November 2010 1st or 2nd warmest on record; ZombieSat saga ends

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:50 PM GMT on December 24, 2010

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November 2010 was the globe's second warmest November on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated November 2010 the warmest November on record. Both NOAA and NASA rated the year-to-date period, January - November, as the warmest such period on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere for November were the 5th or 3rd warmest on record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), respectively. UAH rates the year-to-date period, January-November, as the 2nd warmest such period in the satellite data record, behind 1998. The record or near-record November global warmth is remarkable, given that we are in the midst of a moderate strength La Niña episode in the Eastern Pacific. The large amount of cold water that upwells to the surface during a La Niña typically causes a substantial cool-down in global temperatures, making a monthly temperature record difficult to set. November 2010 is the only "warmest month on record" as rated by NASA to occur during La Niña conditions. The November temperature record is all the more remarkable since we are near the minimum of the 11-year solar sunspot cycle. Global temperatures are cooler by about 0.1°C for the two years following a solar minimum, compared to global temperatures two years after solar maximum. Our current minimum in solar energy makes it much more difficult to set monthly global temperature records.

An average November for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., November was near-average in temperature, ranking as the 46th warmest November in the 116-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The year-to-date period, January to November, was the 19th warmest such period on record. No states had a top-ten warmest or coldest November on record. November 2010 precipitation was also near average. Only Montana had a top-ten wettest November on record, and no states had top-ten driest November.

La Niña in the "moderate" category
The equatorial Eastern Pacific Ocean is currently experiencing moderate La Niña conditions. 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", were 1.4°C below average as of December 20, according to NOAA. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology put this number at 1.29°C below average (as of December 19.) Moderate La Niña conditions are defined as occurring when this number is 1.0°C - 1.5°C below average. Temperatures colder than 1.5°C below average qualify as strong La Niña conditions. NOAA is maintaining its La Niña advisory, and expects La Niña conditions to last through the coming winter into spring.

Both El Niño and La Niña events have major impacts on regional and global weather patterns. La Niña typically causes warm, dry winters over the southern portion of the U.S., with cooler and wetter than average conditions over the Pacific Northwest. The Ohio and Mississippi Valleys states typically have wetter winters than usual during La Niña events.

November 2010 Arctic sea ice extent 2nd lowest on record
Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent in November 2010 was the 2nd lowest in the 31-year satellite record behind 2006, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. As of December 24, ice extent was the lowest on record for this time of year. Ice volume in November was the lowest on record, according to University of Washington Polar Ice Center.


Figure 1. Sea ice extent in the Arctic as measured by satellites. Beginning in mid-December, ice extent was at record low levels for this time of year. Image credit: University of Bremen.

Major atmospheric pattern shift coming
The unseasonably cold weather over Europe and the Eastern U.S. is due to break between Christmas and New Year's, as the atmosphere undergoes a major shift in its circulation. The very unusual high pressure region over the Arctic is forecast to break down and be replaced by the typical low pressure region we expect to see in winter. After recording some of its coldest temperatures in 17 years this week, the UK may well see record highs on New Year's Eve as a result of the pattern shift. The pattern shift should bring the Eastern U.S. above-normal temperatures during the last few days of 2010, and a major New Year's Eve snowstorm to Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

The ZombieSat saga ends?
Last week, I blogged about ZombieSat, the rogue Galaxy-15 communications satellite that failed during a solar storm. ZombieSat has been spewing noise in the C-band microwave region that has been interfering with broadcasts from satellites in its path, including the key SES-1 satellite that relays most of the weather data wunderground and the National Weather Service uses. Within the next week, ZombieSat will close in on its sister satellite, Galaxy-16, which hosts the Public Radio Satellite Service (PRSS) feeds, among others. A few weeks ago, PRSS warned its customers (who include commercial stations as well as the nation's public broadcasters) that there would be a possibility of disruption to its services on or about December 26. But on Friday December 17, Intelsat announced that ZombieSat had lost its "lock" on Earth, resulting in a loss of power that caused the satellite's main interfering transponders to shut down. So it appears the ZombieSat saga is over, and a whole bunch of engineers and operations directors can enjoy Christmas weekend without worrying about a zombie satellite hanging 23,000 miles over their heads.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Jeff Masters

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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


Some, but not by a lot yet, if at all - the qpf is still below 0.5, which might translate to 2.5-5" at a 1:10 ratio.


but its not :P where is live is 1.0 -1.25!!

