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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The convection, enhanced by the proximity of the TUTT looks great on the enhanced loops but the visible loops clearly show the sheer starting to blow it away......Remnants might survive but I think that orgnization into a TD at this point (over the next 24 hours) is virtually impossible IMHO; it has run into a wall as many have noted.
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2 eyed Dvorak


Always Spookie

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting xcool:
MMMM BIG FISH FROM BK MMM SOSO GOOD.ANYWAY HIALL


Had it a few years ago, too bad I do not partake in fast food anymore.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Impressive MCS showing near -80C cloud tops. Looking back the convective burst started at 13:15 UTC so this can already be considered an MCC.



MCC? I don't think that even remotely close.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
946. JLPR2
Blas is prettier to look at :)



Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8733
Quoting Levi32:


Almost an MCS...nowhere close to an MCC.
Really?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1945 UTC

VIZ


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting Hurricanes101:


um yea we know

and yea we know
and yea we know lol
LOL.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Impressive MCS showing near -80C cloud tops. Looking back the convective burst started at 13:15 UTC so this can already be considered an MCC.



Almost an MCS...nowhere close to an MCC.
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941. xcool
MMMM BIG FISH FROM BK MMM SOSO GOOD.ANYWAY HIALL
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys just got back from exam I know this for sure 92L is NOT DEAD and lower pressures too

AL, 92, 2010061712, , BEST, 0, 158N, 572W, 25, 1013, WV

AL, 92, 2010061718, , BEST, 0, 160N, 585W, 25, 1012, WV


um yea we know

and yea we know
and yea we know lol
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Blah blah blah...

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
hey guys just got back from exam I know this for sure 92L is NOT DEAD and lower pressures too

AL, 92, 2010061712, , BEST, 0, 158N, 572W, 25, 1013, WV

AL, 92, 2010061718, , BEST, 0, 160N, 585W, 25, 1012, WV
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12147
937. JLPR2
well 92L gave us a show today XD

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AMSU Microwave Imagery

Precipitable Water


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DMSP SSM/IS Imagery

Rain rate



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TROPICAL STORM BLAS
Images made by cyclonekid


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932. unf97
Quoting Relix:
Someone mentioned an anticyclone forming over 92L. What effects could this have?


I don't know who would mention that right now. If we had any semblence of an anticyclone over 92L, the system would be able to ventilate in the upper levels. Upper level winds would be much lighter, which would enable the system to organize at the surface. Right now, the system is enduring in the upper levels 30-40 knots of wind shear, thus, conditions at the current time unfavorable for development.


However, conditions can change, and that is what we will watch for in the coming days.
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DMSP SSM/IS Imagery
85 GHz Radiance


oooooooooohh..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting JLPR2:


I would be jawless if it were :)
A whole day without decent convection(right?) had its effects


Yup.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Whats going on with noaa satellites atm lol.
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Good evening! Looks like 92L's convection continues to increase despite predictions that it will look like crap again later today. Also I noticed that the surface low is not closed, by the looks of radar.
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Quoting Patrap:
Doh..!!!


AMSU Microwave Imagery
89 GHz Radiance




lmao
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Doh..!!!


AMSU Microwave Imagery
89 GHz Radiance


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting Patrap:
2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve
1945 UTC



2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve


nearly exposed.
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923. Relix
Someone mentioned an anticyclone forming over 92L. What effects could this have?
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Hit a brick wall
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Raised Eyebrow from the Science officer..


.."Interesting"..


TRMM Microwave Imagery
37 GHz Radiance

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919. JLPR2
Quoting Levi32:
Radar shows the circulation is not closed.


I would be jawless if it were :)
A whole day without decent convection(right?) had its effects
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918. eddye
wow look at that red on 92 l
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There is a very good chance 92L will look like crap again in just a few hours, just dont want to see so many do a 100% flip-flop again lol

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Quoting unf97:


That is my line of thinking as well. Somehow, if it can get through that shear zone during the next 36 hours or so, 92L may have a chance.


As I said yesterday, if it makes it through "this" next major obstacle in any recognizable form, then they should retire "92L" regardless of what may happen with any remnants after that........ :)
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2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve
1945 UTC



2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting RecordSeason:
904:
Lol. Western caribbean and Gomex SST already looks like mid august...This is sick..

He. I need a digital camera. I should chase storms this year and sell the photage to the networks or something.


There is no money in that anymore, believe me. To much supply and not enough demand... especially when you have things like iReport, the money is no longer there...
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Ok ok, reality check here as I see some getting a bit carried away lol

92L still has to battle hostile shear and land interaction for the next 3-4 days, so it is very unlikely we will see it become even a TD anytime soon.

I do find it interesting what the intensity models predict, but lets not forget most of them also felt this would be Alex at this point anyway. Have to see how conditions change and until then; 92Ls chances of developing are not that good in the short term.
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910. unf97
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
That flattening effect you are starting to see on the westernmost edge of the convective ball on 92L is the beginning of that band of 50 knots of sheer that may be about to rip the disturbance apart over the next 24 hours.....Most persistent thing I have seen in quite some time that 92L.....If it survives through tommorow morning, against a literal wall of high sheer, I might change my tune over the future of this disturbance but I don't see it making much further overnight.


That is my line of thinking as well. Somehow, if it can get through that shear zone during the next 36 hours or so, 92L may have a chance.
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909. eddye
wow hot tempatures watch out it is developing
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Quoting Patrap:
901. Patrap 12:54 PM AKDT on June 17, 2010


That's definitely interesting.
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Radar shows the circulation is not closed.
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Looking at the forecast track, this thing could have to deal with quite a bit of land. If it would just go over D.R., then perhaps that would be enough to kill it.
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That flattening effect you are starting to see on the westernmost edge of the convective ball on 92L is the beginning of that band of 50 knots of sheer that may be about to rip the disturbance apart over the next 24 hours.....Most persistent thing I have seen in quite some time that 92L.....If it survives through tommorow morning, against a literal wall of high sheer, I might change my tune over the future of this disturbance but I don't see it making much further overnight.
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Be sure to check the SST box.

Caribbean - False Color RGB Loop

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901. Ut oh.
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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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