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 NotCircumventing:


that is just begging for a bannable joke!
LOL, I meant calm.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1751. Patrap

Digital Dvorak

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
1750. Levi32
02:15....hot towers still a'blazing....noticeable is that the SW side of the convection ball is finally taking on a flatter appearance, which is to be expected in the face of shear.



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
To beat the dead horse...

In the northern islands, the product says 15 knots out of the north and NW:


The current actual surface obs show nothing of the sort. Calm winds at Martiinique, NE winds north of there, and ESE wind in the southern islands.


If you told a mariner the winds were from the NW are they turned out to be calm, NE, or SSE, he would be finding someone else to ask...
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1746. Grothar
What Levi observed before on the outflow is correct. The image below shows a dry atmosphere to the North, but the system is entraining moisture from its South and West. The unusual feature about this system, is that is really should not be as strong as it appears. How long it can maintain this is anybody's guess. If the hot towers stay longer than 6 hours, it is sometimes an indication of a strengthening system. Only time and the NHC will tell. Interesting system to observe.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26460
1745. xcool


BY jimw

NHC has been handling this system horribly, I know at a time or two this was a depression. Yesterday the invest was gone & now it is back even though it looks as bad as when the invest was removed
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
If it strengthens as many are predicting won't it become a med. or deep system?
Yes.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1741. Patrap
Animated Antilles radar

The CoC will be passing into the Caribbean tonight.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
The hot tower of -80˚C continues to expand.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting CaneWarning:
What is this large area of rain moving down the Florida peninsula. It looks strange.
It's the remnants of the seabreeze collision that happened this afternoon. I imagine other stuff with continue to develop throughout the night from stalled boundaries that are all over the state.
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1738. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1737. will45
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LOL, if it is moving in a straight line.

Has never failed me yet
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Quoting xcool:


Link

GO HERE
The clam before the storm...
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Why is this thing so determind to become a storm man this is something i feel like something is not right this thing should have been dead by now we are n trouble with a capital T
Quoting will45:
I go with xtrap it is always right
LOL, if it is moving in a straight line.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1732. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting ryang:
Lot's of lightning with 92L...

life of a storm
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The readings from Nino 3.4 indicates that we are still in neutral territory:

Regions Previous Current Temperature change
(2 weeks)

Nino 3.4 -0.2 -0.2 no change
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Quoting atmoaggie:

That's quite a balcony...
Absolutely. I have 6 McDonalds' on it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1729. will45
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Not really. You have to wait for the system to either be shallow, medium, or deep.
I go with xtrap it is always right
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1728. xcool


Link

GO HERE
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1727. JLPR2
Quoting Levi32:


A thunderstorm complex as large and as powerful as the one currently east of 92L's center can release enough heat to warm the upper atmosphere and redirect the upper winds around it, forming a mini upper high. However, that doesn't mean the shear is gone, and any lapse in the MCC's intensity could allow the strong wind shear to rush in and sweep it right off its feet.


ah, nice, thank for the clarification :D
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8733
We should get a full ASCAT pass within the hour, let's see...
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1724. Patrap

New Orleans Saints receive Super Bowl Rings

re-loaded Who Dat
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
1723. Levi32
Quoting JLPR2:


So 92L is making its own environment?
lets say it looks like that, nothing is for sure


A thunderstorm complex as large and as powerful as the one currently east of 92L's center can release enough heat to warm the upper atmosphere and redirect the upper winds around it, forming a mini upper high. However, that doesn't mean the shear is gone, and any lapse in the MCC's intensity could allow the strong wind shear to rush in and sweep it right off its feet.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Quoting ElConando:


Your balcony is 5 miles into the ocean?

