Globe has 3rd consecutive warmest month on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:24 PM GMT on June 17, 2010

Share this Blog
4
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 202 - 152

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55Blog Index

Quoting Levi32:


I'm more worried about it in the gulf later on...it will have to eventually bust right through the shear zone and shear won't be very light over it during its trek across the Caribbean.
I still don't see it surviving more than 24 hours because it's circulation is an open trof. And it still has pretty strong shear ahead of it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
183. miamiamiga

Nice post...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leo305:


just ahead? It's already in a hostile environment, as it moves WNW/NW it will begin to leave that shear behind, the only thing htat will impede it is the dry air.. it just needs to survive for 24-36 hours.


I'm more worried about it in the gulf later on...it will have to eventually bust right through the shear zone and shear won't be very light over it during its trek across the Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Myway... where in northern Indiana are you from? I also lived up there and moved down to Central Florida about 21yrs ago. And I hate the cold. I would rather deal with the tropics anytime!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricane23:


Don't think so. Just ahead lies a very hostile environment which isn't going anywere anytime soon.


just ahead? It's already in a hostile environment, as it moves WNW/NW it will begin to leave that shear behind, the only thing htat will impede it is the dry air.. it just needs to survive for 24-36 hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hear, hear! Well said.
For the record, I prefer a Hurricane over an Oil Spill - we know how to deal with the before & after of a 'Cane. We are resilient & can be up and running very quickly after a storm, usually before FEMA can get their act together to assist, but this spill has gone on for 58 days - driving tourism away, impacting every business on the gulf coast for days; nerves are frayed, people are frightened. You can feel the stress & smell the fear......
Quoting Floodman:


You live there for the climate, and the payment for that incredible warmth and the beautiful beaches is the rough weather. I don't typically hear long time Floridians bitching about hurricane season; it's always the snowbirds and the newly arrived...I live in north Texas, itself a pretty beautiful place to live, but damn, the summers are brutal, the winters are cold and the "easy seasons", spring and fall? Far too short...but I don't yell at the sky; that's somewhat ridiculous
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BLOG UPDATE!

June 17, 2010 - 11:20 AM EDT - 92L Dissipates; The Atlantic Remains Quiet -
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032



WATCH THIS VIDEO........NOT FOR THE WEAK TUMMY! CRACKS ON THE OCEAN FLOOR!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
12:30z ASCAT infers a low as well.

This is not an imminent threat to develop as this is running into South America and is low in latitude. This feature may lift into the Caribbean in several days though, after crossing a portion of South America.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stillwaiting:
92L headed towards waters with some heat content,something it hasn't had thus far,72hrs from now I believe we'll be tracking a TC..
That is an exaggeration.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Looky here looky here....lol.

WindSat pass from 9z shows a low within the ITCZ at 46W.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Okay, I'm out, kids...got a conference to attend

Play nice!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stillwaiting:
92L headed towards waters with some heat content,something it hasn't had thus far,72hrs from now I believe we'll be tracking a TC..


Don't think so. Just ahead lies a very hostile environment which isn't going anywere anytime soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
189. myway
True enough flood. I was born in northern indiana. Moved here 25 years ago. In indiana we had to deal with tornados and snow. I would much rather deal with the occasional hurricane and enjoy the weather, fishing, beaches and 2 legged wildlife watching. No complaints here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
@183.

Well said...

Oil is here for the foreseeable future, but things like the potential for long term environmental damage, along with the liklihood of things like the GOM spill, we should be looking for alternatives...do you put all of your retirement money in the same place?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit for Thursday, June 17th
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
92L headed towards waters with some heat content,something it hasn't had thus far,72hrs from now I believe we'll be tracking a TC..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Shear might be starting to lift (from south to north).
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
Quoting stillwaiting:
92L has dissapated?????,I don't think sooooo!!!!
It has an open trof for a circulation and all of its convection is TUTT enhanced, in my book 92L is dissipating if not yet.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
RecordSeason:

Plant-based plastics would work for more disposable items (and are better for our environment). Industrial hemp and corn both can produce plastics that can last at least 3-5 years, plenty long enough for disposable medical items, food and drink packaging, trash bags, etc. AND they are biodegradeable. With some research and development, we might even be able to create plant-based plastics that could withstand the test of time for those items that need to last longer than 5 years (in this day and age, there is not much need for that on the regular consumer end of things).