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Well, all the guests have gone. This was the 2nd or the 5th nicest Christmas Eve we have had. The food was the 1st or 2nd best ever since records have been kept. Global warming only came up once in the conversation and we told them to shut up. Hope everyone had a good evening. (Canes, a Christmas song from you??? Did the Doors ever do a Christmas album?)
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Yes..very gay...not that's there anything wrong with that. :)


The song? It's the only song I could think of LOL
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


4th run in a row, wow i love this, Dontannoyme, think wakefield will gotta increase there snow totals by a lot dont they?


Some, but not by a lot yet, if at all - the qpf is still below 0.5, which might translate to 2.5-5" at a 1:10 ratio.
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Quoting caneswatch:
A rare thing from me: A Christmas song:



Yes..very gay...not that's there anything wrong with that. :)
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


loving it, GFS keeps the blizzard on for the MA states... cmon gfs isnt that wrong 4 runs in a row 24 to 36 hours out?
coastal hugger this thing could take off sooner than expected
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


4th run in a row, wow i love this, Dontannoyme, think wakefield will gotta increase there snow totals by a lot dont they?


I could c some flakes.. maybe.. lol That would be a great christmas gift :)
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A rare thing from me: A Christmas song:

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loving it, GFS keeps the blizzard on for the MA states... cmon gfs isnt that wrong 4 runs in a row 24 to 36 hours out?
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4th run in a row, wow i love this, Dontannoyme, think wakefield will gotta increase there snow totals by a lot dont they?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I love it, i cant wait till the 0Z gfs, if it hugs the coast again, theyve gotta issue warnings cause the gfs is calling for 8=12 inches for much of NC and VA


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
1005 PM EST FRI DEC 24 2010

NORTHEAST NC AND THE TIDEWATER HAVE THE BEST POTENTIAL TO RECEIVE
ACCUMULATING SNOW...WITH THE POTENTIAL OF 2-3 INCHES. AT THIS POINT
A WINTER STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR NORTHEAST NORTH
CAROLINA...WITH THE EXCEPTION OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY AND OUTER BANKS
CURRITUCK. THE TIDEWATER MAY EVENTUALLY NEED AN ADVISORY...BUT WILL
WAIT UNTIL AN UPGRADE/DOWNGRADE DECISION IS MADE ON THE WINTER STORM
WATCH. A DUSTING TO AN INCH IS POSSIBLE ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL VA.

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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Just stopping in really quickly to wish everyone a very merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to you as well Miami! Hope all is well with you.
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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RALEIGH NC
1021 PM EST FRI DEC 24 2010

AS OF 930 PM FRIDAY...

DECIDED TO ISSUE A WINTER STORM WATCH FOR THE EASTERN TWO THIRDS
OF THE CWA AS MODELS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN UPWARD TREND IN THE
FORECAST SNOW ACCUMULATIONS. AS STATED BEFORE...THE 12Z AND 18Z
GFS PULLED THE COASTAL LOW TIGHTER TO THE COAST IN RESPONSE TO THE
DEEPENING AND CLOSING OFF OF THE MID AND UPPER LOW AS IT DIGS FROM
KY/TN ACROSS NC SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY. THE 12Z NAM ALSO
TRENDED IN THIS DIRECTION AS WELL. HPC HAD FELT THAT SOME DATA
PROBLEMS MAY HAVE LED TO INITIALIZATION ERRORS WITH THE GFS AND
NAM AT 12Z BUT THE RAMIFICATIONS (IF ANY) ON THE OUTPUTS WERE NOT
KNOWN. HOWEVER...THE NEW 00Z NAM HAS COME IN AND IT IS INDEED
SHOWING HIGHER SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THEN PREVIOUS RUNS. HPC HAS ALSO
NOTED THAT THE ENSEMBLE SPREAD WITH THIS SYSTEM HAS INCREASED
SINCE THIS TIME YESTERDAY...ADDING TO THE LOW CONFIDENCE FORECAST.
THEREFORE...WITH THE HIGHER THEN NORMAL DISCREPANCIES IN THE
MODELS (WHEN WE ARE ONLY 24-36 HOURS OUT)...DECIDED TO ERR ON THE
SIDE OF CAUTION AND ISSUE A WATCH.
IT STILL APPEARS THAT THE
LESSER AMOUNTS SHOULD BE IN THE NW...WITH HIGHEST AMOUNTS FURTHER
EAST.


I love it, i cant wait till the 0Z gfs, if it hugs the coast again, theyve gotta issue warnings cause the gfs is calling for 8=12 inches for much of NC and VA
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Quoting calusakat:


I am so sad for you at your loss.

