Globe has 3rd consecutive warmest month on record

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

Share this Blog
4
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1852 - 1802

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55Blog Index

Quoting Levi32:
02:45 still expanding westward with hot towers.



The best 92L has looked since its demise.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1851. Levi32
02:45 still expanding westward with hot towers.



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting centex:
What just a few hours ago, NHC said would die beacause of shear, JM posted how it would die by shear. Did shear die instead?


Seems ti me the shear is ventilating it and actually helping the convection. Right now this storm is a mystery.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1840. centex 3:15 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting Tazmanian:


that wind shear maps shows vary low wind shear
What just a few hours ago, NHC said would die beacause of shear, JM posted how it would die by shear. Did shear die instead?


yes
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1848. xcool
40% at 200am imo.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15672
92L and the 40 W area need to be watched.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
1846. Levi32
Woot for 12.5km resolution? Major convergence on the west side of the MCC. Surface center is nearby.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
1845. will45
Levi you remember JPHuricane from last year?
Member Since: July 18, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 994
1844. Grothar
Quoting MrstormX:


Meteo France, they probably have the data on their own website.



The French, huh?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i think will see a upgrand too 40% in the next two
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Humm, very interesting look about the area tonight.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1840. centex
Quoting Tazmanian:


that wind shear maps shows vary low wind shear
What just a few hours ago, NHC said would die beacause of shear, JM posted how it would die by shear. Did shear die instead?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1837. Levi32
There is also a new low near 40W embedded in the ITCZ.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
1836. beell
From Sunday night:

3019. beell 4:18 AM GMT on June 14, 2010
A 5 day guess on 92L (laughter encouraged).

Starting to lean towards the GFDL solution. Two things. The strength of the N ATL trough, the ridge weakness and the timeliness of the ridge building behind it. And that was actually three things. The trough looks strong. The high pressure may be late.

GFDL yields the most northern track of the bunch and does in fact bring it into a area of zonal shear on the order of 30-40 knots-somewhere E of the northern end of the Leeward Islands. A shortwave dropping S off the mid-Atlantic coast turns what ever is left out to sea.

What the heck. It's late. Common sense has left me.


So far so good. The last part about going out to sea? Eh. Maybe not so accurate. Although a weakness in the 700mb ridge off the FL coast is noted. A mechanism for a bit of a northward tug is still in the model.

Current model averages put 92L near Puerto Rico in 36-48 hrs under low shear. We should see some good honest development and consolidation of this system. Enough to feel the ridge weakness and possibly pull this storm over to the Atlantic side of the big islands.

The weakness is replaced by a progressive eastward moving ridge over the SE. By Tuesday, 92L should begin more of a NW turn as it tracks along the western periphery of this ridge. Into the SE GOM or through the Bahamas. 12Z GFS would favor the eastern GOM.

This one continues to require attention. It just ain't the year to have a low-mid level disturbance prowling around over high SST's and low shear. Not the year to have a rig blowout either.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If you ask me, nhc should get a reconnaissance flight out there. Just try to figure this thing out, it seems like it will persist through pretty much anything... they need to be prepared should it come out of shear and head towards the CONUS.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1834. Levi32
ASCAT 1 and a half hours old:

Didn't get the western part of the circulation so we can't tell what the structure of the center is and whether it's closed or open, but you can see the huge convergence area within the western side of the MCC as inflow rushes in from the southeast. They are running at a pretty good clip too....we'll know the exact values when the other site updates its passes.



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting weatherwatcher12:
This map shows no 50 knot shear. What would cause such a discrepancy discrepancy between it and CIMSS.


that wind shear maps shows vary low wind shear
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
The weather channel didn't even talk about the atlantic in their tropical update.They said all is quite in the atlantic and then skipped over to the pacific.


lol
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6170
as I stated earlier;expect a burst of convection overnight as 92L is not even close to RIP and the near 0% people will be humming a different toon by tomorrow afternoon!!!!,still believe a TS effecting PR's southern coastline is not impossible...
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
i think wind shear is a little lower right now where 92L is i am thinking may be 20kt right now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1827. Dakster
KOG - LOL. Mother nature doesn't read the blog or look at models. She just does what she wants to.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This map shows no 50 knot shear. What would cause such a discrepancy discrepancy between it and CIMSS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1805. MiamiHurricanes09 3:01 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting JRRP:

Interesting to see a closed isobar. Looks like the LLC is closed.


we can have a TD at any time with in the next 24hrs
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1824. Ossqss
Quoting Grothar:
Hey atmo, still on? Can't get data from buoy 41096, the only one in that area. Who owns it now and why aren't they sharing?