There are ways to drastically reduce the use of petroleum based products. I do not know where you get your information or how you form your opinions, but there are many small businesses and entrepreneurs turning out alternatives to petroleum based products. With some support from the government to streamline the manufacturing process and ramp up production we could start using those products within a couple of years on a MASS scale.

Unfortunately, big oil would like everyone to think they are indispensable. They are not. Granted, it will take time to wean our economy off of petroleum, but that time period would be MUCH shorter if people would inform themselves of what the alternatives are and then give their politicians the support they need to take on big oil (or elect politicians that are willing to do so).

For more information on this subject (I am in no way promoting any one organization or product here, just information):

http://www.chej.org/BESAFE/pvc/bioplastics.htm

I hope you take the time to read, infomr yourself, and perhaps understand there ARE new ways of doing things ALL THE TIME. Status quo is NOT necessary.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
92L has dissapated?????,I don't think sooooo!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
AOI/XX/XL
MARK
15N/55W

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52406
Referring to 92 L----Thats why I said you dont call anything "dead" until you cant "see" anything else. Especially in one of the most forecasted seasons in history!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GRAPHICS UPDATE
11:00 am EDT Advisory: Tropical Depression Two-E

11:00 am EDT Advisory: Tropical Depression Three-E
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO-E
Image made by Cyclonekid

Tracking:


TROPICAL DEPRESSION THREE-E
Images made by Cyclonekid

Tracking:


Forecast:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting myway:
Can only speak for myself. I live on the se coast of Florida. I choose to live here despite the risk. I pay my insurance which goes up each year because it is about a lifestyle. If the govt. tries to move me there will be a fight.


You live there for the climate, and the payment for that incredible warmth and the beautiful beaches is the rough weather. I don't typically hear long time Floridians bitching about hurricane season; it's always the snowbirds and the newly arrived...I live in north Texas, itself a pretty beautiful place to live, but damn, the summers are brutal, the winters are cold and the "easy seasons", spring and fall? Far too short...but I don't yell at the sky; that's somewhat ridiculous
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BLOG UPDATE!

June 17, 2010 - 11:20 AM EDT - 92L Dissipates; The Atlantic Remains Quiet -
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting Orcasystems:
161. Floodman 3:09 PM GMT on June 17, 2010

Your using logic again... remember, thats what causes the headaches :) Not to mention it also confuses some of the people on here.


I can't help myself...it's how my mind works (well, most of the time...)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stillwaiting:
92L ain't done yet,the real show should begin as it moves into warmer waters and sheer begins to relax over the next 72hrs.....


I think you might be right, the 850mb vorticity is still very pronounced and the favorable shear in the Bahamas is building eastward, it has a thin line of hostile shear to get through, but who knows
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52406
This heat is not going to get rid of itself.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It is interesting to try to identify something you own or see around you that is man made that has not in any way shape or form been impacted/created by fossil fuels. Try to find one in your house.

It is also interesting how little we actually know with respect to alternative energy and its impact on our climate. Stored energy vs real time energy consumption is quite perplexing.

Here is a recent study from MIT on wind farms and their impact on the climate.

http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/2053/2010/acp-10-2053-2010.html

Additionally while reading through some info from Goddard, I was a bit stunned at this imagery on GISS holes. They colored them pink in this item. Wow. L8R

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDm4_NwRzVU&feature=player_embedded
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As far as building on beaches goes: no one in the government has the power to stop that. American politics is so screwed up with hate and misinformation right now (and take your pick on which side you think is the worst), that any controversial efforts like stopping building on the beach would be impossible. If a politician was to fight that fight, they would either lose or be politically bankrupt at the end. It's just not that important. If people want to build on the beach, then let 'em.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
92L ain't done yet,the real show should begin as it moves into warmer waters and sheer begins to relax over the next 72hrs.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NotCircumventing:
Life was so much easier before internet ... when everyone was more capable of forming their own opinions.

