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 BahaHurican:
Looking also at the vast area of open water N of Scandinavia and Russia... not normally clear like that.


The Gulf Stream typically leaves that entire patch ice-free, and the Baltic should be mostly clear as well but there's more ice there than ususal due to a perhaps weaker Gulf Stream as has occurred last winter leading to the stranding of 1,000 passengers on a ship from Sweden. There should in fact be no ice-free patches west of a line from central Labrador to Jakobshabn Isbrae, yet the entire Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay are unfrozen, and half of James Bay and half of the Davis Strait remain unfrozen as well. Those are the areas unfrozen in anomaly.



Current sea ice extent remains at record low. Currently, sea ice is below 2007-08 which was another La Nina Year.

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Quoting BahaHurican:
2 things.

1)Amazing to be able to see the Great Bahama Bank imprinted as colder than surrounding deeper water in the 2010 map.

2) Some potentially perturbing potential in the MDR for next year unless there is a massive SST cooldown before March/April....

Read a comment posted after an article I read today where the poster was decrying GW by saying there have been radically fewer ATL storms since 2005.... ya think, given 2005 holds the record for greatest # of known ATL storms??? But the person was arguing that some climatologist was wrong because there had been fewer storms. I think my greater concern is larger numbers of the cat 3-5 storms. Sooner or later steering patterns won't be in our favor [and by that I mean the bulk of the ATL basin that is at risk for hurricane landfall] and we will have to deal with the aftermath of several major landfalling hurricanes at once. I think we will be extremely lucky to get through another decade without at least one repeat of 2004 or 2005 in terms of multiple major landfalls...


Even if that does occur, the wind shear should remain low. In El Nino years, wind shear typically increases across the MDR region, yet the shear wasn't a problem for most storms last season. Link
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Quoting Ossqss:
How about a Sunday read bonus to compliment the comments from a pollution meteorologist on climate !

Things we don’t know – about climate


That column to which you linked--and I read the entire 3,000-word mess--is a prime example of denialism.

I looked around Google a bit, and wasn't able to find anything anywhere mentioning Paul Murphy's climate science credentials, but I'll take your word for it that he's a meteorologist. Of course, a meteorologist deals with short-term weather, so it's no surprise that Murphy would be unable to understand the wealth of data out there supporting rapid warming (and the fact that he's chosen to write in Anthony Watts' infamous contrarian site is pretty telling in and of itself).

Murphy's basic contention is that temperature readings are too inexact to give scientists anywhere near the precision needed to justify their claims of global warming. Okay, fine; let's go with that premise. Let's jettison every temperature reading warm or cold ever taken in the last 150 years. Let's start from a neutral place and say that we have absolutely no way of knowing from thermometer and satellite data whether the planet has warmed or cooled over the past 15 decades. All we know is what we see now. Let's do that.

Now, Mr. Murphy, I'd like you to please explain what's causing the many changes we see around the globe. You know, quickly melting sea ice. Rapidly vanishing glaciers. Rising oceans. Extended heat waves, more frequent catastrophic flooding, increasing extreme weather events. Dying coral reefs. Ocean acidifcation. Earlier onset of spring. Later onset of winter. And so on. Please tell us: if the planet isn't warming, what's causing all that?

When you can come up with a coherent answer, I'll be willing to listen. But I won't hold my breath...
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Quoting westernmob:
Figures the so-called "Global Warming" er I mean "Climate Change" would show up in the Opinion Pages of the New York Times.

At least they got the section right. Link


By itself, the snow in Siberia cannot explain the cold weather. The fact is that the jet stream blocking pattern has allowed colder air masses to become entrenched within the continental interiors, and this is in part due to reduced Arctic ice cover allowing its cold air to flood into continents. This same pattern occurred last year. The Greenland block pulls air temperatures and even the Gulf Stream in the opposite way from usual. Therefore, warm air is pushed into northeastern Canada, while cold air sinks through North America and Europe. There has to be a cause for the Siberian snow increase as well. See here.
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Hmmm... trying this again.

Junkanoo on Bay Street
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Geof, most recent report here is giving 65.... looks like it will be a good night for Junkanoo "rushing"....

Link
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Figures the so-called "Global Warming" er I mean "Climate Change" would show up in the Opinion Pages of the New York Times.

At least they got the section right. Link
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Hard to believe that the Davis Strait off Jakobshavn Isbrae, where the Gulf Stream warm anomaly diversion effect has taken place due to the Greenland anticyclone block, and the eastern half of Hudson Bay are still unfrozen.



These places are currently warmer than normal. Notice eastern Hudson Bay, the West Greenland Current and the southern end of the Canary Current. The warm anomaly from West Africa stretches across the MDR to Trinidad.
Looking also at the vast area of open water N of Scandinavia and Russia... not normally clear like that.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


n atlantic
compare maps dec 2010/2009


2 things.

1)Amazing to be able to see the Great Bahama Bank imprinted as colder than surrounding deeper water in the 2010 map.

2) Some potentially perturbing potential in the MDR for next year unless there is a massive SST cooldown before March/April....

Read a comment posted after an article I read today where the poster was decrying GW by saying there have been radically fewer ATL storms since 2005.... ya think, given 2005 holds the record for greatest # of known ATL storms??? But the person was arguing that some climatologist was wrong because there had been fewer storms. I think my greater concern is larger numbers of the cat 3-5 storms. Sooner or later steering patterns won't be in our favor [and by that I mean the bulk of the ATL basin that is at risk for hurricane landfall] and we will have to deal with the aftermath of several major landfalling hurricanes at once. I think we will be extremely lucky to get through another decade without at least one repeat of 2004 or 2005 in terms of multiple major landfalls...
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Quoting alfabob:


These give a good representation of current polar ice amounts.





