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 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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How do you post a radar map image?
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Quoting Bordonaro:
Well, in DFW, TX, we had no rain for 15 days, then we have rain and the now the folks at TX Speedway are waiting for the rain to stop!!
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....
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Here is a list of countries as of 2030 GMT on Sunday and their airspace status:

AUSTRIA - Airports expected to reopen 0400 GMT Monday.

BELGIUM - Airspace closed until at least 1800 GMT Sunday. Main airline, Brussels Airlines, has canceled all flights until Monday.

* BRITAIN - Airspace closed until at least 1800 GMT Monday. British Airways cancels all Monday flights.

BULGARIA - Sofia and Plovdiv airports open as of 1100 GMT Sunday. Other airports closed. Transit flights permitted at 8,000 meters altitude.

CZECH REPUBLIC - Airspace closed until at least 1000 GMT Monday.

DENMARK - Airspace closed until 1200 GMT Monday.

ESTONIA - Airspace closed until 1200 GMT Monday.

FINLAND - Airspace closed until at least 1500 GMT Monday.

FRANCE - Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse and several other southwest airports will remain open until at least 1300 GMT Monday. Airports north of Nice-Bordeaux line remain closed at least until Tuesday morning. Air France said a test flight from Paris to Toulouse on Sunday had ended without problems; tests continuing.

* GERMANY - International airports shut until 1200 GMT Monday. Temporary opening permission to Berlin's Tegel and Schoenefeld airports to end at 2200 GMT.

HUNGARY - Airspace to remain closed until at least 1000 GMT Monday, although some flights at the discretion of traffic control may be allowed to take off or land.

IRELAND - Airspace closed until at least 1200 GMT on Monday. Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost carrier, canceled all flights to and from northern Europe until at least mid-Wednesday. Aer Lingus canceled all flights Monday.

ITALY - Northern airspace to reopen from 0500 GMT Monday.

LATVIA - Airspace closed until 0600 GMT Monday.

LITHUANIA - Lithuania airspace is now open, Vilnius Airport said on its website on Sunday.

LUXEMBOURG - Luxembourg airport closed until at least 1600 GMT Sunday.

* NETHERLANDS - Airspace shut until at least 0600 GMT Monday.

NORWAY - Main airport, Oslo Gardermoen, opened for take-offs, but so far no landings, aviation authority Avinor told news channel TV 2. Airspace opened for some traffic north of Bergen, with some northern areas still closed.

POLAND - Six Polish airports, including Warsaw, reopened for commercial flights.

ROMANIA - Airspace closed until at least 0900 GMT Monday.

RUSSIA - All airports open. Aeroflot is flying to the United States via the North Pole.

SLOVAKIA - Airspace closed as of 1300 GMT on Friday.

SLOVENIA - Airspace was opened around 1800 GMT Sunday and will stay open until at least 0400 GMT Monday, national news agency STA cited Traffic Ministry as saying. However, the ministry expects it to be closed again because of more ash reaching Slovenia around 0600 GMT, STA said.

SPAIN - The 17 airports closed on Sunday morning by the Spanish airport authorities now open.

SWEDEN - Airport authority has opened airspace north of 62 degrees latitude, about 250 km north of Stockholm. The rest remains closed into Monday. Scandinavian Airlines said most of its flights on April 18 and 19 had been canceled.

SWITZERLAND - Main carrier Swiss says canceled all European flights from and to Switzerland until Monday, 1800 GMT. Swiss also says canceled all intercontinental flights from Switzerland for all of Monday.

TURKEY - All airports open. Planes flying out of the Black Sea cities of Samsun, Sinop and Zonguldak have been advised not to fly higher than 20,000 feet.

UKRAINE - Kiev's Borispol airport open.

(Compiled by London World Desk)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Hey wunderkidcayman it looks like theres a closed circulation with a couple of 25kt wind barbs if this was warm cored this would be either a tropical or subtropical depression.
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1255. barbamz
I doubt that the iceland volcano thing is already finished. Harmonic tremors measured in all stations in the region of Eijaf and Katla as well kept raising the whole day.
Good night. I'm out.
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Wow its been a long time since ive seen it so active in the gulf and caribean in mid april anyways here in odessa north of tampa theres been a steady light rain for a couple of hours and very humid but only 69 degrees.
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Quoting WW at 1228:

Sunday 18th April 2010
Eyjafjallajokull volcano, Iceland
Ash emissions are continuing from Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland. Winds are blowing the ash over Europe, causing flights to remain grounded. All flights to and from Britain have been cancelled until at least 7pm today. Ashfall has been reported in Britain. Five million travelers are stranded, waiting for flights to resume. Some may be waiting for more than a week to find available seats. If flight disruptions continue into this week there will be a shortage of some food products in Britain, which normally come in by air from east Asia and Africa. The grounding of flights has already cost the British economy about £1 billion, with £230m losses for every day of further disruption. The initial eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano last month was basalt, while the new eruption under the glacier last week involved andesite.


