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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2702. Walshy
12:55 PM GMT on June 22, 2010
Quoting SykKid:
Does anyone actually believe this thing has a legit shot at development? I just can't see it happening.


Yes. Model support is over whelming. The conditions are there for development.
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
2701. nadirsup
3:57 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Is that a COC at 16.5 63.5? The last few frames of the WV loop look like the beginning of convection firing there with circulation?
Member Since: October 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6
2700. sailingallover
3:09 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Shear is greater over PR and the DR.

Ok I think what is going to happen is as 92L goes under the Upper level High over the Caribbean it is going to get squashed on the West side and the shear on the east side of the high will push the east side of 92L south so it will almost look like it's spinning clockwise and it will be pretty much dead..for now...

Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1007
2699. sailingallover
2:47 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Man if it dissipates today I will send $500 to Jeff Masters.
HAHAHA I'm willing to eat dead crow but your really brave!
You might need to break out your check book..
Looks like the subsidence from the Upper Level High in the Caribbean is stomping on 92L's convection. Maybe daytime heating will give it a kick this afternoon..
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1007
2698. AussieStorm
2:36 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Because of that post is exactly why I no longer RIP systems.

even a naked swirl can become something in the right conditions, I hope 92L doesn't find the right conditions or we might have a Tstorm on our hands.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
2697. mfaria101
2:28 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Oh that's pretty cool. I'll have it up in a couple of weeks. By the way the zip code of the weather station is 33145 in Coral Gables (Miami), Florida.


Sounds pretty neat, what kind is it and where can I get one?
Member Since: May 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 30
2696. WINDSMURF
2:16 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


One never does. Country walk was a disaster. You also find out many things. One being that you CAN fit 11 people into one bathtub, if necessary. We can laugh now, but it wasn't funny at the time was it?

During Andrew I was living at SW 184 Street (eureka Drive) and 123rd Ave. It was not pretty I was one of the only houses with the roof still on minus all the shingles. I found my shed about 6 houses down the street inside a pool.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 164
2695. MiamiHurricanes09
2:16 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting helove2trac:
Sorry i didnt mean to get u introuble with RIP MIAMI
You didn't get me in trouble, lol. I'm just saying that you can never RIP a system in the tropics.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2694. cg2916
2:16 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
NEW BLOG!!!
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
2693. cg2916
2:16 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting StormW:
This is one time, I have to agree pretty much with the STATISTICAL MODELS, a more subtle turn .

12Z STATISTICAL MODELS:



12Z DYNAMIC MODELS:




Wow, the Dynamical models give it a 90 degree turn in 6 hours.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
2691. MiamiHurricanes09
2:13 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting cg2916:


92L has taught me a lesson or two. This thing will not die, it's trying and trying.
Absolutely. So Aussie, are you buckled in for the rainy and cold La Nina winter over there?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2689. helove2trac
2:13 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Sorry i didnt mean to get u introuble with RIP MIAMI
2687. cg2916
2:11 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Because of that post is exactly why I no longer RIP systems.


92L has taught me a lesson or two. This thing will not die, it's trying and trying.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
2686. MiamiHurricanes09
2:09 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting AussieStorm:

Didn't you RIP 92L last night in your blog update?

June 17, 2010 - 11:20 AM EDT - 92L Dissipates; The Atlantic Remains Quiet
Because of that post is exactly why I no longer RIP systems.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2685. AussieStorm
2:08 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LOL, I've learned not to RIP anything in the tropics, much less 92L.

Didn't you RIP 92L last night in your blog update?
MiamiHurricanes09 Blog
June 17, 2010 - 11:20 AM EDT - 92L Dissipates; The Atlantic Remains Quiet
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
2684. lilElla
2:07 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
From Post 2651 - The heavy rain in Haiti could lead to dangerous and perhaps life threatening mudslides Sunday, and perhaps into Monday of next week.

Haitians need our help! PayPal/Portlight!!
Member Since: December 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 273
2683. helove2trac
2:06 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
why yall keep saying jamacian strike its not even a tropical depression yet come on guys be real
2682. SevereHurricane
2:04 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
12Z SHIPS brings 92L near the Cayman Islands as a strong Tropical Storm.
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
2681. weathermanwannabe
2:03 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


One never does. Country walk was a disaster. You also find out many things. One being that you CAN fit 11 people into one bathtub, if necessary. We can laugh now, but it wasn't funny at the time was it?


Our relationship did not survive Andrew. She lost everything (House/Boat/Car) and turned to alcohol/DUI's/PTSD over the following year and never really recovered from the loss.........Very Sad.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8763
2680. MiamiHurricanes09
2:02 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting helove2trac:
Its over 92L is rip
LOL, I've learned not to RIP anything in the tropics, much less 92L.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2679. MiamiHurricanes09
2:02 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting DestinJeff:
it would be better if 92L would develop more so that the energy is taken over land mass before it is too spun up ...

otherwise the energy tends to go more west and gets into the central carribbean, along with much lower shear.

