Globe has 3rd consecutive warmest month on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:24 PM GMT on June 17, 2010

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The globe recorded its warmest May since record keeping began in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The May temperature anomaly of 0.69°C (1.24°F) beat the previous record set in 1998 by 0.06°C. We've now had three consecutive warmest months on record, the first time that has happened since 1998. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies also rated May 2010 as the warmest May on record, tied with May 1998. Both NOAA and NASA rated the year-to-date period, January - May, as the warmest such period on record, and the last 12-month period (June 2009 - May 2010) as the warmest 12-month period on record. May 2010 global ocean temperatures were the second warmest on record, while land temperatures were the warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the 2nd warmest on record in May, according to both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) groups.

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


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for May 2010. Image credit: NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Asia and Southeast Asia record their hottest temperatures in history
The mercury hit an astonishing 53.5°C (128.3°F) at MohenjuDaro, Pakistan, on May 26. Not only is the 128.3°F reading the hottest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan, it is the hottest reliably measured temperature ever recorded on the continent of Asia. The evidence for this record is detailed in a post I made earlier this month. The Pakistan heat wave killed at least 18 Pakistanis, and temperatures in excess of 50°C (122°F) were recorded at nine Pakistani cities on May 26, including 53°C (127.4°F) at Sibi. Record heat also hit Southeast Asia in May. According to the Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Myanmar (Burma) had its hottest temperature in its recorded history on May 12, when the mercury hit 47°C (116.6°F) in Myinmu. Myanmar's previous hottest temperature was 45.8°C (114.4°F) at Minbu, Magwe division on May 9, 1998. According to Chris Burt, author of Extreme Weather, the 47°C (116.6°F) measured on May 12 this year is the hottest temperature measured in Southeast Asia in recorded history.

An average May for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., it was the 50th coldest (66th warmest) May in the 116-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Idaho had its second coolest May on record, while it was Montana's fourth coolest, Wyoming's and Oregon's seventh coolest, Utah's eighth, California's ninth, and Nevada's tenth coolest such period. Rhode Island observed its second warmest May on record and Florida tied for its second warmest. Other states much warmer than normal during May included: Louisiana (4th warmest), Massachusetts (5th warmest), Connecticut (6th warmest), New Hampshire (7th warmest), Mississippi and New York (each 8th warmest), and New Jersey (9th warmest).

NCDC's Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for spring (March-May) was about 5 percent higher than average. The CEI measures the prevalence of several types of climate extremes (like record or near-record warmth, dry spells, or rainy periods). Factors contributing to spring's elevated values: widespread (2-3 times larger than average) coverage of anomalously warm daily max and min temperatures, and above-average extent of extreme one-day precipitation events. According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, tornadic activity in May was near normal with 290 preliminary tornado reports.

U.S. precipitation and drought
For the contiguous U.S., May 2010 ranked as the 35th wettest May in the 116-year record. The state of Washington had its third wettest May on record and extreme precipitation events in Tennessee and Kentucky contributed to their sixth and seventh wettest such period, respectively. It was the tenth wettest May in North Dakota. At the end of May, approximately 3% of the contiguous United States was in severe-to-exceptional drought. This is a very low amount of drought for the U.S.

La Niña likely by July
El Niño rapidly dissipated in May, with sea surface temperatures (SSTs) over the tropical Eastern Pacific in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", falling to 0.50°C below average by June 14, according to NOAA.. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is reporting that this number was 0.31°C below average (as of June 13.) Since La Niña conditions are defined as occurring when this number reaches 0.50°C below average, we are right at the threshold of a La Niña. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Niña watch, and it is likely that a full-fledged La Niña will emerge by July. Ten of the 23 El Niño models (updated as of May 19) are predicting La Niña conditions for hurricane season. However, as NOAA's Climate Prediction Center commented in their June 3 advisory, a number of the more reliable models are now calling for La Niña to develop this summer. They comment, "there is an increasing confidence in these colder model forecasts, which is supported by recent observations that show cooling trends in the Pacific Ocean and signs of coupling with the atmospheric circulation."

It is interesting to note that the last time we had a strong El Niño event, in 1998, El Niño collapsed dramatically in May, and a strong La Niña event developed by hurricane season. History appears to be repeating itself, and the emergence of La Niña will likely occur by July. The demise of El Niño, coupled with sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic that are currently at record levels, suggest that a much more active Atlantic hurricane season that usual likely in 2010. The 1998 Atlantic hurricane season was about 40% above average in activity, with 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes. The season was relatively late-starting, with only one named storm occurring before August 20.


