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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414. beell
works great when the time is right.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurrikanEB:
Albany New York issued this in their discussion about an hour ago.

WE ARE
CAREFULLY EVALUATING THE 12Z GUIDANCE WHICH *MAY* RESULT IN CHANGES
TO SOME HEADLINES /POTENTIAL BLIZZARD CONDITIONS/. FOR NOW...WE
WILL ONLY MAKE MINOR UPDATES TO THE CURRENT WSW/HEADLINES.


Anyone have anything on the new guidance?



Bad or good?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Albany New York issued this in their discussion about an hour ago.

WE ARE
CAREFULLY EVALUATING THE 12Z GUIDANCE WHICH *MAY* RESULT IN CHANGES
TO SOME HEADLINES /POTENTIAL BLIZZARD CONDITIONS/. FOR NOW...WE
WILL ONLY MAKE MINOR UPDATES TO THE CURRENT WSW/HEADLINES.


Anyone have anything on the new guidance?

Member Since: May 2, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1289
406. beell
A late Christmas toy for the weather geek. Enjoy!
MetarWeather
Download link is at the very bottom of the page.

Grabs METAR data off the internet and allows a simple tabular display of most all parameters-with the option to change units, sort by columns, and output to google earth. This program has been around awhile but has gotten better.

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Quoting presslord:


I am ssoo disappointed in you!!!


He,He,He
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Complete Update





Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Looks like we're gonna end up with about an inch here near Havelock. Just started the truck and that's about how much was on it. Already melting on the roads, sure to freeze into some fine black ice tonight.
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Howdy folks,

I have opened a blog entry on this major east coast storm, much more photos and analysis on how this storm evolved coming up. In the meantime, I opened the floor on my post for everyone to get their excitement out, or get their winter storm stories out! Feel free to share your stories on my blog po, the more stories, the merrier!

For me personally, 6" of snow on many surfaces as the storm comes to an end.

I hope everyone's holidays continue to go joyfully! Wishing everyone a good time with friends and family!
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Quoting MissNadia:
Good Morning,

Just starting to snow on the Carolina Coast !


I am ssoo disappointed in you!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
If it isn't snowing... it soon will be.. RTLSNK is surrounded.

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
This stinks. It's gonna stop almost as soon as it started. Maybe an inch or two? Bah.... :(
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Quoting Chicklit:
Morning, all. Will the plummeting, cold dry air in Florida send our warmer air up north to produce snow along the eastern seaboard?
Link
yep :) we thank you in new england hehehe
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Morning, all. Will the plummeting, cold dry air in Florida send our warmer air up north to produce snow along the eastern seaboard?
Link
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Jacksonville International Airport
Lat: 30.43 Lon: -81.7 Elev: 39
Last Update on Dec 26, 9:56 am EST

Light Snow

37 °F
(3 °C)
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Snowing in Jacksonville Fl.
Member Since: June 21, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 1657
Finally turned over to snow here near Havelock, NC (Morehead City). Looks like the dry slot is nearly here, too...so I doubt much more snow for the area..... :(
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HAMweather says no daily low temperature records were set or tied in the CONUS in the past 24 hours, and just three record daily highs or high minimums were. Pretty normal, in other words. However, over the past week, record highs and high minimums have outnumbered record lows or low maximums across the CONUS by an astounding 833 to 18, or roughly 46 to 1.

(Just doing my part to offset all this talk of snow and sleet and freezing rain. The cold front passed through Naples very early this morning; the rain was very heavy for about 15-20 minutes, and now it's windy and 60 degrees [but falling]. It'll dip into the the 30s tonight and tomorrow night, but then it's supposed to be back into the mid to upper 70s by late in the week, so it's all good.)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13252
392. IKE
Statement as of 9:35 am EST on December 26, 2010


... Snow flurries and/or graupel reported across the region this
morning...

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee Florida has received
multiple reports of sleet... snow flurries or graupel this morning
from across the region. There have yet to be any reports of
accumulation and none is expected. The following is a short list of
the areas from which frozen precipitation has been reported this
morning.

Sleet and flurries in Lee and Dougherty counties in GA.

Sleet in Cook County in GA.

Flurries in Lowndes County GA at Valdosta Airport and Lake Park.

Flurries in Leon County FL at Tallahassee.

Flurries or graupel in Madison County FL at Madison.