Hard to believe that the Davis Strait off Jakobshavn Isbrae, where the Gulf Stream warm anomaly diversion effect has taken place due to the Greenland anticyclone block, and the eastern half of Hudson Bay are still unfrozen. The Gulf Stream off New England is colder than normal.



These places are currently warmer than normal. Notice eastern Hudson Bay, the West Greenland Current and the southern end of the Canary Current. The warm anomaly from West Africa stretches across the MDR to Trinidad.
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For West Palm Beach...Currently 48

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10972
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


n atlantic
compare maps dec 2010/2009


Still plenty warm out there.Not looking to good for next hurricane season.
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from boston

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Heavy snow clusters headed for Boston after tracking over the Gulf Stream.


new york area radar
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Heavy snow clusters headed for Boston after tracking over the Gulf Stream.
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Hi - usually only on here during Hurricane Season but my heart goes out to those in blizzard conditions. It's a damp cold near N.O. but "nothing" to really complain about compared to that. Distressed to hear of power outages. I hope they have fireplaces as backup. Praying it's short-lived for ya'll.
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484. xcool
flurries report in Covington la Lakefront Airport la... brb
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n atlantic
compare maps dec 2010/2009


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
tropical atlantic
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
latest RSS images from n and s poles


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


Got around 4-5" in Chapel Hill, 25 miles w. of Raleigh. Looks like the higher amounts surround me on all sides, but the heavy wet stuff took out my power for almost 5 hours anyway. Duke Energy reports 12,000 outages ATTM, about a quarter of which are in the Triad area.
Not surprising Triad has a bulk of outages... G'boro always used to take a hit outage-wise with the first big storm of the season. Hope they get power on again before too long...
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blog updated

Link
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Quoting SpiderTrolls:


I'll be here a while :)


Haha, sure................
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hmmm. Some NC dwelling friends of mine are confirming the 6+ inches between Greensboro and Raleigh/Durham...


Got around 4-5" in Chapel Hill, 25 miles w. of Raleigh. Looks like the higher amounts surround me on all sides, but the heavy wet stuff took out my power for almost 5 hours anyway. Duke Energy reports 12,000 outages ATTM, about a quarter of which are in the Triad area.
Member Since: September 21, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3690
GO CANADA!

(IIHF World U-20)

The nor'easters in New Brunswick always hit on Monday.
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U know, even the US cover seems to ignore the central concern about US education, which is that even "great" schools are not doing a terribly good job....
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Thanks 4 the link, Skye. I am constantly amazed at how little real world news Americans get. [One always assumes that news broadcasts in so-called "developed" countries will not fall into the same morass of only covering one side of things the way one sometimes sees in smaller economies...]
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Outstanding Post #457 Skyepony.
Instead of outrage, passivity.
A Russian opera diva threw up in her wastebasket during the Moscow fires this year and could not sing; that is getting some attention.
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470. Skyepony (Mod)
I see the beginning of efforts not to make all this extreme global weather so noticalble for USA citizens. I wondered when pretty much anyone I talk to offline hadn't heard 1/5th of Pakistan was underwater at some point. What just happened to Canada wasn't much mentioned in the media, they did have CA landslides to cover at the same time.

Just ran across this interesting article from Sept..


Juan Cole: The media’s failure to cover “the great Pakistani deluge” is “itself a security threat” to America
Time magazine removes its Pakistan story -- titled "Through Hell And High Water" (!) -- from the cover of its U.S. edition
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i would like to see a planet wide revelation of where everyone's rice bowl is....that would be telling...
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Quoting Skyepony:
A powerline failure shut down Moscow's largest airport today as unseasonably warm weather produced hail storms that wreaked havoc with the city's traffic and left shoppers slipping on ice. Domodedovo International Airport, which handles a daily average of more than 55,000 travellers, reported a total power outage at 8.00am (6pm AEDT) today. An emergency power supply unit allowed the airport to receive the approaching traffic, but all arrivals and departures were ended two hours later. About 16,000 people were left stranded at the facility, with no immediate information about when power supplies might resume. Various news reports said similar outages had affected some 150 settlements around the city, with more than 100,000 people without electricity by midday. Temperatures in Russia's capital hovered around freezing point on both days of the weekend, producing unseasonable showers that turned the city into what one television station described as a "concrete skating rink".


I think they mean "Ice", not "Hail" storm :)

How about a Sunday read bonus to compliment the comments from a pollution meteorologist on climate !

Things we don’t know – about climate
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting Neapolitan:

Amazing. It doesn't take a whole lot of imagination or scientific knowledge to realize there really isn't a mechanism other than man-made climate disruption that could be causing such a planet-wide bunch of atmospheric happenings. The only question that remains in my mind is this: just how many more such things will have to happen to convince people to take action?
a large scale planet wide event maybe such as we are seeing
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Neapolitan.. thanks for the Hubble Advent link; those images are not only stunning, but truly mind bending and thought expanding masterpieces! what a gift to our species, to be able to explore in such magnitude the mere sight of an infinitesimally small portion of this known universe. i hope Hubble continues to provide imagery for generations to come... let's send a few more out there too, world!!!

see you later WU... off work till next year, which means a nice, Healthy, and refreshing step away from the virtual world :D
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global warming
climate change
climate instability

hard to hit a moving target....

seems the only thing really changing are the definitions as this thing does what it has done since the earth accreted from space dust...

anyone care to call it man induced ice age...soon coming to a theatre near you
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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.