Figure 2. Ice extent through June 15, 2010 in the Arctic, compared to the record low years of 2006 and 2007. Record low Arctic ice extent began about June 1, and has remained at record low extent for the first half of June. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Arctic sea ice extent reaches a record low at end of May
Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent in May 2010 was the 9th lowest since satellite records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Ice extent was near average at the beginning of May, but thanks to the fastest rate of decline ever observed during the month of May (50% faster than average), ice extent reached a record low by the end of May. Ice extent has remained at record low levels throughout the first half of June, as well. Ice volume was also at a record low at the end of May, according to University of Washington Polar Ice Center, due to the fact the Arctic is now dominated by thin first and second-year ice.

Record low Northern Hemisphere snow extent in May
For the second consecutive month, the Rutgers Snow Lab reported that the snow cover footprint over North America was the smallest on record for the month. A record-small snow footprint was also observed over Eurasia and the Northern Hemisphere as a whole.

The Atlantic is quiet
The 92L low pressure system, now located about 300 miles east of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, has been completely disrupted by wind shear and dry air, and is no longer a threat to develop. The remnants of 92L, which are currently kicking up some strong thunderstorms due to interaction with an upper-level trough of low pressure, will bring heavy rain showers and wind gusts up to 35 mph to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands tonight through Friday, and into Puerto Rico Friday night through Saturday. On Sunday, the disturbance could bring heavy rains to northern Haiti. The earthquake zone in southern Haiti may also receive heavy enough rains to be of concern for the 1.5 million people living in tents and under tarps.

None of the reliable computer models is predicting formation of a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic over the next seven days, though the GFS model was suggesting a weak development moving through the southern Lesser Antilles Islands seven days from now.

Oil spill wind and ocean current forecast
Light and variable winds less than 10 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico for the next five days, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The winds will tend to have a westerly component through Sunday, which will maintain a slow (1/4 mph) eastward-moving surface ocean current that will transport oil eastwards along the Florida Panhandle coast, according to the latest ocean current forecast from NOAA's HYCOM model. These winds and currents may be capable of transporting oil east to Panama City, Florida, and oil will continue to threaten the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi for the remainder of the week as well, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. Ocean current forecasts for early next week show a weakening of the eastward-flowing currents along the Florida Panhandle, which would limit the eastward movement of oil so that it would not move past Panama City. The long range 8 - 16 day forecast from the GFS model indicates a typical summertime light wind regime, with winds mostly blowing out of the south or southeast. This wind regime will likely keep oil close to the coastal areas that have already seen oil impacts over the past two weeks.

NOAA has launched a great new interactive mapping tool that allows one to overlay wind forecasts, ocean current forecasts, oil location, etc.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA great new interactive mapping tool that allows one to overlay wind forecasts, ocean current forecasts, oil location, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll have an update on Friday.

Jeff Masters

Tar Goobers on Okaloosa Island (Beachfoxx)
Tar & Oil from the DWH spill spoil our beaches - it hit shoreline about 11:30 am CST today
Tar Goobers on Okaloosa Island

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Quoting CaribBoy:
Some scattered cells are racing W or WSW on the Meteo France radar.


Lol i'm so tired that i forgot tho say the the cells in question where on the NE side of the radar...
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2201. tbrett
I am in Montserrat..winds have been picking up all evening. Plus rain showers no lightening or thunder. Showers are off and on. Sorry no weather station yet!
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2200. leo305
lots of rain showers forming around the new center, and the convection is still firing based on radar rainfall increase and consistency as that band nears the center and tries to wrap on to it.

http://www.meteo.fr/temps/domtom/antilles/pack-public/animation/animMOSAIC2.html
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Quoting Levi32:
Upper divergence has significantly increased, naturally.



Your right that just changed and updated..but there is still little in Convergence...which must be for much to be at the surface...But, it might be coming soon.



Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting xcool:
CaribBoy .i seeing 40% imo.


I would say 30% but 40% looks good too
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K, guessin you're makin fun of me which is fine, just thought I say what I was seein here...
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2196. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:



Station 42060
NDBC
Location: 16.500N 63.5W
Conditions as of:
Fri, 18 Jun 2010 04:50:00 UTC
Winds: ENE (60°) at 15.5 kt gusting to 19.4 kt
Significant Wave Height: 5.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 6 sec
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.93 in and falling
Air Temperature: 83.3 F
Dew Point: 77.7 F
Water Temperature: 84.4 F
View Details - View History


Should note that the pressure fall is probably diurnal...1am there.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
2195. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


INV/92/XL
MARK
15.7N/59.3W
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Some scattered cells are racing W or WSW on the Meteo France radar.
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Just don't see nuttin out there folks.

