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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1552. Relix
This is reminding me of Jeanne =P.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Quoting atmoaggie:
So, we could get 50 posters that post that they have a blog update and repeat it every time mod 50 = 0 rolls around. That would be just what we all show up for.

Incessant posts about someone's blog update...

Sorry, just practicing for when the season gets rolling...


It's much appreciated.
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I think 92L will enter the NE Carribbean at a lower latitude than maybe majority thought has it at ... this June anomoly has shown that normal "rules" for forecasting are being put to the test. such a nice performance this afternoon, shear undoubtedly decreasing (in general, as TUTT lifts out, and relative), DMAX coming ... very, very concerned with a NE Carribbean entry.
Member Since: August 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 436
Quoting Levi32:


Of the MCC? Yes it's expanding southward faster than in any other direction at the moment. Not necessarily moving as a whole in that direction though.
Interesting to see it expanding to the south in the face of 40 knot southwesterly shear.
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look whats be hide 92L
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115435
I have the 7:18 flight on Jetblue to the Dominican Republic in the morning. I will be there until Tuesday morning. What's it looking like for me as far as weather?
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So, we could get 50 posters that post that they have a blog update and repeat it every time mod 50 = 0 rolls around. That would be just what we all show up for.

Incessant posts about someone's blog update...

Sorry, just practicing for when the season gets rolling...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
right now I'd track it straight over PR to south FL. Since it didn't develop Tuesday it is farther south than expected and the mid atlantic ridge is not breaking over the Bahamas as forcast.. I need to eat that bird..
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1542. Levi32
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I'm noticing some southward motion. Are you seeing this?


Of the MCC? Yes it's expanding southward faster than in any other direction at the moment. Not necessarily moving as a whole in that direction though.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26695
Quoting Levi32:
Amazing how this MCC is like this little bubble...has the fuzzy outflow along the edges and the west/southwest side isn't flattened like the last MCC was due to the southwesterly shear. Until you see that side flatten...it will keep expanding even to the west.



It looks pretty good.
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Quoting StormW:


I don't remember...but Nicholas back in 2003 developed in the face of 30kts of shear. I remember that one, cause I pointed that out in Met. class.
What a track it had. And after all it hit Florida as a rain and wind event.

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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



Was it Barry that formed in 30Kts of shear in the Gulf? Memory is a little fuzzy.


Yes, it was Barry in 07.
I think that started the whole "when Dr. Masters goes on vacation, somethings going to form".

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1538. Patrap
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all so the nhc may up it too 30% too 50%
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115435
1536. Levi32
Amazing how this MCC is like this little bubble...has the fuzzy outflow along the edges and the west/southwest side isn't flattened like the last MCC was due to the southwesterly shear. Until you see that side flatten...it will keep expanding even to the west.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26695
It's kinda like Rocky vs the big russion guy.

Keeps popping him in the face, and he keeps getting back up, 'cause they don't have a TKO rule in rocky movies...ahem...and tropical systems don't obey man-made categorizations either.
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2336
they may go a head and name it if it keeps going the way it is
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115435
Quoting Levi32:
01:15....still growing. This is becoming more significant than 92L's last MCC a couple nights ago.

I'm noticing some southward motion. Are you seeing this?
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1530. Levi32
01:15....still growing. This is becoming more significant than 92L's last MCC a couple nights ago.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26695
Quoting stormchic:
Hello all I just wanted to tell you all my exciting news...I got to talk to Jim Cantore on the telephone. I live in Homestead, FL. and he came into a local seafood restaurant here and my sister got to meet him and she told him how I love tracking storms and such. So she called me and he got on the phone and we talked!! I just think that is so cool. Sorry if I sound silly...


That's awesome! I've always wanted a chance to talk to that guy.
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1528. Patrap
00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest92
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



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Quoting StormFreakyisher:
Eww I don't like those computer models especially CLP5 because it is getting closer to FL but I also don't like the models taking it toward Haiti!Is there any chance this will turn out to sea quick?
If it comes to Florida it probably won't be more than a rain event and that's always welcomed by me.
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.
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1524. Levi32
Quoting Unfriendly:
cyclonekid - stop posting that - we DONT need to see it every page, if people want to look at it, they will.

I zoomed the Martinique radar, and im not sure if the CoC you guys are seeing is accurate... it might be under the blob, about one legend block (the color code on the right) east of the heaviest precip. Looks to me like a possible new center there - heaviest precid is heading WSW, but there is a bit to the east heading NNW.


Could be a mid-level vortex, common with long-lasting MCCs, but it would make no sense to have the surface center way over there underneath the convection. At this point there is no way it got sucked under there.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26695
Quoting Levi32:


Doubtful. It's fighting good but it would take a near miracle to get it named under 30+ knots of shear. Now if this MCC becomes so powerful that it redirects the upper flow around it and sucks in the low-level center, then we may have something to be more concerned about, but that is only an outside possibility at this point. I don't expect development into a tropical cyclone in the near future.



