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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1702. ryang
Lot's of lightning with 92L...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Exactly.

BAMS - Small

BAMM - Medium

BAMD - Deep
that would be shallow, not small...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
The Multi-Platform Tropical Cyclone Surface Wind Analysis Graph is a Published and dedicated source data for any RAAMB issuance.

It aint there just for atmo to kick.




Thats for sure.

LOL

Hey, now, it's great product for a developed system. But the translation of 700 mb winds to the surface depends on stadium effect, inflow angle increases, etc. and other things only accurate for a developed system. These phenomena are built into the algorithm, that's what makes it good for a system.

I'd use only the scat plots from that site for an invest, but you don't have to agree with a guy in the business that has access to the data, itself, and has evaluated it in the presence of real surface obs for this sort of scenario. Go for it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That LBAR is such as wishcaster! It takes 92L to me balcony.

LOL!

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21370
1698. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:

When has LBAR had any skill that far out, outside of the EPac?


Less than 30% accuracy. Over 72 hours....plunge
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 72 Comments: 28654
1697. 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.


Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
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 :)
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Quoting CaribBoy:


lol my keyboard forgot the "t" after the "I" :)


That had me loling xD. I'm sure you have the power.
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Why? Is it because the system is still weak? If it strengthens you will have to go back to the BAMM or BAMD. Correct?
Exactly.

BAMS - Shallow

BAMM - Medium

BAMD - Deep
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21370
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
...and coming off Africa:



I'll be watching this one, could be our first REAL deal. However, things are moving a little slow on the East Coast ATM, may delay things a bit.
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1692. xcool


BEST.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15707
Quoting atmoaggie:

That wouldn't be very nice of you...


lol my keyboard forgot the "t" after the "I" :)
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6829
Quoting Grothar:


Can you move that LBAR model? It is two blocks from my house.

When has LBAR had any skill that far out, outside of the EPac?
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1688. Patrap
The Multi-Platform Tropical Cyclone Surface Wind Analysis Graph is a Published and dedicated source data for any RAAMB issuance.

It aint there just for atmo to kick.




Thats for sure.

LOL
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1687. xcool
HMM 92L continues WE CAN SEE 40% AT 200AM IMO.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15707
I will be up till the next TWO lol
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6829
Quoting Levi32:
01:45...still expanding....tallest hot tower we've seen yet spiking out of the cirrus canopy.





I think the convection will keep expanding tonight. DMax should do nothing but help the system. What is really interesting to me is how quickly the upper ridge from the south seems to be building into the Southern Caribbean. Doubt it moves quickly enough to keep the TUTT from tearing apart the system again, but it's interesting to watch right now.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Okay, the CSU plot's finally out and current.

The question was about the change in the track forecatss.

6 hours ago:


current:


edit: still asleep...I quit.


I hope you know who is looking at the LBAR.
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1683. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:
Okay, the CSU plot's finally out and current.

The question was about the change in the track forecatss.

6 hours ago:


currnet:


edit: still asleep...I quit.


Can you move that LBAR model? It is two blocks from my house.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 72 Comments: 28654
Quoting CaribBoy:


I could bring heavy weather over a wide area

That wouldn't be very nice of you...
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1678. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
AOI/XX/XL
MARK
15.2/55.3
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1677. SLU
I don't trust this windsat pass. There's no evidence of westerly winds at my location or any of the other islands south of the center. I'm struggling to see westerly winds on the radar too. The winds in Martinique, St. Lucia and Dominica have been primarily NNE to ENE all day today. I doubt 92L has a closed circulation. Impressive convection though.

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Quoting Levi32:
01:45...still expanding....tallest hot tower we've seen yet spiking out of the cirrus canopy.





It could bring heavy weather over a wide area
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6829
when I signed off earlier everyone was saying the high shear was going to rip 92L apart....

what happened?
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Quoting RecordSeason:
Heat wave is getting completely fricken ridiculous already.

It's 89 degrees here in Springfield, LA...at 9:00p.m. and it's not even summer yet...

What happened to your old handle? Multiples is, umm, frowned upon, generally.
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All models are slightly north of due west
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6829
1671. Levi32
01:45...still expanding....tallest hot tower we've seen yet spiking out of the cirrus canopy.



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Quoting ElConando:


What are you talking about its unbelievably competitive.

they are scrapping but they cant hit open shots. almost half time and it's 33-31 ... bahumbug
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1669. leo305
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Large hot towers.



notice how the outflow from that ball of convection is developing
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1764
Okay, the CSU plot's finally out and current.

The question was about the change in the track forecatss.

6 hours ago:


current:


edit: still asleep...I quit.
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Last Sun.&Mon. you were supporting the BAMM model. Do you still? Model has the inves. traveling down the center of Cuba. Jumped alot from last run & this run.
I'm leaning more towards the BAMS.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21370
Quoting NotCircumventing:
notice those towers are located more central in theoverall deep convection as opposed to earlier on
Yeah, it's more so over the center now than it was a few hours ago. I imagine this blowup will continue for at least 4-5 hours more.
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Quoting StormFreakyisher:

So what did he really go there for?


He said him and his crew came here to do some observations...a little bit of work then down to the keys for play. hhmm...lol well I am going to call it a night...be back on tomorrow. Have a good night.
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1664. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15707
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Large hot towers.



16N...
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6829
Quoting SouthALWX:

Im doing both. =P ... Game 7 fail. both teams suck tonight.


What are you talking about its unbelievably competitive.
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1661. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:

"Just, the facts, ma'am. Just the facts."

(It's true! Traded a few emails with John Knaff about it a couple of years back. We use this data in a wind analysis every time it's run...but not for an invest.. We found that it didn't match surface ob wind direction very well when an invest happened to be near any buoys. When your gridded analysis is way off from surface obs, well, that's bad.)


Not a bad analysis, Joe!!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 72 Comments: 28654
It sounds like there was probably yet another violent tornado, this time in Minnesota. Definitely, unfortunately, a fatal one. Link
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
...and coming off Africa:

Not nearly as impressive as some of the other waves we've seen in the past two weeks... the ITCZ is getting more robust lately, though.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Um, Patrap, where's that hot towers video?
LOL.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21370
1654. Grothar
Quoting CaneWarning:


There's a basketball game on???


LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 72 Comments: 28654
...and coming off Africa:

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Quoting Grothar:


Your'e watching basketball while there is a system out there?

Im doing both. =P ... Game 7 fail. both teams suck tonight.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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