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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1952. uplater
Quoting Grothar:


is that some *white* starting to show up, there? ( -100 Celsius! )
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Quoting Levi32:


Yeah, it doesn't really start losing its continuity until July.
Oh.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
oh my goodness,take a look at this loop,92L's center is directly underneath the convection,this might even be a TS by morning!!!
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Quoting Levi32:
Now, if 92L were to maintain a due west course, it would be under marginally favorable upper winds according to the 0z GFS.

0z GFS 24 hours 200mb:

Which is not only what steering supports but it's moving that way too.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1948. Patrap


Relief well work ahead of schedule, but timetable for halting Gulf of Mexico oil spill stands
Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 9:53 PM Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 10:29 PM


Drilling progress on a "relief well" that is expected to be the ultimate solution for stopping oil flowing from a damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico is ahead of schedule, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Thursday. But Allen was reticent to say whether that meant the gusher would be shut down before BP's stated mid-August end date.

"While they are ahead of schedule now, I'm not sure they'll be able to do this any time before the August date," Allen said. "But right now, they are operating ahead of schedule."

BP spokesman Tristan Vanhegan said the company would not comment on Allen's assessment that drilling is ahead of schedule. The company is still operating with the expectation of completing the work in August, Vanhegan said.

"All we're saying on this is we're just sticking to the initial timetable of the relief work being completed in August," Vanhegan said. "As you know, anything can arise. We don't want to rush this process. We're sticking to our original timetable."

BP is drilling two relief wells, a primary and a backup, in the Gulf of Mexico. The plan is for the primary relief well to intersect with the blown-out Macondo well at about 18,000 feet beneath the water's surface, or 13,000 feet beneath the sea floor, and pump it with mud and cement to shut it. If it fails, the backup well would take over.

The relief wells are BP's final option to contain or stop the oil escaping from its Macondo well. The oil gusher has persisted since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank April 20, killing 11 people.

The relief wells start at about a half-mile from the accident and will try to meet the original well at a diagonal.

The first well has now been drilled to "just under" 16,000 feet, Vanhegan said. The second is at 9,778 feet.
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its all most july
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Hurricane Jeanne reminds me of invest 92, only in paths.
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so sad beachfox :(
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1944. Levi32
Quoting centex:
I hate when blogger posters do that, not me, but better to stay on topic. A wasted post. I may do same thing and I hope you guys have more to say.


We've been saying stuff all night....if you want you can read back the last few pages. Some good stuff was posted by all in discussing this thing. I don't feel like retyping everything I've done in the last few hours.

Perhaps those questions you were asking will get answered by reading some of the previous posts.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26564
1943. Levi32
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Oh I didn't know that the subtropical jet was still alive.


Yeah, it doesn't really start losing its continuity until July.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26564
1941. MZV
So what are the odds we could see the LLC reform under the convection? There must be some serious uplift going on for that hot tower to have held for several hours.
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1940. centex
Quoting Levi32:


Stop calling people that.
I hate when blogger posters do that, not me, but better to stay on topic. A wasted post. I may do same thing and I hope you guys have more to say.
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Quoting RecordSeason:
http://www.esl.lsu.edu/animate/goes/index.php?region=tropics&channel=ir


No question about it. Definitely the strongest it's looked in 48 hours, maybe strongest ever.


The most impressive thing about that loop is the outflow to the north, east, south, and somewhat to the west. Very very impressive thing 92L is doing tonight.
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i noted there is no wind shear at all right now in the gulf
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1937. Levi32
Now, if 92L were to maintain a due west course, it would be under marginally favorable upper winds according to the 0z GFS.

0z GFS 24 hours 200mb:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26564
Quoting Tazmanian:
ok i come them my love then is that better
Sure. LOL!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
ok i come them my love then is that better
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Quoting Levi32:


TUTT is along the dashed line. It has a weird appearance because its axis is currently in the process of dissipating east of 70W, which it usually does when it gets oriented straight west to east like it is now. That does not mean the subtropical jet is dissipating though, which is still going strong evidenced by 50-knot shear north of the Antilles.

Oh I didn't know that the subtropical jet was still alive.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
i dont think 92L is under 50kt of shear lol
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1932. Levi32
Quoting Tazmanian:
1909. tropics21 3:34 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting AllStar17:


Really? Last time I looked the NHC was giving it a 20% chance of development and it has gotten a little better organized since.