Was it Barry that formed in 30Kts of shear in the Gulf? Memory is a little fuzzy.
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LOL good visual
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1516. Levi32 1:25 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting Tazmanian:


so wemay have a TD or TS by oh say sat?


Doubtful. It's fighting good but it would take a near miracle to get it named under 30+ knots of shear. Now if this MCC becomes so powerful that it redirects the upper flow around it and sucks in the low-level center, then we may have something to be more concerned about, but that is only an outside possibility at this point. I don't expect development into a tropical cyclone in the near future.


ok
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115435
Eww I don't like those computer models especially CLP5 because it is getting closer to FL but I also don't like the models taking it toward Haiti!Is there any chance this will turn out to sea quick?
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Quoting atmoaggie:

DANG! The second pic is yesterday's 12 Z...I'll go back to sleep, now.
LOL!
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Quoting ElConando:


Dats yesterday mags.

DANG! The second pic is yesterday's 12 Z...I'll go back to sleep, now.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1516. Levi32
Quoting Tazmanian:


so wemay have a TD or TS by oh say sat?


Doubtful. It's fighting good but it would take a near miracle to get it named under 30+ knots of shear. Now if this MCC becomes so powerful that it redirects the upper flow around it and sucks in the low-level center, then we may have something to be more concerned about, but that is only an outside possibility at this point. I don't expect development into a tropical cyclone in the near future.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26695
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Kingwood Tx

Up there near Humble
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting atmoaggie:

Current:


6 hours ago:


this what they dont need
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115435
cyclonekid - stop posting that - we DONT need to see it every page, if people want to look at it, they will.

I zoomed the Martinique radar, and im not sure if the CoC you guys are seeing is accurate... it might be under the blob, about one legend block (the color code on the right) east of the heaviest precip. Looks to me like a possible new center there - heaviest precid is heading WSW, but there is a bit to the east heading NNW.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Current:


6 hours ago:


Dats yesterday mags.
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Quoting leo305:


well it blew up during dmin, and the shear is lifting northward so the shear is gradually dropping over the system.
I just took a look at the shear maps and it looks like the storm is about to head into the highest shear it has ever experienced. Once it makes it 200 miles further east it will begin to lessen significantly.
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Hello all I just wanted to tell you all my exciting news...I got to talk to Jim Cantore on the telephone. I live in Homestead, FL. and he came into a local seafood restaurant here and my sister got to meet him and she told him how I love tracking storms and such. So she called me and he got on the phone and we talked!! I just think that is so cool. Sorry if I sound silly...
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Current:


6 hours ago:
I like the 18z BAMS as it coincides with steering currents.
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Quoting cyclonekid:
New Blog Entry
All comments are appreciated.

Here's a comment: Everyone knew that already by the time you posted this again...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1506. Levi32
Quoting AustinTXWeather:



Is the possibly closed center to be expected or a bit surprising?


Since every model and every forecast expected this to open up into an open trough and never look back, it is a bit surprising yes. This one's a big fighter. Major rebellion going on here. It's been like a spoiled teenager this whole time with the wind shear trying to moderate its behavior.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26695
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
I know no one wants a hurricane in the gulf,but you make it sound like those countries are some sort of sheild.LoL.


They are a shield. They've saved us from many storms in the past.
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1504. leo305
Quoting StormFreakyisher:
There's 50knt winds to the NW where it is heading and 92L will go through DMAX in a few hours so after that, will it dissipate?


well it blew up during dmin, and the shear is lifting northward so the shear is gradually dropping over the system.
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
00z

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
100620 0000 100621 0000 100622 0000 100623 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 18.5N 70.1W 19.4N 75.0W 20.1N 79.2W 20.6N 83.0W
BAMD 17.9N 64.1W 18.9N 66.8W 20.7N 69.3W 22.7N 71.9W
BAMM 17.9N 67.7W 18.6N 71.4W 19.6N 74.5W 20.9N 77.5W
LBAR 18.9N 69.2W 20.9N 73.8W 23.4N 77.0W 25.6N 80.0W
SHIP 26KTS 28KTS 36KTS 48KTS
DSHP 26KTS 25KTS 35KTS 29KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 16.1N LONCUR = 59.3W DIRCUR = 285DEG SPDCUR = 12KT
LATM12 = 15.8N LONM12 = 57.2W DIRM12 = 281DEG SPDM12 = 14KT
LATM24 = 15.1N LONM24 = 53.7W
WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 60NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1011MB OUTPRS = 1013MB OUTRAD = 125NM SDEPTH = M
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM

$$
NNNN
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Quoting StormW:


I don't know...do you have the previous run?

Current:


6 hours ago:
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463

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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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