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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Correct me if I am wrong, but it appears the circulation of ex-92L will enter the Caribbean.
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Quoting Grothar:
Latest image from the Navy site. Just unusual to see a system still symmetrical under such strong wind shear. Last time I remember something like this was back in 1927.



What?? Lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Quoting Drakoen:
Ummm was this posted lol:




A swirly to Hit dat Continent me tinks maybe Drak.


Lets declare it and cause a 800 comment run,eh?


SA AL001
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The ITCZ disturbance near 47W will miss the coast of French Guiana but will be forced inland near the Guyana or Venezuela coast within a couple days. This disturbance just might be a potential problem if it lifts up into the central Caribbean in a few days after crossing a portion of South America.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Latest image from the Navy site. Just unusual to see a system still symmetrical under such strong wind shear. Last time I remember something like this was back in 1927.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26477
If and when 92L gets in the GOM will the two TUTTS be a stearing pattern to go North in the GOM?
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ASCAT also implies a low.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Quoting Drakoen:
Ummm was this posted lol:



Yup....I posted it earlier. I've been monitoring it closely.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
The center of ex-92L all of this morning was very broad and the exact center was ill-defined. In the last couple hours the center has tightened up into a very easily definable vortex near the first band of convection.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Quoting bjdsrq:


Yes. I know these guys. A TV show, home made armoured car, or even a met degree doesn't make you a smart chaser. Remember the episode when the TIV ran out of gas on the best chance they ever had to get inside a nado? Talk about bad contingency planning. Good thing running out of gas isn't life-safety critical, like eye protection for example.

If chasers want to mitigate risk of death, they should study the way cave divers religiously use redundancy and contingency planning and adopt similar techniques. This is even more critical on large scale disasters like hurricanes, where you might have to survive stranded for days on your own even with injuries. Chasers are the last to get sympathy from law enforcement and EMTs, so you have to depend on being in 110% DIY mode until you get out.
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Ummm was this posted lol:

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Quoting IKE:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT THU JUN 17 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...


A STRONG TROPICAL WAVE APPROACHING THE LEEWARD ISLANDS IS PRODUCING
DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AS IT MOVES TO THE
WEST-NORTHWEST AT ABOUT 15 MPH. ALTHOUGH STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS
SHOULD PREVENT TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION...LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN AND
GUSTY WINDS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO
OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BLAKE



Lol....had a feeling.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Quoting AllStar17:


Yeah....that is why I called it that. Are you saying that the future chances of development for this system are increasing? Thanks!


It's chances of development in the next few days are still pretty much 0....but the longer it remains this well-defined, the more chance that it will be a problem farther west in the Gulf of Mexico.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Quoting tornadodude:


This is who he is and what he drives:

His Site

His Vehicle:



Yes. I know these guys. A TV show, home made armoured car, or even a met degree doesn't make you a smart chaser. Remember the episode when the TIV ran out of gas on the best chance they ever had to get inside a nado? Talk about bad contingency planning. Good thing running out of gas isn't life-safety critical, like eye protection for example.

If chasers want to mitigate risk of death, they should study the way cave divers religiously use redundancy and contingency planning and adopt similar techniques. This is even more critical on large scale disasters like hurricanes, where you might have to survive stranded for days on your even with injuries. Chasers are the last to get sympathy from law enforcement and EMTs, so you have to depend on being in 110% DIY mode until you get out.
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.."get ready, cuz here I come"..

92L's theme Song
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Probably just mentioning it because of the amount of disturbed weather it is cause. No imminent threat for development.
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Quoting IKE:


Which is why I think the NHC is mentioning it.
Well, it looks like 92L is a fighter and might surprise a lot of people in the long run. Reading late yesterday I surely thought there was no chance but looks like me and many more were dead wrong.
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Itsa always a swirl..till it aint.
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431. IKE
Quoting AllStar17:
LOL....near 0 percent again. However, if it continues to survive, they may have to up the potential if it can get into a favorable environment.


