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 weathermanwannabe:
Posted by: JeffMasters, 9:24 AM EDT on June 17, 2010

Thanks Dr. M. If you make the analog comparison to 1998 in terms of potential conditions for 2010, interesting to note the similar, higher, trajectories of several of the storms that year to 92L (albeit with a 2 month formation period difference as 92L basically took an early season Cape Verde track) and several storms that curved out to sea that year also. The ultimate postion of the A-B high during the peak months this year will be the key factor; if we get a large number of storms this year, hopefully we will see lots of fish storms along with the landfalling ones as the high shifts.


Yes indeed, the idea of "Fish Storms" is a very valid thought. The analogs certainly support the potential for a congregation of tracks recurving off shore. The very warm waters should support an active Cape Verde season this year. As we move toward the heart of the season and the wave track lifts north up the African Coast, this early development will have a better chance of interacting with the Mid-Atlantic Trof even if in a somewhat weak state this year. There should also be a couple of bursting cycles of storms timed with the favorable MJO phase that could alter steering patterns within the storm clusters. The problem is the sheer number of storms. Even if you allow for a great year with the current forecast parameters and 1/3 to 1/2 of the storms recurve, and you settle on say 21 storms, that leaves 10-14 storms to potentially wreak havoc. Certainly a season to be very wary of and as prepared as possible.
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How strong are the winds in Henri, I mean Erika or is it Fred, dangit i meant 92L?
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Actually the Center is deceiving and is very much still exposed.....http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/flash-ir2.html


That's old.
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Quoting Patrap:
The convection is far removed from the center.


um its right over the center actually
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Quoting IKE:


Jeez...this thing is a survivor and then some. Almost amazing in the face of shear!


Like I said it actually looks quite scary when you think of what it would be doing to the islands if the shear had been lighter.

Just shows how much the atmosphere wants to pop right now.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
WU Tropical page


Wind: 30 MPH — Location: 16.0 58.5W — Movement: W
This area of disturbed weather has the potential for tropical development.


Now it's up to date!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Looks like another MCS is developing over the COC, as it wasn't there 2 hours ago.


This one is even more likely to collapse early than the other one was.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Heres all the deactivated invests so far:
File:invest_DEACTIVATE_al902010.ren
4 KB
5/27/2010
8:46:00 PM

File:invest_DEACTIVATE_al912010.ren

1 KB
6/2/2010
3:27:00 PM

File:invest_DEACTIVATE_ep012010.ren

3 KB
5/31/2010
8:54:00 PM

File:invest_DEACTIVATE_ep912010.ren
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643. IKE
Quoting Levi32:
Hilarious...

18:45...





Jeez...this thing is a survivor and then some. Almost amazing in the face of shear!
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The convection is far removed from the center.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
Actually the Center is deceiving and is very much still exposed.....http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/flash-ir2.html
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting Levi32:
Hilarious...

18:45...



Looks like another MCS is developing over the COC, as it wasn't there 2 hours ago.
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It looks like a sheared TS
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Quoting JLPR2:
This is ridiculous, for some reason I'm thinking that the CIMMS shear map is lying, no way convection could hold on like this under 50Kts of shear



They are collapsing thunderstorms.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3768
WU Tropical page


Wind: 30 MPH — Location: 16.0 58.5W — Movement: W
This area of disturbed weather has the potential for tropical development.
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New 18z position after skipping 12z.....16.0N 58.5W.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Levy, WOW
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92 sure is persistent. even if they call it off as an invest, I'm not going to call it off. it looks well. it has been hitting shear and it still seems to be on track to the Caribbean. imo- i think it will make it to the Caribbean. it will probably continue to die down and blow up again. its an Erika storm. just when we think its dead it burst back to life. jmo. what do you all think?
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631. dobey
We are in trouble if it makes it into the GOM with that oil spill going on.
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630. JLPR2
This is ridiculous, for some reason I'm thinking that the CIMMS shear map is lying, no way convection could hold on like this under 50Kts of shear

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Nope, they never deactivated. With invests NHC really has no "rules", they can update if they want, run models etc, or not. They pretty much have a "free hand".


I guess....just weird how every product associated with the invest disappeared at 12z. The SSD floater being deactivated especially is a good indication that something "ended".
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
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Quoting Levi32:


You can't explain away no 12z position update, floater got turned off on SSD site, models got turned off on the track model sites, and the TWO took it off which usually means the end of an invest. I think it got ended and then re-started.
Very weird. But I can prove to you that it never got deactivated, just take a look at the FTP/ATCF site.
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Hilarious...