Night All.
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2192. xcool
CaribBoy .i seeing 40% imo.
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It would follow that the old COC in front of the convection could be pulled underneath or slowed even as the convection built a new COC downward...as these two offset circulations begin to connect an elongated shape would be the natural merging of the two. If this were to occur there would be a deformation of the convection as well which we are seeing. So the loss of round shape might indicate a building down of new circulation spawned by the convection reaching the surface and the old COC.
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2190. Levi32
Quoting atmoaggie:

Good point and resourcefulness.

But, not one of the buoys out east of there (within half of the Atlantic) is showing 20 knots...max at 15.


Yes, the trades are generally 5 knots or so higher in the eastern Caribbean right as you go past the islands, although that wind max has been much farther west down the Caribbean during the last 10 days. The last time a strong wave passed the windwards a couple weeks ago, the trades were 25 knots over the islands. The buoys at that time were reporting 30mph sustained winds non-related to the wave axis before it even approached.

At any rate, still a pretty calm evening out there compared to normal.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
2189. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:

Good point and resourcefulness.

But, not one of the buoys out east of there (within half of the Atlantic) is showing 20 knots...max at 15.



Station 42060
NDBC
Location: 16.500N 63.5W
Conditions as of:
Fri, 18 Jun 2010 04:50:00 UTC
Winds: ENE (60°) at 15.5 kt gusting to 19.4 kt
Significant Wave Height: 5.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 6 sec
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.93 in and falling
Air Temperature: 83.3 F
Dew Point: 77.7 F
Water Temperature: 84.4 F
View Details - View History
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26558
Quoting islanderDoc:
I am currently in Dominica, the northwestern area of the island.... winds have decreased to nearly nothing, and light showers just picked up again, with some thunder. Lightning to the northeast for he past hour or so.

I think you need a weather station...
;-)

Near Guadeloupe, pressure just nosed down...we'll see if it persists:
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As the wise man (Grothar)said. Feel fortunate we live in a time where we get warnings.





1943
H2-SURPRISE HURRICANE, MID/NTH GOM,7/25-7/29, UPPTXCOAST

THIS HURRICANE WAS FIRST DETECTED ON JULY26TH. THE UNITED STATES WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND THERE WERE NO SATELLITES OR WEATHER RADAR. BECAUSE OF THE FEAR OF U-BOATS IN THE GULF ALL RADIO CONTACT FRON SHIPS WAS SILENCED INCLUDING STORM REPORTS. NEWSPAPER ARTICLES MENTIONED A TROPICAL STORM IN THE GOM BUT DID NOT MENTION ITS TRUE INTENSITY. THE STORM STRUCK THE BOLIVAR PENINSULA, CROSSED GALVESTON BAY, AND MADE LANDFALL FOR THE SECONG TIME NEAR THE HOUSTON SHIP CHANEL. BECAUSE OF THE WAR INTERESTS, THE WARNINGS WERE FEW AND RESIDENTS WERE CAUGHT COMPLETELY OFF GUARD. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS WERE AROUND 100 MPH. WITH HIGHER GUSTS. DAMAGE WAS SIGNIFICANT AND MAINLY WIND RELATED. THE STORM KILLED 19 PEOPLE AND COST 17 MILLION IN 1943 DOLLARS. AFTER THE LOSS OF LIFE FROM THIS STORM WEATHER INFORMATION HAS NEVER BEEN CENSORED AGAIN.
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2186. BDAwx
I've been keeping an eye on this station - have no idea how reliable it is...
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Quoting Levi32:
Upper divergence has significantly increased, naturally.

And look at the wave behind 92L. Maybe something brewing down there as well.
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Quoting xcool:
hurry up 2am


yeah you're right. I'm tired but wanna see that TWO lol.
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I am currently in Dominica, the northwestern area of the island.... winds have decreased to nearly nothing, and light showers just picked up again, with some thunder. Lightning to the northeast for he past hour or so.
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Quoting Levi32:
Time to break out the PWSs lol. Everyone from Guadeloupe to St. Lucia is reporting very light NE or calm winds. When you usually have 20-knot trades screaming through there, that is definitely a sign of a significant trough to the east, but not necessarily a closed low. There are no obs out of Dominica which is one we really need right now.


