because their visas have expired. Now if Universal would just give free entry to the new Harry Potter section. ;>)


If they did that to me, I would never ever spend another dime in their country, or on their products again once I was home.
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Quoting zoomiami:
Article from the Miami Herald


Stranded fliers in Fla. get free park passes

Related Content
http://www.orlandosentinel.com
The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Fliers grounded in Florida by an Icelandic volcano's eruption are getting some free entertainment.

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is offering free admission to stranded travelers to three of its parks: the flagship SeaWorld Orlando, water park Aquatica and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

European tourists with a return ticket dated April 14 to April 21 are entitled to the free one-day ticket.





That's too cool. And in other places they are using armed guards to keep people in hotels because their visas have expired. Now if Universal would just give free entry to the new Harry Potter section. ;>)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Article from the Miami Herald


Stranded fliers in Fla. get free park passes

Related Content
http://www.orlandosentinel.com
The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Fliers grounded in Florida by an Icelandic volcano's eruption are getting some free entertainment.

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is offering free admission to stranded travelers to three of its parks: the flagship SeaWorld Orlando, water park Aquatica and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

European tourists with a return ticket dated April 14 to April 21 are entitled to the free one-day ticket.



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Been raining on and off all day in south dade, can't complain, making the grass look good.

Big banks of black clouds moving by the window, does look kind of like summer.
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I see the long range GFS is already spitting out storms. Ho-hum...Just like last year. Take it with a grain of salt.
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Its cloudy and no rain here in odessa north of tampa.
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Quoting aquak9:
5.1, 54 miles deep, Puetro Rico


Awesome. Travel schedule this week. Monday=Puerto Rico
Tuesday and Wednesday=Dominican Republic
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Quoting skkippboo:
How do you post a radar map image?

For most images, you right-click then select properties, paste the URL from there and click on "Image" in the new comment box then fill in that URL and the image size if applicable.

Quoting presslord:



that would be another catastrophe of epic proportions...

To coin a new term...one of "Nargis" proportions.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Quoting Tazmanian:



yet me see a cat 5 hurricane or a cat 4 hurricane wish i dont think they need or want



that would be another catastrophe of epic proportions...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10479
Quoting stormpetrol:
looks like haiti is in for a real soaking , how much more can those poor people take!



yet me see a cat 5 hurricane or a cat 4 hurricane wish i dont think they need or want
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Remember how 2008 was the year of the natural disaster? I think 2010 is taking it's place
Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Avalanches, Blizzards, Mudslides, and presumably hurricanes. If there is a major tornado outbreak we're set.
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2353
The subtropical-looking GOM blob is making landfall near Clearwater, FL:


Severe thunderstorm line approaching Haiti:
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Quoting stormpetrol:
looking at the satelite loops looks like kingston,jamaica took/getting a hammering with rain.


I would say that's accurate. :-)

We need the rain so nobody is complaining. We have had severe water restrictions for many months. Just hope it's raining in the catchment area.



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Quoting chucky7777:
Rain won the race....lol...NASCAR Race delayed and rescheduled for tomorrow at high Noon and the Nationwide race is scheduled for 5 p.m. tomorrow as well....

Well, at least tomorrow it will not be raining :0).

On a positive note, the European airports may resume limited flights in some areas tomorrow.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting skkippboo:
How do you post a radar map image?


I save it, then upload it to photobucket, then paste the link here. The radar images "here" have a "save this image" link bottom left of the picture
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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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