This change is indicative of the ejecta becoming richer in silica. This would imply that the ejecta become more viscous and the eruptions more explosive. It may fortell the near end of ejected ash (that would be good news)....
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1252. Patrap
Cuban Radar Shows the Squalls heading toward Haiti

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
Quoting stormpetrol:
looking at the satelite loops looks like kingston,jamaica took/getting a hammering with rain.

We got our hammering last night into this morning. Skies mostly blue except in the north-east.
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1250. Patrap
We need a STATUS Update..ASAP

CAV Weather Link



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
April 14, 2010. The GOES East satellite, GOES-12, was replaced this afternoon with GOES-13 at approximately 18:34 UTC. Please note that the data will be noisy and irregularly mapped over the next week or two. We are having issues with Full Disk GOES East imagery and with the zoom feature for the Hurricane sector of GOES East.


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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Afternoon....Parts of the Caribbean & Florida looking today like they normally look during the Summer minus the high wind sheer....God Bless the wind sheer right now....

Thumbs up on that one or we could have have a real early start to the season in my opinion.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
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Rain just started here in Nassau. Sounds like it may be a pretty soaking one.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
5.1 2010/04/18 20:16:40 18.131 -68.485 86.2 MONA PASSAGE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

also look like we're having quakes/tremors here( Cayman Islands area) hand over fist, i felt the first one at 8:30 last night but not the second one, thats about 5 or 6 since Jan 2010, kinda scary as far as I'm concerned.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
1244. aquak9
5.1, 54 miles deep, Puetro Rico
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25474
Quoting atmoaggie:

Ummm, I don't know if a soaking rain is good or bad, honestly. Given the deforestation, landslides are a possible, but at the same time, water resources could probably use some replenishment.

Wonder if they have any real farming that goes on...that could need water, too. Not to mention free drinking water falling from the sky, purer than any other they've drunken.

No, sir, not sure that rain is bad for the Haitians.
well i guess it depends it could be good or bad I understand they had quite a bit of rain already.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
5.1 2010/04/18 20:16:40 18.131 -68.485 86.2 MONA PASSAGE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting stormpetrol:
looks like haiti is in for a real soaking , how much more can those poor people take!

Ummm, I don't know if a soaking rain is good or bad, honestly. Given the deforestation, landslides are a possible, but at the same time, water resources could probably use some replenishment.

Wonder if they have any real farming that goes on...that could need water, too. Not to mention free drinking water falling from the sky, purer than any other they've drunken.

No, sir, not sure that rain is bad for the Haitians.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
hey folks. just got back from fishing at sanibel islands near ft myers. it was POURING OUT! lots of rain with no sign of it letting up. this has been one rainy 'dry season' in sw fla
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1239. noshoes
Newspaper from Iceland. Articles, photos about the volcano eruption.

http://icelandreview.com/
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Good Afternoon....Parts of the Caribbean & Florida looking today like they normally look during the Summer minus the high wind sheer....God Bless the wind sheer right now....
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1237. barbamz
Eijafjallajkull plans a short visit to your continent. New ash-model:


Link to enlarge

And this is something a little bit tragic, at least in the eye of the scientist:

Eruption strands Iceland volcano expert... in Paris
By Claire Snegaroff
Agence France-Presse
First Posted 01:48:00 04/19/2010

PARIS-- Among the hundreds of thousands of travellers stranded after the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano, Freysteinn Sigmundsson can perhaps claim to be more frustrated than most.

Sigmundsson, currently stuck in Paris, is an Icelandic volcanologist who has been studying Eyjafjoell's fiery belches and magma movements for nearly two decades.

A call from his research team on Wednesday night told him Eyjafjoell had blown, but the cloud of ash that it sent across Europe has grounded flights, keeping him from returning home to study it close up.

"There was disappointment not to be on the site," the 43-year-old scientist told AFP, sitting in a borrowed office at the earth physics institute of Paris University.

"No one could imagine all the disruption of air traffic from this eruption," he said, still stuck in Paris four days after the blast, waiting for the wind to disperse the huge cloud of ash.

"I'll be frustrated if I'm stuck here for more than a few more days."

With flights from all of Paris's airports suspended, he sits, eyes glued to a computer screen, studying data and satellite photos to try and gauge what is happening in Eyjafjoell's fiery heart, and whether it might blow again.

His team had spotted "signs of magma accumulation" since Eyjafjoell became active again in 1992 following its previous big eruption in 1821.