Here is the NHC page if you do not have it:
Link
20% under present shear conditions means Nil Not much of a chance as of now




downcaster


Stop calling people that.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26564
Well, I just don't like the looks of "Wanna be Alex". Ok, fine, I'll include a picture this time so you will know what I mean. (As if you didn't know already). lol
Photobucket
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1929. Levi32
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Where would one find a TUTT beyond 50W in this image??



TUTT is along the dashed line. It has a weird appearance because its axis is currently in the process of dissipating east of 70W, which it usually does when it gets oriented straight west to east like it is now. A new TUTT is forming over the western Caribbean. That does not mean the subtropical jet is dissipating though, which is still going strong evidenced by 50-knot shear north of the Antilles.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26564
92L has stalled
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Here it comes...

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1926. Grothar
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Quoting Tazmanian:




i new that lol
LOL, my bad.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1924. MZV
Alhough the convection can give a misleading idea of where the LLC is, that blob sure seems to be moving WSW the last few hours. I think we'll be seeing some forecast track shifts.
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TS BLAS about 10% to be Hurrican in the next 48h.

- - - MAXIMUM WIND SPEED (INTENSITY) PROBABILITIES - - -

VALID TIME 12Z FRI 00Z SAT 12Z SAT 00Z SUN 00Z MON 00Z TUE 00Z WED
FORECAST HOUR 12 24 36 48 72 96 120
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
DISSIPATED X 2 7 8 16 32 42
TROP DEPRESSION 7 17 31 32 35 38 36
TROPICAL STORM 91 75 57 52 44 28 21
HURRICANE 3 7 6 8 5 2 1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
HUR CAT 1 3 6 5 7 4 2 1
HUR CAT 2 X 1 1 1 X X X
HUR CAT 3 X X X X X X X
HUR CAT 4 X X X X X X X
HUR CAT 5 X X X X X X X
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FCST MAX WIND 45KT 45KT 40KT 40KT 35KT 25KT 20KT
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Allstar isn't a wishcaster. LOL.




i new that lol
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I see a pressure gradient between the ULL over FLA and the building high pressure over South America?
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Quoting AllStar17:


I was talking to Taz.
That's perfectly fine, I'm just telling you what he meant.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
00z + 6hrs





00z + 12hrs
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1909. tropics21 3:34 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting AllStar17:


Really? Last time I looked the NHC was giving it a 20% chance of development and it has gotten a little better organized since.

Here is the NHC page if you do not have it:
Link
20% under present shear conditions means Nil Not much of a chance as of now




downcaster
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Quoting Tazmanian:



nop



i olny doo trolls and downcaster but i dont do wishcaster
Allstar isn't a wishcaster. LOL.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
said this saturday night,I'll say it again tonight:92L should be classified our first TD of the 2010 atlantic hurricane season by the 11am tomorrow IMO,I still don't understand why they didn't then???,tomorrow morning I think they'll do it though...
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Where would one find a TUTT beyond 50W in this image??

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1912. centex
Quoting MrstormX:


Oops I actually meant to put TUTT... lol
Ok, I'm just waiting for official explanation. I don't think TUTT did something crazy. The combinations of things and darn models they look at too closely is the problem. I've got programming background and garbage in garbage out I'm tired of saying that. This type of data is only good if repeated, this system has not been repeated. They should tell us that when analyzing model data.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Not you, Debbykat.

Oh my. LOL.


I was talking to Taz.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5301
Quoting AllStar17:


Really? Last time I looked the NHC was giving it a 20% chance of development and it has gotten a little better organized since.

Here is the NHC page if you do not have it:
Link
20% under present shear conditions means Nil Not much of a chance as of now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AllStar17:


Did you ignore me?



nop



i olny doo trolls and downcaster but i dont do wishcaster
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1906. Patrap
GOES-East 4 km IR4 Floater 1
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Quoting AllStar17:


Did you ignore me?
Not you, Debbykat.

Quoting extreme236:
Ignore debbykat...if you hadn't figured it out yet it's obviously stormtop. Still using the old toilet bowl for his/her forecasts.
Oh my. LOL.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1904. Ossqss
Interesting that if the oil sheen changes things locally climate wise, by virtue of heat exchange, how does it change the real-time influence on the hurricane season in the Atlantic ? They are all connected are they not? L8R >>>>>
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1903. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting extreme236:
Ignore debbykat...if you hadn't figured it out yet it's obviously stormtop. Still using the old toilet bowl for his/her forecasts.
flush model best model out there
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1902. Levi32
03:15...still expanding with hot towers.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26564

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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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