Probably related to the buoy temps getting to 96 degrees 3' down under some in the oil spill. Yup, check it.

Edit,sorry forgot the link :)

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/06/evidence-of-elevated-sea-surface-temperatures-under-the-bp-oil- slick/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I wonder where is the LLC, and where it is heading. Only basing myself on IR sat, this 92L also looks like Erika convection-wise (supposed to move WNW but heading WSW instead). IMO it's complicated to make a reliable forecast with this kind of system.
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6170
Quoting Grothar:
Hey atmo, still on? Can't get data from buoy 41096, the only one in that area. Who owns it now and why aren't they sharing?


Meteo France, they probably have the data on their own website.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1821. Levi32
Quoting MississippiWx:


Convection pulling it closer?


Possibly....with such a powerful thunderstorm complex right to the east of it, the surface center is sure to have slowed down some in forward speed. The MCC is like a vaccum hose pointed at the ground (ocean) sucking upwards. It pulls in the air around it and that includes air from around the surface center. That sucking force pulling from the east would slow down the center's westerly forward motion, pulling it closer to the convection. This is an extremely hard thing to do under 30+ knots of shear, however.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
1820. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting RecordSeason:
Personally, I don't see shear tearing this apart.

It makes no sense to expect 30kts shear to destroy it when 2 days worth of 50kts shear didn't do the job...
its going to get it just reward should of been in the first place now it will come back to haunt them kinda funny if ya ask me how a little storm can make so many look stupid
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
I understand that , so why were you and many others favoring the BAMM last Sunday and Monday if it was initializing? Like I said I'm trying to learn.

It's more complex. in theory, the system should follow the BAMS as long as it is shallow ... after it reaches the depth of the BAMM it will follow those levels. now if a system is forecast to strengthen you follow the BAMS until that point. Then it gets tricky. With shear in play, a system with depth should go somewhere between the BAMS and BAMD. This is because the levels obviously have different steering and therefore different winds. You can use the BAM models as a rough guide for wind shear. On occasion you will see the lines match up but be different lengths. This is acceptable to a degree as winds typically increase with height, however too much difference indicates shear in the form of wind speed as opposed to direction, though this is far less detrimental than zonal shear can be. In heavy shear cases, its best to follow the BAMS as a system will not follow the BAMM or BAMMD in heavy shear as it will have its top ripped off... But that's enough explanation for today. If you have more questions feel free to ask.
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
1818. Grothar
Hey atmo, still on? Can't get data from buoy 41096, the only one in that area. Who owns it now and why aren't they sharing?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Official 0z coordinates had 92L's center right under the western edge of the convection. The very edge.

So does the Dvorak with BD Curve enhancement.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Official 0z coordinates had 92L's center right under the western edge of the convection. The very edge.


Convection pulling it closer?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link

50kts shear?

Be serious not over Antilles AMSU lecture 00Z 30kts and GFS forecast 10-20 kts over Antilles.

50kts winds are over Hispaniola not where the system is now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1814. centex
Regardless, the transformation to tough to open wave is not happening. There is a force indicated by early large system which makes this system different. Like a CAT 5 making landfall as lower CAT, it's not the same.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


Bay News 9 stinks sometimes.
Here in Miami I only watch Local 10 (ABC) when it comes to the tropics. They have very well respected meteorologists and they have Max Mayfield for the tropics.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
How much longer can we expect that high pressure to remain in the gulf?
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting Levi32:


Last MCC was under 15 knots and flattened like a pancake.....LOL.


It may be keeping it ventiliated..allowing creating lower pressures at the mid-levels and thus allowing an easier time for the updrafts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RCThunder:
Just watched Bay News 9 here in Tampa and their tropical update said this is nothing and it won't develop. Didn't even mention the possibility given by the NHC. Amazing haha. The latest images are AMAZING of this storm for sure!


Bay News 9 stinks sometimes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1808. Levi32
Official 0z coordinates had 92L's center right under the western edge of the convection. The very edge.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
1806. Ossqss
1789. KEEPEROFTHEGATE

Wow, look closely at the last few frames of that item

Thanks KOTG, for the graphic! Much better than text. as I put more text up ,,,,,,, :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JRRP:
Interesting to see a closed isobar. Looks like the LLC is closed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just watched Bay News 9 here in Tampa and their tropical update said this is nothing and it won't develop. Didn't even mention the possibility given by the NHC. Amazing haha. The latest images are AMAZING of this storm for sure!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
I was being sarcastic.
Didn't sound like it to me as you were asking why people always attack you because of your opinion. But it's cool.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1802. JRRP
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1852 - 1802

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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