Good point and resourcefulness.

But, not one of the buoys out east of there (within half of the Atlantic) is showing 20 knots...max at 15.
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2181. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:

Miss something?


Haven't missed a beat. Thought it was funny Levi would discuss the same buoy as we a few hours earlier.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26558
Wow there is one heck of a rain storm on the ships controlling the ROV's at the oil spill....
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2179. xcool
hurry up 2am
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2178. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:


Go back to post 1818, if you have time and see what atmo and I were doing. He knows his stations.


I remember that post of your's but I don't remember Atmo ever responding...perhaps I missed it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Interesting thing I just noticed. The 850mb vorticity was kind of elongated at 000UTC. If you go back through the 3 hour steps, you can see that the vorticity was moving along at a fairly swift pace on a heading that would take it north of the islands. It appears to me that the vorticity stalled out, then got pulled south toward the new convection. I'll give the link so you can go back through the previous hours. Here are the images from 000UTC and 300UTC:

0:



3:



Link
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2176. Levi32
04:45...still expanding westward, but we're getting into lopsided territory here in terms of the MCC's shape.

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2175. xcool



map go out 48hrs. & showing aqua or above using the scale at the bottom indicates unfavorable conditions development
\
homelesswanderer
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2174. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


Hmm....my eyes I believe.


Go back to post 1818, if you have time and see what atmo and I were doing. He knows his stations.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26558
Quoting txsweetpea:


If so , which I wouldn't be surprised if it is a TD, what is ahead then for 92L? wha tsirection? where is it going? Will it intensify? what do the models say?(only asking because I dont know how to read the models yet)


Go to my WU blog and follow the links to chat on my web and i will show you there.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
2172. Levi32
Upper divergence has significantly increased, naturally.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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There is harley even any convergence at the surface.




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Quoting Hurricanes101:


would be if the center was south and east of there

true...
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2168. Levi32
Time to break out the PWSs lol. Everyone from Guadeloupe to St. Lucia is reporting very light east to NE or calm winds. When you usually have 20-knot trades screaming through there, that is definitely a sign of a significant trough to the east, but not necessarily a closed low. There are no obs out of Dominica which is one we really need right now.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
If you all use this sheer Map it show sheer very easily...i know other are out there, but i like this one the best....


Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting Levi32:


Hmm....my eyes I believe.

According to Meteofrance, that station hasn't reported winds and pressure since at least the first of the month...
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Well, you all know better than I seems like, I'm just not seeing anything supportive.
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2164. xcool
TampaSpin yeah .i think more like 20k wind
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2163. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:


Who told you that information?


Hmm....my eyes I believe.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting Grothar:


Who told you that information?

Miss something?
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Quoting xcool:


WIND SHEAR.


I have a question about these wind shear products. How do you know what end of the scale they're showing when they have purple and blue at both ends? I'm sure there's a simple explanation that only hasn't occurred to me. Lol.
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Quoting xcool:
TampaSpin .30K WIND SHEAR.


More like 25-30kts in its current location if you look at the graphic i posted.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Only place I am finding dropping pressures is north of PR.

This time of day, they should all be dropping...or getting close to bottom of the diurnal cycle.
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Now we need to see signs that the system has indeed built downward to sea level. If so the pressures will drop quickly as it crosses Dominica.
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2156. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:


But then again, there is only one buoy (41096) even remotely close to 92L's center, and it's not even reporting.


Who told you that information?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26558
New shear tendency map indicates that 92L is almost in marginally favorable shear conditions. Right on the edge:

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Quoting atmoaggie:

The winds at Martinique, calm earlier, have a NNE direction (from) now...not quite supportive of a surface circ.


(best viewed full size...click)


would be if the center was south and east of there
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Just did a cruise through the NDBC and am finding nothing but light to moderate E to ESE or ENE winds and rising pressures.


If you look at the 850mb vorticity..look at the Convergence and Divergence...it would not quaify to be a TD yet.....as none of the above shows it to be a TD yet....but i think it is getting there as it does not appear to be completely back to the surface as it once was.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting TampaSpin:
This loop.....http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/catl/loop-ir2.html really shows how sheer is relaxing near 92L...he must might very will become TD or Alex by 11am tomorrow if not before....


If so , which I wouldn't be surprised if it is a TD, what is ahead then for 92L? wha tsirection? where is it going? Will it intensify? what do the models say?(only asking because I dont know how to read the models yet)
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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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