Flurries or graupel in Taylor County FL at Perry.

Flurries in Lafayette County FL.

Flurries in Dale County al at Ozark.


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Good Morning,

Just starting to snow on the Carolina Coast !
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Quoting Jax82:
got a white christmas here in Greensboro, NC, been snowing since noon yesterday, 7 inches on the ground!
Morning, jax82. 7 inches on the ground in Greensboro any time before New Year's is practically a miracle! LOL Enjoy it while you can.... :o)
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
It started sleeting this morning in Gainesville, FL. Was surprised since it was lightly raining and all of a sudden it was "pouring down" sleet (yeah I grew up in S. Florida).

Unfortunately we were leaving my relatives house at the time and they let us know that it turned into snow for a minute after we left.

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387. Jax82
got a white christmas here in Greensboro, NC, been snowing since noon yesterday, 7 inches on the ground!
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merry christmas to all, we have woken this am with about 6 inches of snow on the ground, and still falling in eastern nc, close enough for a white christmas for us
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385. IKE
Quoting severstorm:
good morning, ike looks like a peroid of flurries comming your way from your north out of alabama


Sun is out here now....36.3 outside.
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good morning, ike looks like a peroid of flurries comming your way from your north out of alabama
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Quoting nash28:
Anyone ever heard of spell check? Or an education? Just sayin....


Snickety clerk.
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Cloudy and cold here but no flurries that I've seen.
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381. IKE
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
707 AM EST SUN DEC 26 2010

.UPDATE...JUST WALKED IN AND HAVE RECEIVED A FEW REPORTS OF
FLURRIES...INCLUDING FROM OUR MIC. WE ARE ALSO SEEING SOME LIGHT
RETURNS ON RADAR. THERE APPEARS TO BE MORE SUBSTANTIAL RETURNS OVER
CENTRAL AL. WE WILL DO A QUICK UPDATE TO ADD MORNING FLURRIES AND
THEN GET TO WORK ON ASSESSING THE REST OF THE FORECAST.

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Morning all. Temps are moderate here right now, but looking at the pace at which that front is moving I'm expecting temps to start dropping between midday and 3 p.m. Hopefully whatever precip we get will fall then, and not later on when the Junkanoo parade is set to get underway....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
62 right now in Lake Worth, Fl. That's it for our daytime high. Temps. are going to start dropping rapidly.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10576
Quoting Skyepony:
The clouds are moving quick over East Central FL tonight. On radar looks to be drying up some as it comes across the state.


May your local aggies stay warm and prosper. Hoping things stay at the 29 F or greater range.

Local oranges this year fantastic after the 20's last year BTW. There is always the next year.
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376. Skyepony (Mod)
The clouds are moving quick over East Central FL tonight. On radar looks to be drying up some as it comes across the state.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36046
Gro:

Genieten

!Disfrutar!

Enjoy!
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Quoting caneswatch:


Buen día de Navidad. Gran cena, ahora estoy viendo Star Wars Episodio V, ahora tengo que levantarme a las 6 de la mañana a fin de Carolina del Sur.


Have a good time
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23676
373. JRRP
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Big storm brewing and theres like 3 people here just getting upset about trolls? I lost a little hope in this site. Hope all had a good christmas, be back, i dunno when.
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1762
Quoting Neapolitan:
Not sure whether any of you have been following...


Just got in, checking the blog; That Hubble page is excellent...
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Quoting Grothar:


El mismo a ti!


Buen día de Navidad. Gran cena, ahora estoy viendo Star Wars Episodio V, ahora tengo que levantarme a las 6 de la mañana a fin de Carolina del Sur.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


I'm expecting them declare one in my area soon as well (MD). Calling for 20-40 mph winds with heavy snow. They've been upgrading the amounts over the past 24 hours. Pretty big change from 30% chance of flurries from a couple days ago.

~X~
Do you live closer to D.C?.Becuase we expect 6" or more.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15703
CONUS WunderMap®
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125429
Quoting JRRP:
feliz feliz feliz!!!!! navidad a todos y cada uno de los integrantes de este blog... :D:D:D:D


El mismo a ti!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23676
365. JRRP
feliz feliz feliz!!!!! navidad a todos y cada uno de los integrantes de este blog... :D:D:D:D
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Better still...

Time for a ban. Forever.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972

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About JeffMasters

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