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 CaneWarning:


I'm confused. So we have Drakoen, and now DrakoenG. Any relation?


What does "drakoen" even mean??? I have been pondering over this, but I still can't think of anything...

-Snowlover123
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Quoting Levi32:


Yes. After the last MCC that blew up the other night.


oh ok well nevermind lol
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I'm confused. So we have Drakoen, and now DrakoenG. Any relation?


Obviously he's a troll.

Please dont quote...
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
1449. Levi32
Quoting Hurricanes101:


DT= 1.5?

did it ever have that before?


Yes. After the last MCC that blew up the other night.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Wow. At 2 AM I expect moderate.


Lets see if it can maintain itself first...

Dont wanna fall back into the hype just to have it die down again.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
Quoting DrakoenG:
with models shitfing north, i believe they will continue to move north until the concensus is towards...florida

:)


I'm confused. So we have Drakoen, and now DrakoenG. Any relation?
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Quoting sailingallover:

Not Yea!! it is way late for me to have to move the boat to a Hurricane Hole if it develops!!


Lol... bad for you... hope your boats make it through! Sometimes, being a weather fanatic makes you forget that there is extreme tradgedy with hurricanes, and little excitement for the common folkpeople.

-Snowlover123
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Quoting Skyepony:
I still like the PR, Hispaniola path I put out there the other night. I'll add probably south of Cuba, Jamaica may get in on it. If it makes it to the gulf probably over the Yucatan, no farther North than STX, more likely MX or Central America if nothing is forming n the extreme EPAC at the time to help it North. The flow is very west. Not at all unusual during a strong La Nina or quick switch to one.. LLC hate to cross land & I think it will roll the south side of the bigger islands PR, Hispaniola, Cuba, not being outrageously strong (impeded by land) & the west flow should help trap it mostly to the Caribbean. Also the west to east lows that could sweep one more north is running high across southern Canada, too high to influence it.
Thanks. Sounds like you want to send it straight to Cayman. LOL (And no, I am not JFV)
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
1442. JLPR2
Quoting Levi32:
00:45...convection continues to expand.





when is that supposed to stop? :S
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
New Blog Entry
All comments are appreciated.
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1440. DehSoBe
I agree. Strong wave moves toward Florida. Will it strenghten as it moves over warm waters. this is the question....
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may be will see a new low pop up under 92L t-storms
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114052
Quoting extreme236:
TAFB at 23:45 UTC gave 92L a 25kt intensity estimate with a DT=1.5
Wow. At 2 AM I expect moderate.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting extreme236:
TAFB at 23:45 UTC gave 92L a 25kt intensity estimate with a DT=1.5


DT= 1.5?

did it ever have that before?
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1434. Skyepony (Mod)
I still like the PR, Hispaniola path I put out there the other night. I'll add probably south of Cuba, Jamaica may get in on it. If it makes it to the gulf probably over the Yucatan, no farther North than STX, more likely MX or Central America if nothing is forming n the extreme EPAC at the time to help it North. The flow is very west. Not at all unusual during a strong La Nina or quick switch to one.. LLC hate to cross land & I think it will roll the south side of the bigger islands PR, Hispaniola, Cuba, not being outrageously strong (impeded by land) & the west flow should help trap it mostly to the Caribbean. Also the west to east lows that could sweep one more north is running high across southern Canada, too high to influence it.
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1433. Levi32
Quoting extreme236:
TAFB at 23:45 UTC gave 92L a 25kt intensity estimate with a DT=1.5


Where's that....all I have is the SSD Dvorak site, which has dropped 92L since 24 hours ago.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting Snowlover123:
Yea! 92L is back...



Lol, Dr. Masters, saying that this would "disspiate by Friday."

-Snowlover123

Not Yea!! it is way late for me to have to move the boat to a Hurricane Hole if it develops!!
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TAFB at 23:45 UTC gave 92L a 25kt intensity estimate with a DT=1.5
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1430. Levi32
00:45...convection continues to expand.



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting 850Realtor:
Dumb question...I've noticed the letters XD in a few posts. Is that someones initials or what?

Also, got chewy chocolate chip cookies for tonight! Will pass out to the group in a little while.

Rotate your head 90 degrees in the cyclonic (counterclockwise) direction... XD

Oh, yay, cookies. Will be checking my WUmail for one...
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nrtiwlnvragn shifted north should shift south maybe on next run
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1427. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1412. 850Realtor 12:54 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Dumb question...I've noticed the letters XD in a few posts. Is that someones initials or what?

Also, got chewy chocolate chip cookies for tonight! Will pass out to the group in a little while.


XD means this smiley
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1424. Levi32
Quoting CaribbeanIslandStorm:

could send me that link Levi?


Link
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting DrakoenG:
with models shitfing north, i believe they will continue to move north until the concensus is towards...florida

:)


Wow...

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
Yea! 92L is back...



Lol, Dr. Masters, saying that this would "disspiate by Friday."

-Snowlover123
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Quoting Levi32:
Radar out of the Antilles suggests that the center of 92L remains south of Guadeloupe's latitude and may have even lost some latitude in the last 6 hours.


could send me that link Levi?
Quoting Relix:


You gotta be freaking kidding me... wow. Now everyone is JFV? Really?


when evere i see the world sir i all was think of JFV
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114052
1418. leo305
Quoting pipelines:
you can see the coc on the radar embedded in the rain band, how is it possible the coc is located far west of the convection?


wind shear?
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Tropical Radars
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1414. DehSoBe
92L is just a forerunner for this season. Watch and Wait! I Hate waiting!
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1413. Relix
Quoting Tazmanian:
Quoting Relix:


Awaiting your take with lots of anticipation sir =)


JFV??


You gotta be freaking kidding me... wow. Now everyone is JFV? Really?
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Dumb question...I've noticed the letters XD in a few posts. Is that someones initials or what?

Also, got chewy chocolate chip cookies for tonight! Will pass out to the group in a little while.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
The shear has blown all the storms that developed over the center to the NE. Hence the "naked swirl"


How can a "naked swirl" be embedded in precipitation?
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1409. Levi32
Quoting SykKid:
Does anyone actually believe this thing has a legit shot at development? I just can't see it happening.


It doesn't have much of a chance to do anything until it gets to the gulf, and even then it may not be conducive depending on how the pattern sets up and if 92L's circulation remains intact.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
1407. IKE
Quoting PanhandleChuck:


Well Ike --- I hate the taste of crow, but I guess I should throw the bird in the oven.


I said it was RIP too, but thought it was worth following.

I doubt this dies from shear. Maybe land/mountains can kill it.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Just did a blog on 92L.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Can someone post the link to the islands radar?
Why didn't I save it last time T_T

All freely-available coastal radars: http://hurricanewarning1.com/radar.html
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One other thing - the google earth maps are for everybody -- lurkers included. There are many more lurkers than there are posters -- so please don't feel shy!
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1401. SykKid 12:51 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Does anyone actually believe this thing has a legit shot at development? I just can't see it happening.
Action: Quote | Ignore User


downcaster
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114052

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About JeffMasters

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