Which is why I think the NHC is mentioning it.
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Gulf and Tropics (Updated every ~1/2 hour)


GOES-12 Channel 4 (IR)

GOES-12 Channel 3 (WV)

GOES-12 Low Cloud Product

GOES-12 Channel 1 (Vis)


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428. IKE
Hmmm....NHC keeps mentioning 92L.
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LOL....near 0 percent again. However, if it continues to survive, they may have to up the potential if it can get into a favorable environment.
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LOL...They gave 92L back its' yellow circle.
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425. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT THU JUN 17 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...


A STRONG TROPICAL WAVE APPROACHING THE LEEWARD ISLANDS IS PRODUCING
DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AS IT MOVES TO THE
WEST-NORTHWEST AT ABOUT 15 MPH. ALTHOUGH STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS
SHOULD PREVENT TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION...LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN AND
GUSTY WINDS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO
OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BLAKE

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Quoting Levi32:


It is only ill-defined in the sense that it is not completely closed. It is very well-defined for a system that is no longer even an invest, and looks even better than it did yesterday, despite all this shear.


Yeah....that is why I called it that. Are you saying that the future chances of development for this system are increasing? Thanks!
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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


92L's center is still associated with the convection. Convection just fired on top of it as a matter of fact. :)


It appears to be JUST to the west of the blow-up of thunderstorms if you look at this loop, heading due west.
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Quoting AllStar17:
Levi - Do you see the "ill-defined center" of the system going due west into the NE Caribbean? Please look at this
loop


It is only ill-defined in the sense that it is not completely closed. It is, in fact, very well-defined for a system that is no longer even an invest, and looks even better than it did yesterday, despite all this shear.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
421. eddye
will some people join me in tropics chat plz
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I mean you have been a great help, I am in the learning stage here since rita, didnt meen to put a question mark at the end.
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**Repost**
TROPICAL STORM BLAS Storm Track

Final TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO-E Storm Track
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Quoting txsweetpea:
Thanks Levi, You have been a great help?
I second that. You are always so informative and polite.
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Levi - Do you see the "ill-defined center" of the system going due west into the NE Caribbean? Please look at this
loop
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Heat advisory in effect until 7 PM CDT Friday...

Current Conditions

Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 1 min 19 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy

93.6 °F

Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 60%
Dew Point: 78 °F
Wind: 2.6 mph from the South
Wind Gust: 4.9 mph
Pressure: 30.12 in (Steady)

Heat Index: 109 °F

Visibility: 7.0 miles
UV: 7 out of 16
Pollen: 3.50 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 3800 ft
Mostly Cloudy 25000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 20 ft

Active Advisory: Heat Advisory, Special Weather Statement

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Thanks Levi, You have been a great help?
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Quoting Magicchaos:
Looks like 92E upgraded to TD 3E, then 40min later, TS Blas. According to the discussions from TD 2E, the outflow from Blas aided in the dissipation of TD 2E.

The top of the NHC page lists TS Blas, but when you click on the products, they are all still labled TD 3E. They need to get their update process coordinated, lol.
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Quoting txsweetpea:



Can you post the link to the models please? Does it eventually go into the gulf?


Here's the 12z GFS. It does take it into the gulf and shows a system in there, but not a very strong one. It is something to keep an eye on as it nears that area.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
The ill-defined center of ex-92L seems to be headed due west.
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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


Like Major Hurricane strength??


No, more like strong TS possibly pushing Cat 1.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Lol...12z NOGAPS 180 hours Fujiwara in the Caribbean :)

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Quoting Levi32:


92L, if you can believe it.



Can you post the link to the models please? Does it eventually go into the gulf?
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404. 7544
so ater 92l get thru this shear it still has a chance while it tracks to the bahammas ?

and its still 92l on the navy page at this hour

starting to build more covection tia
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Shear continues to drop from south to north.
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About

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