That's quite a balcony...
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Since most on here are thinking strengthening , shouldn't we already be leaning towards the other models?
Not really. You have to wait for the system to either be shallow, medium, or deep.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1720. JLPR2
Quoting Levi32:
Something we never saw with the last big burst of convection a couple nights ago was true outflow to the west and south of the MCC (Mesoscale Convective Complex). In the latest image you can see the "feathery" appearance of the white clouds along the edge of the ball of thunderstorms. This is indicating air flowing outward away from the thunderstorm tops, and the fact that it is doing this to the west and south means it is, to a point, defying the strong wind shear coming from that direction. This indicates that the MCC is very strong and is re-routing the upper wind flow around it.




So 92L is making its own environment?
lets say it looks like that, nothing is for sure
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8733
1719. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting ElConando:


Your balcony is 5 miles into the ocean?
Yeah I live on steamboat lilly.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1716. Patrap
www.canefever.com Tropical Links Du'Jour 2010
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
What is this large area of rain moving down the Florida peninsula. It looks strange.
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Quoting Levi32:
Something we never saw with the last big burst of convection a couple nights ago was true outflow to the west and south of the MCC (Mesoscale Convective Complex). In the latest image you can see the "feathery" appearance of the white clouds along the edge of the ball of thunderstorms. This is indicating air flowing outward away from the thunderstorm tops, and the fact that it is doing this to the west and south means it is, to a point, defying the strong wind shear coming from that direction. This indicates that the MCC is very strong and is re-routing the upper wind flow around it.




92L is a beast. That's just awesome!
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6229
1713. Grothar
Quoting NotCircumventing:


creative re-tooling of a tired line ... sehr gut, mein freund.


Ich danke Ihnen, sehr. Ich versuche so! LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26460
Quoting SpicyAngel1072:
I have none of my links for anything here...they are all on my work computer...LOL

post or email me please and thank you :)

Some here: http://www.wunderground.com/blog/atmoaggie/comment.html?entrynum=2
More here:
this one's pretty good: http://tampaspinsweather.webs.com/
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That LBAR is such as wishcaster! It takes 92L to me balcony.

LOL!



Your balcony is 5 miles into the ocean?
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3757
1708. Patrap
BAMS --S is for "Shallow"

BAM - The Beta and Advection Model

The Beta and Advection Model is a baroclinic-dynamical track prediction model. It produces a forecast track by following a trajectory in the vertically averaged horizontal wind starting at the current storm location out to 120 hours. The trajectory is corrected to account for the variation of the Coriolis force with latitude, the so-called Beta effect. (Beta is the Greek letter frequently used in meteorological equations to represent the change in the Coriolis parameter with latitude.)

The figure shows how the conservation of absolute vorticity results in the formation of anticyclonic relative vorticity in the northeast quadrant of the storm, and the formation of cyclonic relative vorticity in the southwest quadrant of the storm: Diagram of absolute vorticity advection and relative vorticity formation in the vicinity of a tropical cyclone.. The result adds a component of motion to the northwest to the storm's trajectory.

Three versions of the BAM model are run with shallow (850-700 mb), medium (850-400 mb), and deep (850-200 mb) layers. All three versions of the model are run operationally four times per day.

Reference: Marks, D. G., 1992: The beta and advection model for hurricane track forecasting. NOAA Tech. Memo. NWS NMC- 70, 89 pp.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting hunkerdown:
that would be shallow, not small...
My bad, you're correct.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Levi32:
Something we never saw with the last big burst of convection a couple nights ago was true outflow to the west and south of the MCC (Mesoscale Convective Complex). In the latest image you can see the "feathery" appearance of the white clouds along the edge of the ball of thunderstorms. This is indicating air flowing outward away from the thunderstorm tops, and the fact that it is doing this to the west and south means it is defying the strong wind shear coming from that direction. This indicates that the MCC is very strong and is re-routing the upper wind flow around it.




I was looking at that in your last image Levi. Obviously shear is there but, that is not a common trait in a sheared storm.
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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1704. xcool
HMM 92L LOOK GOOD I can't SEE HOW WE HAVE 40K WINDSHEAR.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Here is the 00z NAM up to 36Hrs : Link
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6229
1702. ryang
Lot's of lightning with 92L...

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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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