The net is full of "echo-chambers" where people get radicalized, both left and right on any issue.

The result is like a cancer that grows and kills from within.


There is truth there, but in reality, the same thing happened before the 'net; it just took longer for the crazies to be heard...LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
161. Floodman 3:09 PM GMT on June 17, 2010

Your using logic again... remember, thats what causes the headaches :) Not to mention it also confuses some of the people on here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormW:


I am not too sure...it may slightly...however, the main cause of the GOMEX warm up has been the very active loop current.


Don't forget about the unrelenting heat... crazy hot down on the Gulf coast, Florida and the rest of the SE CONUS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
looks to me like 92L is moving towards Puerto Rico, may move north of that were there is barely any shear, but lots of dry air
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
162. BDAwx
what causes little swirls like seen between 17and 19N, 110-111W?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RecordSeason:
Floodman I don't recall saying governments are moral.

Lol. I quite believe the opposite to be true, at least in most cases, and especially in the U.S. today.

I said, "the moral thing to do".


All governments are in the same business; they are interested in "business as usual" and not rocking the boat, along with all the perks they can get for themselves...it's people that are the problem, really, and I'm by no means a misanthrope.

The fact that no one is is making a concerted effort to stop building on the coasts and that no one is really making anything other than a half hearted effort at curbing green house gases reflects nothing other than business as usual and is in no way proof of the veracity or fallacy of Climate Change, Anthropomorphic or otherwise; that information is in the data and trusting either side in the debate is the height of foolishness...


As for not making any solid moves one way or the other? We do what we know how to do and until our noses are rubbed in it, we tend to maintain the status quo, period...let a few more islands disappear, let the high tides make iot to the street regularly, and let the full effects of CC occur and suddenly everyone will be interested in doing something about it...EVEN YOU.

When your doctor tells you that based on your high cholesterol numbers and hypertension you run a far greeater risk of coronary disease, do you rush out and buy a bag of pork rinds, a carton of Kools and a bottle of Jack Daniels? Typically not; but some people will go out and talk to other doctors and keep seeing others until they hear what they want to hear...some cut back on the pork, quit smoking and take their meds...thinking we can continue like we are indefinitely is stupidity and we all pay for it, not just those who feel they have the answers, but all of us
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NotCircumventing:
Life was so much easier before internet ... when everyone was more capable of forming their own opinions.

The net is full of "echo-chambers" where people get radicalized, both left and right on any issue.

The result is like a cancer that grows and kills from within.


That is true but the counter argument is that the internet allows us to understand and research to form our own judgments.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning... Just wanted to post the latest met office atl seasonal forecast. Some wild stuff 13-27 range and an ACE over 200. They've been pretty accurate the past few years
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
131. RecordSeason

I have no idea where you get your information, but it is wrong. Plastics etc are about 5% of petroleum use.


Petroleum products and their relative share of total U.S. petroleum consumption in 2008:

Gasoline 46%
Diesel Fuel1 18%
Jet Fuel (Kerosene) 8%
Propane/Propylene 6%
NGL & LRG2 5%
Still Gas 3%
Residual/Heavy Fuel Oil 3%
Petrochemical Feedstocks 3%
Heating Oil3 3%
Petroleum Coke 2%
Asphalt and Road Oil 2%
Lubricants 1%
Miscellaneous Products 0.3%
Special Naphthas 0.2%
Aviation Gasoline 0.1%
Kerosene 0.1%
Waxes 0.05%


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I recycle.
I respect this big ball we call earth.
I pick up trash off our sugar white sands that tourist leave as their calling card.
I drive a fuel efficient vehicle, but walk when I can.
Do not put words in my mouth - I never said anything about foreign oil.

Orca - not advocating drilling in Alaska, just making a point.
Quoting greentortuloni:
Re: 131

So, recycling isn't possible?

Or, since we can't be totally free of foreign oil, we should just give up?

I'm glad you weren't around in 1776.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
154. myway
Can only speak for myself. I live on the se coast of Florida. I choose to live here despite the risk. I pay my insurance which goes up each year because it is about a lifestyle. If the govt. tries to move me there will be a fight.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 202 - 152

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55Blog Index

Top of Page

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.