not to sound like a w-caster, but minor organization i think is preferred at this point because the engery just isn't going away.
There are westcasters here too? Damn, well call me a westcaster for now as I have steering currents in favor of my opinion. Plus strengthening isn't in the near future so rule of thumb suggests westward motion.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2678. soflamac
2:01 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
greenme: if there's anythign that loop shows me, it's that king TUTT has ruled in the carribean for all of june
2677. lickitysplit
2:01 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting StormW:
INVESTIGATIVE AREA 92L/TROPICAL SYNOPSIS UPDATE ISSUED 8:30 A.M. JUNE 18, 2010


THank you for this. Always informative!
Member Since: May 17, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 631
2676. helove2trac
2:00 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Its over 92L is rip
2674. MiamiHurricanes09
1:57 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting AllStar17:


Me too. That is why I put (or just south of it).
Yeah, lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2673. MiamiHurricanes09
1:57 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
12z BAMS moved further south, I'm beginning to favor that one for now.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2671. AllStar17
1:53 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
If 92L can survive I'm going to go even further south than the BAMM, I think a Jamaica strike is likely.


Me too. That is why I put (or just south of it).
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
2669. MiamiHurricanes09
1:52 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting AllStar17:
I continue to agree with the BAMM track (or just south of it). Also, look at the SHIPS intensity forecast.
If 92L can survive I'm going to go even further south than the BAMM, I think a Jamaica strike is likely.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2667. AllStar17
1:50 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
I continue to agree with the BAMM track (or just south of it). Also, look at the SHIPS intensity forecast.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
2666. MiamiHurricanes09
1:49 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting aquak9:


It worked. You're here.

Welcome to the addiction.
Lol. You got that right.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2665. MiamiHurricanes09
1:48 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Off topic but I had to post it.

REUPLOADED TWC Hurricane Katrina coverage 8/28/05

"Ugh, boy, this is not good." That says it all.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2664. CitikatzSouthFL
1:46 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Nope, not kidding. But, good news is that I do have hurricane safety procedures down to a fine science by now....starting with refilling yearly prescription of Xanex (PTSD...post-traumatic storm disorder) and can shutter my house in record time!! LOL
Member Since: August 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 436
2662. MiamiHurricanes09
1:44 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Forecast for 92L: dissipation by Friday

Spot on Dr. Masters, Spot On.
Man if it dissipates today I will send $500 to Jeff Masters.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2661. aquak9
1:44 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting ShesACaneiac:


Good morning, all. I hope this worked.


It worked. You're here.

Welcome to the addiction.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25725
2660. AllStar17
1:43 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Forecast for 92L: dissipation by Friday

Spot on Dr. Masters, Spot On.


It has not dissipated yet.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
2659. MiamiHurricanes09
1:43 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
92L's COC looks to open in the southern quadrant, let's see what ASCAT shows.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2657. Grothar
1:42 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


My girlfreind, at the time, and I lived in Countrywalk (her home) when Andrew hit...I stayed with my parents in Miami Shores (Northern Dade County)that Sunday night when the storm cae through and she spend the night with her son also north of ground zero......The house was "gone" when I drove back down on Monday morning........Whole development looked like the picture you posted.....You never forget a sight like that and the lives destroyed.


One never does. Country walk was a disaster. You also find out many things. One being that you CAN fit 11 people into one bathtub, if necessary. We can laugh now, but it wasn't funny at the time was it?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25287
2655. CyclonicVoyage
1:41 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Forecast for 92L: dissipation by Friday

Spot on Dr. Masters, Spot On.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
2654. MiamiHurricanes09
1:40 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting IKE:
Tropical Wave Crossing Leeward Islands

Jun 18, 2010 7:44 AM

The area of disturbed weather associated with a strong tropical wave is just east of the Leeward Islands Friday. The system is being strongly sheared, and the weak low-level low pressure area is well west of the main location of thunderstorms; therefore, the system is strongly tilted to the northeast due to strong shear. Tropical systems rarely develop within this type of environment. This whole system will move westward across the Leeward Islands during the day and over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico late Friday and overnight into Saturday. The system will bring moderate to heavy rain along with gusty winds across this area. Heavy rain and gusty winds from this system will affect Hispaniola Saturday night and Sunday. The heavy rain in Haiti could lead to dangerous and perhaps life threatening mudslides Sunday, and perhaps into Monday of next week. Moisture from this system will reach Cuba Monday and Tuesday and might eventually affect southern and central Florida around the middle of next week. Current computer forecasts continue to show strong shear along the system's path through early next week. Given the combination of strong shear and interaction with the Greater Antilles, further development is unlikely through at least early next week.

Other tropical waves near 26 west, south of 10 north, 44 west, south of 11 north, and near 73 west, south of 19 north, remain very weak and disorganized.

By AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologists Dan Kottlowski and Brian Wimer
It's beginning to become a pest that they continue to direct the system towards Puerto Rico if 92L is moving towards the west and is 140 miles south of it (roughly).
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2653. CitikatzSouthFL
1:40 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
sorry for typo...ment AIM at S Fl??
Member Since: August 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 436
2652. MiamiHurricanes09
1:39 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:


REALLY??? Must the thing that won't die have to air at S FL???? Hope these models are wrong. Tooooo freaking early in the season for this!! Frances, Jeanne, Wilma...ALEX?????? crap!
LOL!! You kidding right?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091

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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.