We lost our dog Dixie to a large cancer located on her front elbow. It just popped up almost overnight.

She was ten.

My most heartfelt condolences go out to you 8 is just too young.






Thanks Calusa. It was the worst thing that ever happened in my life. He lived a great life though.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
And a Merry Christmas to you also Miami! Thanks for all the goo info. this past season!
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RALEIGH NC
1021 PM EST FRI DEC 24 2010

AS OF 930 PM FRIDAY...

DECIDED TO ISSUE A WINTER STORM WATCH FOR THE EASTERN TWO THIRDS
OF THE CWA AS MODELS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN UPWARD TREND IN THE
FORECAST SNOW ACCUMULATIONS. AS STATED BEFORE...THE 12Z AND 18Z
GFS PULLED THE COASTAL LOW TIGHTER TO THE COAST IN RESPONSE TO THE
DEEPENING AND CLOSING OFF OF THE MID AND UPPER LOW AS IT DIGS FROM
KY/TN ACROSS NC SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY. THE 12Z NAM ALSO
TRENDED IN THIS DIRECTION AS WELL. HPC HAD FELT THAT SOME DATA
PROBLEMS MAY HAVE LED TO INITIALIZATION ERRORS WITH THE GFS AND
NAM AT 12Z BUT THE RAMIFICATIONS (IF ANY) ON THE OUTPUTS WERE NOT
KNOWN. HOWEVER...THE NEW 00Z NAM HAS COME IN AND IT IS INDEED
SHOWING HIGHER SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THEN PREVIOUS RUNS. HPC HAS ALSO
NOTED THAT THE ENSEMBLE SPREAD WITH THIS SYSTEM HAS INCREASED
SINCE THIS TIME YESTERDAY...ADDING TO THE LOW CONFIDENCE FORECAST.
THEREFORE...WITH THE HIGHER THEN NORMAL DISCREPANCIES IN THE
MODELS (WHEN WE ARE ONLY 24-36 HOURS OUT)...DECIDED TO ERR ON THE
SIDE OF CAUTION AND ISSUE A WATCH.
IT STILL APPEARS THAT THE
LESSER AMOUNTS SHOULD BE IN THE NW...WITH HIGHEST AMOUNTS FURTHER
EAST.
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Just stopping in really quickly to wish everyone a very merry Christmas!
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194. xcool
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Wonder if Grothar is done pigging out yet? From what he cooked today, he belongs on the Food Network.


He hasn't had enough yet I bet LOL
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Quoting caneswatch:


One of his hind legs. He couldn't even walk on it.


I am so sad for you at your loss.

We lost our dog Dixie to a large cancer located on her front elbow. It just popped up almost overnight.

She was ten.

My most heartfelt condolences go out to you, 8 is just too young.




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For West Palm Beach

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
Quoting beell:
Enjoy your snow, MichaelSTL! We got rain in Houston-it's almost as good as snow.

Merry Christmas, nrt!


To you and yours, Merry Christmas beell!
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Wonder if Grothar is done pigging out yet? From what he cooked today, he belongs on the Food Network.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
Quoting calusakat:


Where was the cancer located?




One of his hind legs. He couldn't even walk on it.
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They actually released this movie in May of 1947 to keep it's Christmas setting a secret.

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
186. beell
Enjoy your snow, MichaelSTL! We got rain in Houston-it's almost as good as snow.

Merry Christmas, nrt!
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Quoting caneswatch:


Good. I had a Golden Retreiver, but only lived up until he was 8 because of bone cancer. He was a massive one for his breed, taller and heavier than normal.


Where was the cancer located?


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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
She is 5-years old Cane.


Good. I had a Golden Retreiver, but only lived up until he was 8 because of bone cancer. He was a massive one for his breed, taller and heavier than normal.
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She is 5-years old Cane.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
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Quoting ThurmanMerman:


I like eggs.
I would ask you how old you are but I know you can't count that high.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, he only gargled.


You got a nice looking dog Geoff. How long have you had her for?
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Quoting ThurmanMerman:


/wrists
Do you still love nature, despite what it did to you?
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
Quoting caneswatch:


ROFLMAO


Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, he only gargled.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Save your breath. You'll need it to blow up your date.



ROFLMAO
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I'd like to help you out. Which way did you come in?
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
Quoting ThurmanMerman:


I remember when I had my first beer.
So, a thought crossed your mind? Must have been a long and lonely journey.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
Quoting ThurmanMerman:


The personal attacks are unwarranted good sir.
Save your breath. You'll need it to blow up your date.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787

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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.