18:45...



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
92L looks like Erika last year at the same time. At 5PM that day (Sept 1 2009 but i'm not sure) advisories were initiated on TS Erika...
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SEL4

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 334
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
155 PM CDT THU JUN 17 2010

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

WESTERN IOWA
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA
EASTERN NEBRASKA
EASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA

EFFECTIVE THIS THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 155 PM UNTIL
900 PM CDT.

TORNADOES...HAIL TO 3 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND
GUSTS TO 80 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE
AREAS.

THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 90 STATUTE
MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 25 MILES EAST NORTHEAST OF
ALEXANDRIA MINNESOTA TO 15 MILES SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF OMAHA
NEBRASKA. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE
ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU4).

REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 332...WW 333...

DISCUSSION...THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO RAPIDLY INTENSIFY THIS
AFTERNOON OVER EXTREME EASTERN SD/EASTERN NEB AND TRACK EASTWARD
INTO PARTS OF MN/IA. SHEAR PROFILES ARE FAVORABLE FOR SUPERCELLS
CAPABLE OF VERY LARGE HAIL...DAMAGING WINDS...AND A FEW TORNADOES.
STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO EVENTUALLY ORGANIZE INTO A SQUALL LINE AND
SPREAD ACROSS THE WATCH AREA THIS EVENING.

AVIATION...TORNADOES AND A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL
SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 3 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE
WIND GUSTS TO 70 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO
500. MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 24035.


...HART
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I think most of the convection is shear-induced though

that being said, it shows 92L is a survivor
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Quoting Levi32:


Well, so much for models being gone. They were erased from the site earlier this morning. Perhaps the invest was re-initiated? Lol.


Nope, they never deactivated. With invests NHC really has no "rules", they can update if they want, run models etc, or not. They pretty much have a "free hand".
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92L was never deactivated
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Nope, it never got deactivated.


You can't explain away no 12z position update, floater got turned off on SSD site, models got turned off on the track model sites, and the TWO took it off which usually means the end of an invest. I think it got ended and then re-started.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
I can't believe this is happening in the middle of the day! Amazed!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
168-hour 12z ECMWF....deepening low in the western Caribbean.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Hi everyone, quick fly-by post.

I lurked in here this morning and saw 92L no longer existed and they took it down?

Now it is looking pretty good???

That is why I never turn my back on a swirl this time of year until that "low" is someplace it cannot possibly regenerate...too many went away only to return even stronger!

happy Thursday, will check back later.
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Quoting Levi32:


Well, so much for models being gone. They were erased from the site earlier this morning. Perhaps the invest was re-initiated? Lol.
Nope, it never got deactivated.
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611. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Could be trouble for Haiti.
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Quoting watchingnva:


i know this was said a long time ago...but im just catching up for the day....but did he really just call reed a bozo....im guessing this meteorological genius has been living under a rock for a few years now?....

what a joke....

anyways....could get dangerous up in minn, iowa and mizzou later today...hope all chasers stay safe.

and by the looks of it, 92l is far from dead like everyone on here has been preaching...sure, it wont develop for a while due to the shear....but lets see where things stand in 6-8 days out...bbl.


definitely called him a bozo, and he is by far one of the most intelligent and well prepared storm chasers out there. :P
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Link

Nice explosion on the RGB inagery!
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Well, so much for models being gone. They were erased from the site earlier this morning. Perhaps the invest was re-initiated? Lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting Patrap:
Ahemm..



er..the Warnings for Land Based Severe weather listing is here.



A quick click on the "US Severe Weather" button at the top of the page can be a handy tool to. Put you right o the weather radar with a click on your area.

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Imagine 2 probable invests east of the islands at the same time in June....goodness.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Tropical Storm Erika from last year:
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Quoting tornadodude:


This is who he is and what he drives:

His Site

His Vehicle:



i know this was said a long time ago...but im just catching up for the day....but did he really just call reed a bozo....im guessing this meteorological genius has been living under a rock for a few years now?....

what a joke....

anyways....could get dangerous up in minn, iowa and mizzou later today...hope all chasers stay safe.

and by the looks of it, 92l is far from dead like everyone on here has been preaching...sure, it wont develop for a while due to the shear....but lets see where things stand in 6-8 days out...bbl.
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Should eventually die down again.
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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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