Sigmundsson forecast that the volcano will go rumbling on for several weeks or months. But even as the latest eruption subsides, magma is circulating, making him and his team fear that it could erupt again at a different spot.

"Our worry was that if (this week's eruption) would stop, and if there's still magma flowing in, there would be another leak," he said.

For the past 18 years Sigmundsson has tracked millimetre by millimetre the movements of the crust and the passage of magma of Iceland's 30 volcanos, trying to predict their eruptions.

He knew Eyjafjoell was due for one, and had identified the most likely spot for the lava to break out -- but had not expected it to hit so soon, while he was visiting Paris for a French volcanologists' conference.

His first concern on hearing of this week's eruption, however, was for the people living in the shadow of the "dangerous nearby volcano".

The worst scenario, he said, would be for Eyjafjoell's eruption to spark another in a fierce neighbouring volcano, Katla.

"The explosive activity of Katla can be 100 times more," he warned.
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looks like haiti is in for a real soaking , how much more can those poor people take!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
looking at the satelite loops looks like kingston,jamaica took/getting a hammering with rain.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
from BBC NEWS

Britons stranded by flight restrictions as a result of the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland could be returned to the UK through a "Spanish hub".

Ministers met shortly before UK flight restrictions were extended until at least 1900 BST on Monday.

Ideas included flying those outside the no-fly zone to Spain and then to the UK by other transport, using the Royal Navy and requisitioning merchant ships.

Tories and Lib Dems had called for ministers to give out more information.

Forecasters have warned the dust cloud may remain over the UK for several days.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
CNN article, "Developments in volcanic ash affecting air travel". Mention of possibility of using some Royal Naval vehicles to transport people across the English Channel!

Link
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Bordonaro:

thanks guys!
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Quoting WaterWitch11:
hey keeper,

can you tell if the volcano has calmed down? i can only get 1 cam to work and all i see is clouds.


WW, the couple of times I have been able to see it, it does look calmer. There is lots of clouds/haze/ash/? today making it difficult to see anything, once you get connected.

There has still been some lightning today.

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting WaterWitch11:
hey keeper,

can you tell if the volcano has calmed down? i can only get 1 cam to work and all i see is clouds.

Hey WaterWitch11, I believe the eruption is continuing, earlier through the breaks in the clouds I saw the ash plume!

Both web-cams are obscured by clouds. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to clear up, we'll have a better view tomorrow.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Well, in DFW, TX, we had no rain for 15 days, then we have rain and the now the folks at TX Speedway are waiting for the rain to stop!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
from john seach:

Sunday 18th April 2010
Eyjafjallajokull volcano, Iceland
Ash emissions are continuing from Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland. Winds are blowing the ash over Europe, causing flights to remain grounded. All flights to and from Britain have been cancelled until at least 7pm today. Ashfall has been reported in Britain. Five million travelers are stranded, waiting for flights to resume. Some may be waiting for more than a week to find available seats. If flight disruptions continue into this week there will be a shortage of some food products in Britain, which normally come in by air from east Asia and Africa. The grounding of flights has already cost the British economy about £1 billion, with £230m losses for every day of further disruption. The initial eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano last month was basalt, while the new eruption under the glacier last week involved andesite.
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Miami most likely no going to get much rain today. The AOI is moving WNW/NW now, looks like the magic city got saved, well not really because we need the rain.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
hey keeper,

can you tell if the volcano has calmed down? i can only get 1 cam to work and all i see is clouds.
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Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting spathy:
Miami.
Your sentence ended.
lol, no it just posts the same thing without me posting it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1223. xcool
GFS need big updateee
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Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Why is my account posting periods?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1219. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Afternoon all.

Cloudy skies all day here, but little / no wind or rain so far.

I'm watching the approach of this system with some interest. Unlike some others where the low centre passed much to our north, it seems it will get pretty close to us on its way east / north. Pity I haven't gotten around to setting up that wx station I was thinking abt...

If this season is as likely to be as busy as speculated, and if storm tracks are as likely to veer our way as intuited, an investment in a PWX might be worth the while.
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.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
lol, that is true. But this year we have reason to believe it, because of the active season predictions.


Funnier thing, each of the last 3 years had a pre-season tropical cyclone in May.

2007 had Andrea and TD2 (post-season indicated Barry was a TD 24 hours before hand)
2008 Featured Arthur
2009 Featured an unoffical Tropical storm (likely to be included in a few weeks) and TD1.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23009
1214. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Funny how for the past 3 years we've been dealing with the GFS predicting an early season storm in May.
lol, that is true. But this year we have reason to believe it, because of the active season predictions.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1212. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)



Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
Funny how for the past 3 years we've been dealing with the GFS predicting an early season storm in May.
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About JeffMasters

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